In the wake of Wharton and College undergraduate Arthur Halim’s death, his father Amin Halim remembered his son as a kind-hearted, caring and dedicated individual.
Arthur died on July 30 after battling a “long illness,” according to an email sent out to the Wharton community on Aug. 3 by Vice Dean Lori Rosenkopf. His father declined to name Arthur's illness. Originally a member of the Class of 2016, Arthur took some time away from school for medical treatment before returning to Penn in the spring of 2016.
“It was at Penn when the illness started,” Amin Halim said. “He had to take some time off to get some treatment, and when the illness got better he returned for a short while when the illness came back again.”
Arthur was a member of the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business, and was set to graduate in 2018, according to his profile on the Penn students and alumni directory QuakerNet. He was 21 years old.
Amin Halim recalled the generosity and loving nature of his son. In the email sent out to the Wharton community, Halim stated that Arthur had "touched a variety of lives through his eagerness to reach out and help others selflessly."
As a child, Arthur was never afraid to show affection towards his parents.
“I have three sons, and each son has his own character, but one thing that stood out about Arthur is that he was a very loving boy,” Halim said. “Sometimes boys tend to be shy [with affection], but Arthur never felt shy doing that towards his parents, even when he’s grown up and gone to college. We as parents really just love him so much for the way he respect us and just try to make us proud.”
Arthur also displayed the same love and care towards his friends. Halim described how, in high school, Arthur would walk to his friends’ house to help them with their schoolwork, rather than having his friends come over to the Halim household. For Arthur, the extra time or distance didn’t matter — he was always happy to help.
“He’s very generous towards his friends, very kindhearted, very helpful, even though sometimes he has to sacrifice his time,” Halim said. “That’s just the way he is, that’s just his character. I really admire him, as a father, [for] how he treats his friends so kindly.”
At Penn, Arthur was a part of clubs such as the Lambda Phi Epsilon fraternity, Grace Covenant Church and the Penn Taiwanese Society. Halim described him as a “very sociable person” who loved to actively participate in his community but also kept up with his studies.
“He excels in academics, but also he does well in the social community as far as helping others, joining various organizations, joining the church, and just being very active outside the academic life,” Halim said.
As a part of the Huntsman program, Arthur was studying international studies in the College and business concentrations in Wharton. According to his Linkedin profile, he had interned at an investment management company in Indonesia. His father said he had been considering several career options, but was leaning towards finance in the business field.
When Arthur's illness first emerged, it forced him to take some time off of school to return back home for medical treatment, his father said. As he appeared to convalesce, Arthur immediately wanted to come back to campus. And so he did in January, flying back across the country to rejoin student life, Halim said.
“He loved being one of [the students] over there,” Halim said. “After the doctor [said] ‘Okay, everything is good,” he wanted to go back and that’s when he returned to Penn again. He was really, really very happy to be able to do that. That’s how I can see that he really loves Penn and the community there.”
Halim expressed his deep appreciation of the support he and his family received from friends and staff at Penn.
“I really am very thankful for the Penn community that has been supporting him all this time,” Halim said. “We can feel the support and the love that is pouring towards him, even before his illness, and even during his illness while he was back there. I think they’ve done whatever they could to help support him while he was there.”
According to a listserv email from the Pan Asian American Community House sent on August 4, a memorial service will be held for Arthur on August 19 at 3:00 p.m. PT at Village Baptist Church in Beaverton, Ore.
The service will be open to anyone who wishes to attend, according to the email, and flowers or condolences can be sent to the church directly.
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