Julian Fraser, a 20-year-old student from Connecticut, passed away in February after battling cancer
The Santa Clara
April 20, 2017
The Santa Clara community continues to mourn the loss of student Julian Fraser, who died on Feb. 21 after a nearly year-long battle with cancer. He was 20-years-old.
Originally from Greenwich, Connecticut, the sophomore water polo player was studying economics and political science.
“There are a lot of different personalities on a big team, and Julian had the kind of personality that was very welcoming and put everybody at ease,” said men’s water polo head coach Keith Wilbur. “He had a great sense of humor, a quiet confidence, an adventurous spirit and he treated everybody with respect. He formed a lot of very strong friendships, and all of his teammates loved him.”
Fraser was redshirted as a first-year student in 2014 to save a year of eligibility, according to Wilbur. His position was a driver, and he played in all 33 games the following season. In Fraser’s second year at Santa Clara and his first year of competition, he was fifth on the team in goals, fifth in assists and third in steals.
According to Wilbur, these were impressive stats for a player in his first year of competition.
“He was also a very smart player, and he soaked in everything like a sponge,” Wilbur said. “He was on track to have great career at Santa Clara, and I think he would have been one of the best players to ever come through our program.”
His teammates echoed Wilbur’s sentiments.
“In the pool you could tell he really wanted to be there. He worked his ass off every day on the swim sets and in our scrimmages; he never took time off or went easy on anyone,” said sophomore water polo player Jack Larkin. “I really admire how he came from Connecticut and became such a powerful player for our team in a really short span of time. Julian showed me that it really doesn’t matter where you come from, you can be as good as anyone else in the pool.”
Junior water polo player Owen Asalone agreed with his teammate, Larkin.
“Both in and out of the pool Julian carried himself with a demeanor that was so full of life,” he said. “Julian was the youngest of our freshman class but I believe I speak for us all in saying we all looked up to him every day.”
Fraser was also a four-time high school All-American in swimming and a second-team All-American in water polo.
Fraser was successful in the classroom as well. He earned the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) All-Academic award in 2015, which only four of 25 Santa Clara players on the team received that year, according to Wilbur.
“He was one of the first people I met when I came the (Santa Clara) for the first time. From there, he really just became a role model for me,” Larkin said. “I looked up to him in every way he conducted himself, from his work ethic to his demeanor about school and about his friends. He was always happy to spend time with you regardless of how stressed or how busy he was.”
A memorial service was held on March 18 in the Mission Church, followed by a reception in Alumni Park.
“Julian will be remembered fondly as a devoted teammate, gifted scholar-athlete, and a proud Bronco who treasured his time at Santa Clara,” said university president Fr. Michael Engh, S.J. in a campus-wide email on Feb. 23.
He is survived by his parents Alexander and Cristina Fraser, and two brothers, Andrew and Matthew.
Contact Erin Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.