Senior Asha Weir was a pure empath with a gentle spirit and a way of loving others around her wholeheartedly while always staying present in the moment.
Asha also had a creative eye — always taking pictures of the things she loved and expressing her feelings, thoughts and wisdom through her writing.
“Everyone always talks about how wise she is, but I feel like it is almost deeper than that,” alumna Iberia Brisa (‘22) said. “She just felt so soulful.”
Asha’s mom, Vinita Weir, said Asha was brave, courageous, wise and determined in the face of challenges.
“She was wise beyond her years, and she would frequently joke that she was a real mom,” Vinita Weir said.
Asha’s name means “hope,” something her mom said she embodied enthusiastically.
“She brought that to so many of us,” Vinita Weir said. “She loved like there was no tomorrow — all in, 100%, always.”
Asha was born in Northern Ireland. She then moved to Skippack, Pennsylvania and grew up there.
She was an English major and was involved in the Indian Student Association and loved her sorority, Alpha Phi.
Most importantly, she loved the people around her.
“Everyone says that they’re the kind of friend that would drop anything for their friends,” Brisa said. “But she actually did.”
Asha loved to go to Point Dume and take her friends there — her favorite place in Malibu. She also loved to learn new things and took ceramics classes every week.
In her free time, she was a big Swiftie. Recently, she attended the Eras Tour with senior Coco Crandall, and after the concert, she was eager to share her joy with others.
“She told us about going to the Taylor Swift concert with one of her best friends,” associate professor of English Heather Thomson-Bunn wrote in a Nov. 1 email to the Graphic. “She lit up talking about it and was clearly so grateful to have been able to go.”
Asha found beauty in everything she did, whether it was her morning coffee, her ceramics, her writing or her photos of the simple things in her life.
“She’s just about finding beauty in the mundane,” Brisa said. “That’s how she lived her entire life.”
Brisa met Asha her junior year, when Asha was a freshman. Brisa said she and Asha connected from the beginning and were almost like “mirrors” of each other.
“She was just my girl,” Brisa said.
Even before they were close, Brisa said Asha made everyone around her feel loved, welcomed and special.
“Everyone almost felt like they were her best friend,” Brisa said. “Because she made you feel like that.”
And she was a comforting presence to everyone she met.
“She had the gift of being such a comfort to others,” Vinita Weir said. “She had the ability to suppress her own worries and tried to make things better for others.”
Georgia Puckett, one of Asha’s APhi sorority sisters, said Asha took her under her wing after Puckett joined APhi as a first year in fall 2021.
“I was so intimidated [by her] at first,” Puckett said. “She was just so put together and well-spoken and confident and just bright and bubbly. When I first met her, I was like, ‘She is so gorgeous. How are we in the same sorority?'”
Last year, for Puckett’s 20th birthday, she said Asha planned a day full of surprises for her, and they celebrated together from the moment they woke up to the moment they fell asleep.
“She took me to brunch and to coffee. We went shopping and out to dinner,” Puckett said. “And that was a pinnacle moment where I realized what a loyal and true friend she is.”
Puckett said that during a break in her abroad program in Lausanne, she flew back to Malibu for APhi’s spring 2023 formal to surprise her friends. When she walked onto the pier and approached her friends, she said Asha immediately bolted toward her, and they held each other and cried happy tears.
“One of my favorite photos is from that day. Ash and I were standing on the pier, taking photos, and I asked her if she was surprised, and she just started crying,” Puckett said. “She was so happy. And that was the moment I knew, no matter how far apart we were, she would always be one of my closest and dearest friends.”
Cate Ruiz, a senior at USC who transferred from Pepperdine and went abroad to London with Asha, said Asha always made everyone around her feel safe.
“She makes everything so comfortable,” Ruiz said. “It’s like a judgment-free zone.”
Even after Ruiz transferred, Asha was intentional with their friendship — always making time for beach walks and hangouts, Ruiz said.
“It’s so refreshing to know that you have people in your life that will intentionally carve out time for you,” Ruiz said.
Asha was a person of peace, someone who could bring calm and wisdom in the midst of a storm.
“We used to describe our friendship as just a peace restoration,” Ruiz said.
And, Ruiz said Asha was always serving others in whatever ways she could.
“She has a heart that I don’t think anyone has,” Ruiz said. “It’s just so rare to have such a giving, kind and gracious heart.”
While they were abroad in London, Ruiz said Asha brought her to her childhood home in Northern Ireland, where Ruiz got to meet Asha’s extended family and childhood friends.
