When Adam Sargent arrived at the University of Notre Dame in the fall of 1993 from Brighton High School in Rochester, N.Y., he envisioned not only working with his teammates to achieve success on the lacrosse field but also looking forward to the day when he received his diploma in the shadows of the Golden Dome.
He could not have foreseen how this education would prepare him for the challenges ahead.
Sargent’s life was changed forever 13 years ago. At 8:30 on the morning of May 29, 1997, the 21-year-old senior, who had distinguished himself on a team that qualified for three straight appearances in the NCAA lacrosse tournament, was on his way to nearby Saint Mary’s College to take an exam when he was involved in a two-car accident at the intersection of Notre Dame Avenue and Angela Boulevard. The accident separated Sargent’s neck at the C-7 vertebrae and left him paralyzed from the chest down with somewhat limited use of his arms.
Sargent’s focus soon changed from winning games to learning how to live again. He not only graduated from Notre Dame with a double major in history and anthropology in 1999, but also matriculated to become a valued member of the University’s Academic Services for Student-Athletes, counseling members of the football, ice hockey and women’s golf teams.