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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Silver Taps: Nicholas James Brueckner

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Provided
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July 9, 2001 — June 17, 2022

A fearless, hardworking, kind friend who always gave 110%

Nicholas was a talented, determined individual who never gave up.

Since a young age, Nicholas had always been outgoing and willing to challenge himself, Laura Zulim, Nicholas’s grandmother, said.

“He never met a stranger,” Zulim said. “His thought process was to do your best every day … He was a huge giver. He always did random acts of kindness, always did things for other people.”

One story in particular, from when Nicholas was only four years old, exemplified his enduring eagerness, Zulim said.

“He wanted to participate in a cattle sale speech,” Zulim said. “They were having a sell speech contest where you talk to judges about your animal, and you convince them as to why they should buy your heifer or steer.”

The contest was only meant for kids 12 and older, but Nicholas was able to convince his family to let him compete anyways, Zulim said.

“I said, ‘Well, I think it’s for older kids,’” Zulim said. “And he said, ‘I can do it. I’m going to write my speech … don’t tell me what to say. If I need any help with spelling, I’ll ask.”

Out of 15 participants, the closest in age being 12, Nicholas ended up coming in fourth place, Zulim said. A few years later, at age eight, he would discover his true passion in life, kart racing.

“What set him apart was he was never afraid to take chances,” Zulim said. “He would make passes where they always said, ‘nobody can pass in this corner’ … He was fearless.”

As he got older and his talent for the sport continued to grow, he gained recognition earning the 2016 Challenge of Americas Junior Max Championship and got the opportunity to represent Team USA in Sarno, Italy, according to ekartingnews.com.

“[Nicholas] Brueckner was such an outgoing personality at the racetrack,” an Ekarting News article, reflecting on his career, remarked. “There was no quit in this amazing young man. And, as always, Nick did all of this with his infectious smile, engaging personality and limitless charisma.”

He was eventually able to compete around the world, Zulim said.

“He won multiple national championships,” Zulim said. “He raced internationally, nationally and twice on Team USA, once in Italy and once in Brazil … His all-time love and passion was kart racing.”

Nicholas, who transferred to Texas A&M’s College Station campus after attending the Galveston campus, had always wanted to attend the university because of its close proximity to his home and for its reputation for engineering as well as for its racing team, Zulim said.

“He had several friends that went to A&M too and several that were on the race team,” Zulim said. “He never wanted to do things mediocre, and he always said ‘110%,’ 100% was just getting by to him.”

Nicholas worked hard all the time, not only in pursuit of his own goals and ambitions, but also for his friends and family, Zulim said.

“[He] always did things for people,” Zulim said. “He had two daily reminders on his phone, one was ‘Work hard every day and do your very best,’ and the other was ‘Dwon’t be a bitch.’ And I just thought that was amazing and what a lesson for all of us … That’s what kept him going and kept him always having a positive outlook on life.”

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