Imagewest remembers student killed in car crash

Friends and students at Image West put together a portfolio of Brandon Browns work he did to give to his family. Brown was known for his positive attitude, helpfulness and talent amongst the people that knew him.

Imagewest, a student-run advertising firm on campus, joined together on Friday to remember one of its students who was killed in a car accident on Tuesday by preparing a portfolio he never finished.

Twenty-year-old Brandon Brown died in a single vehicle car accident Tuesday, Sept. 18. Brown was a junior advertising major and an essential member of the Imagewest team since May 2018.

Charles Simmons sat at the desk next to Brown since the beginning of the semester. Since the accident, he said he doesn’t want to sit there.


“I’m glad I sat right next to him because he helped me with everything,” Simmons said. “He’d try to help you no matter what. He was a genuine person.”

Simmons described Brown as a nice guy who never spoke negatively about anything or anyone. He said Brown was comedic, always laughing and making other people laugh.

“Even when he was stressed out, he was still smiling,” Simmons said.

Simmons as well as other interns at Imagewest agreed Brown had an incredible work ethic. Simmons said he’d never seen someone work or design so fast. And the work was good, not just thrown together, he said.

“We all didn’t just lose a good friend,” Simmons said. “The world lost a talented artist.”  

While Simmons didn’t hear the news until the next day, he suspected something was wrong when Brown didn’t respond to a message from a client. Simmons said Brown was always diligent about responding and thought it was odd when he didn’t respond to the message sent around 8 p.m.

Despite hearing about the crash on the news, Simmons said he didn’t make the connection before other people in the Imagewest office told him about the accident.

In the office, Simmons said the day after the accident was rough. For a while, he said, they weren’t completely sure it was Brown involved in the accident. After waiting around the office for a while, he said he realized Brown wasn’t coming in.

On three of the accounts Simmons managed, Brown was the artist. Simmons said it was difficult to tell clients, especially those who had worked with him for a while.

“Things will be completely different,” Simmons said. “But we all have to move forward and continue to pursue our dreams.”

Another intern at Imagewest, senior Katie Babbage, said Brown’s kindness and willingness to help stood out to her. Towards the beginning of the semester, Babbage said she didn’t have a formal desk and would use others until she was settled.

When she used Brown’s desk, she said he was incredibly nice about it. She said he was selfless when it came to helping her and positive whenever they worked together. Additionally, she said when she pulled up his work she could tell he was talented.

Agency Manager Kara Williams Glenn said she considered Brown a friend in addition to a student and intern and called him a “rising star” in graphic design. She said in the short time he was at Imagewest he created more content than most people would in their entire university experience.

Glenn said Brown was not just a talented hard worker, but a kind and incredibly funny person who was always willing to help. She recalled several times where he’d lend a helping hand in the office or in class by teaching students design tools or serving as the “resident tall person” by hanging frames above the door.

On Friday, Sept. 21, Glenn and the other interns celebrated Brown with one of his favorite things: chocolate milk. She said she remembered one day earlier in the semester when Brown walked into the office beaming.

With joy, Brown told Glenn his dad gave him four gallons of chocolate milk.

Glenn joked she had never had more conversations about chocolate milk in her life than she had with Brown and was amazed by the joy he got from the drink. She also laughed and said he was visibly upset when he finished the four gallons about a week later.

Glenn said Brown frequently spoke about his family and was very close with his parents and two brothers. She said Brown told her his mom was going back to school, and he was happy to have Imagewest as a place to go while she was away.

“He thought of Imagewest as a home away from home,” Glenn said.

In addition to a chocolate milk toast, the staff worked on putting together Brown’s portfolio which several students said could stack multiple inches. Glenn said Brown completed two catalogues, both roughly 30 pages, just within a semester.

Out of all his work, Glenn said Brown was most proud of his Cooperative Center for Study Abroad (CCSA) catalogue, which he worked on over the summer break. She said he built it from the ground up, doing photo selection, clipping and information input all on his own.

After sending the catalogue to print, Glenn said Brown would frequently come into the office asking if the print copies were available. A week before his death, Brown finally received a copy.

“He was proud of all his work, but that catalog was really special to him,” Glenn said.

Even when the semester started, Glenn said Brown specifically asked to work on the CCSA and faculty-led study abroad accounts. She said it was ironic because after he completed all the work and she asked where Brown wanted to study abroad, he said he really loved Bowling Green.

“His heart was here,” Glenn said. “He found the joy in all of it.”

Visitation services for Brown were held Thursday and Friday. A funeral service was held Saturday, Sept. 22 from 9-11 a.m in Westmoreland, Tennessee.

Rebekah Alvey can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected]. Follow Rebekah Alvey on Twitter at @bekah_alvey.