The visit showed Ruiz where Asha got her love for others and where she got her personality.
“Northern Ireland is so peaceful, and it’s just so unique,” Ruiz said. “She embodies that [Northern Ireland]; like, she’s so peaceful.”
Through their travels and time spent together abroad, Ruiz said Asha always reminded her to give herself grace no matter the circumstance, whether it was a bad grade on a test or a day of feeling insecure.
“She was so good at reminding other people, but also reminding herself, to give grace — like, she was so sure of herself,” Ruiz said. “She was just restoring confidence and reminding people to give themselves grace.”
Puckett also has fond memories of Asha in Europe, and she said Asha would often talk about moving to London after she graduated. During the summer 2023, when Asha was abroad in London, Puckett flew to visit her and said she cherishes that time as one of her favorite memories with Asha.
“I didn’t realize at the time how impactful those moments were going to be — just to be out there with her,” Puckett said. “Honestly, I love London. But I think I love London because she was there.”
Asha was a talented writer, and her favorite poem was called “The Orange” by Wendy Cope. Ruiz and Brisa both mentioned this poem as something Asha lived by.
Her writing also shined through her texts. Her wisdom came out in words to her friends — in the good times and the bad.
Brisa said one time, when she was going through a rough time, she consulted Asha, and Asha sent her the most thoughtful and intentional text — that she now reads often.
“We’re meant to love and be loved and share this experience with people,” Asha wrote in the text. “And the ones we choose to do that with will live eternally in our hearts. I think that’s so beautiful. And I just believe that that’s what life, at least mine, is about.”
In her friendships, she was also wise and was someone who offered the truth, while making her friends feel loved.
“She just had such a beautiful way of being able to offer that constructive criticism while also never letting anyone forget their worth,” Brisa said.
When her friends were going through a tough time, Asha would try to find the good in the moment.
“Even the most bitter moments she would find the lesson in it,” Brisa said. “We would talk through a lot together, and her presence in itself was just therapeutic.”
Asha would also find the beauty in everything — always stopping to take pictures and capture the pure moments she was in.
“I feel like it takes a kind of creative eye to really see something as simple as stirring your morning tea is beautiful,” Brisa said.
Asha and Brisa had a shared album where they would both put what they called their “little joys” of the day in the album, whether it was something simple or extravagant.
“If I took a cool photo, I’d just drop it in the album, and she did the same,” Brisa said. “And now, we just have this collection of the most random but also curated [photos] because it’s curated with love and intention.”
Not only did Asha have an eye for beauty around her but she also was driven in everything she did.
“She was fantastic,” Wizner said. “She was the girl that went the extra mile.”
Wizner said Asha was active in her work and was always getting to know her coworkers.
“She just wanted to participate and get to know everyone,” Wizner said.
For Wizner’s 40th birthday, Asha came to support, even when she didn’t have to, and she was always active in any community events she could be involved in.
“She came down there [to the birthday] with all of us and gave us big hugs, and it was so sweet.” Wizner said.
In the workplace and outside of work, Wizner said Asha was an “empath.”
“I’ve heard some other people echo that word, and I think it greatly describes her because she just cares so much about everybody around her,” Wizner said. “She was just pure.”
Asha also babysat Wizner’s kids, and Wizner said she was someone he wanted his daughters to look up to.
“If you want your daughter to be around any other girl, that’s the girl you want to have influence,” Wizner said.
She also babysat Thomson-Bunn’s kids, and Thomson-Bunn wrote Asha was genuinely excited to serve them while they went to a concert.
“She was also genuinely happy to have been part of us getting to see one of our favorite artists, and that says a lot about who she was,” Thomson-Bunn said.
Through her words and through her writing, Asha exemplified her values. She cared about the people in her life, listened deeply, was intentional and was wise beyond her years, Ruiz said.
She lived every day like it was her last, Ruiz said.
“She would always just remind me that life is so short,“ Ruiz said. “She reminded me that it’s so important to just take the times, like when you are stressed, that’s when you need to give grace the most.”
Puckett said she was always grateful to spend time with Asha but is especially grateful that Asha and her flights back to Pepperdine from fall break landed at LAX at the same time — on Oct. 17, the morning of the accident.
“I didn’t know that was going to be the last time I would see her. If I did, I would have hugged her a lot tighter, or I would have said something to her that she could have remembered,” Puckett said. “But I am so so grateful that I got to see her and spend time with her that morning.”
The community will continue to remember Asha as a light to everyone, alongside her family and friends.
“She will forever be our family’s brightest light,” Vinita Weir said.
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