Gifts at Work
BRINK 5K Honors Alum
By Carol Olechowski
Jordan Arnold, B.A.’97, and David “Brink” Brinkerhoff, B.A.’01 met while serving on Five Quad “and became fast friends.” Arnold recalled: “We were steady shift partners on the ambulance. Brink had a tremendous work ethic. He was sharp and really funny. He was also a genuinely good person; helping others came naturally to him.” The two “remained close and saw each other regularly” even after Brinkerhoff left to attend the New York State Police Academy and Arnold went off to law school at Vanderbilt University.
Arnold clearly remembers April 25, 2007, the day Brinkerhoff – by then a state trooper who had returned to UAlbany to complete his degree in political science – died in the line of duty. On receiving the news that his friend had been shot during a manhunt, “I grabbed a suit, left work and drove to Brink’s house just south of Albany,” said Arnold. “Later, I stayed near the uptown campus and ran the [Perimeter Road] loop each day to clear my head. On one of those runs, I was thinking about how often Brink ran the loop, during college and while at the academy. Brett Morey, B.A.’98, one of Brink’s best friends, and I had already been talking about how we would honor his memory.” A scholarship funded by “a charity run on the loop, held as close to April 25 as possible so that Brink’s family could look forward to something positive around that day every year,” seemed a fitting tribute. “It had the BRINK 5K name before I finished that run.”
From left, Mike Brinkerhoff, Karen Howard, Barbara Brinkerhoff-Anslow and Roy Brinkerhoff present a ceremonial check to Five Quad member Brendan McCann, right, the first recipient of the Brinkerhoff Scholarship.
The course, a certified 5K, “includes a portion of the loop, so that runners get to trace Brink’s footsteps. It’s a challenging, multi-terrain course that also cuts around Indian Lake.” The race is open to anyone, “and every year, the pack includes active and retired New York State police, as well as active and alumni members of Five Quad.”
Arnold credited Five Quad volunteers for their work in building the scholarship endowment. “They took on this event with amazing spirit and limitless dedication. It says so much about Five Quad that the volunteers didn’t even know Brink, and yet they honor him like family, year after year. It’s deeply satisfying to know that the values he stood for and the contributions he made will be honored at UAlbany forever,” said Arnold.
Last April, more than 250 runners participated in the BRINK 5K. A highlight of the 2013 event – the awarding of the first David C. Brinkerhoff Memorial Scholarship to sophomore Brendan McCann, a criminal justice major and Five Quad member – was “incredible,” Arnold observed. The race’s tagline, “Run Toward It,” was developed because “first responders – police, fire, EMS – run toward danger.” It also ties in with the award: “Through the scholarship, we want to help each year’s recipient run toward his or her goal,” explained the New York City resident.
Arnold, a Manhattan District Attorney’s Office prosecutor who led the development of the office’s Financial Intelligence Unit, noted that the BRINK 5K has reconnected him with UAlbany. “I spent some of the most special years of my life at the University,” he said.
For more information about the David C. Brinkerhoff Memorial Scholarship, please visit its website.