Of the many languages that Adam Wright spoke, the one that communicated the most to others was the one that required no words at all: his smile.
"Smiles can be feigned, smiles can be artificial, smiles can be a lot of things, but his was just natural. You could see it in his face and his eyes, his smile was a genuine smile," said Wright's grandfather, James. "He had this winning smile from the time he was a child to the very end of his life."
Wright, 21, a native of Berwyn and a 2013 graduate of Conestoga High School, was found dead Jan. 31 in Hanover, N.H., where he was attending school at Dartmouth College. He had been reported missing the previous day. His body was found in shallow water near the shoreline of the Connecticut River.
The Hanover Police Department said that the cause of Wright's death had not been determined, but that preliminary investigations didn't suggest foul play.
A statement released Sunday by Wright's family about the nature of his death said: "He was wearing his backpack and found near the Dartmouth Boathouse. We may never know what happened, but all indications point toward a tragic accident. Autopsy results are still pending."
Mr. Wright's roots at Dartmouth ran deep. His grandfather, 77, was president of the college from 1998 to 2009; his father, Jim Wright, 53, attended business school at Dartmouth; and Wright's brother, Zachary, graduated from the college in 2015.
A member of the class of 2017, Mr. Wright was majoring in government and had already secured a position to work for a New York City consulting firm upon graduation, his father said.
Driven by intellectual curiosity at a young age, Mr. Wright was fluent in French and Spanish. He was also proficient in Mandarin and was learning to speak Japanese.
"He loved learning. He liked trying new things," Jim Wright said. "He was a wonderful kid. He was just so interesting."
Mr. Wright had such a knack for languages that he taught himself Spanish and entered an advanced-placement Spanish 4 class in high school without any formal Spanish training, Jim Wright said. He aced the course.
To solidify his familiarity with Spanish and to explore his interest in government, Mr. Wright, during his freshman year at Dartmouth, wrote to "most or all" of the senators in Chile asking whether he could come work for them during the summer, his father said. When one Chilean senator offered him an unpaid job, Mr. Wright secured a grant to pay for the trip and coordinated the entire visit himself. He was 19.
"We were really proud of him during that trip," his father said, "because this was not some formal program with dorms. He had to go down to Chile and negotiate a lease in Spanish, sign up for cable, and learn his way around the city." James Wright said his grandson helped the Chilean senator with tax legislation, which, he noted, "is hard in any language."
During his time at Dartmouth, Mr. Wright also studied abroad in Paris for a semester, took physics courses for fun, and helped to tutor his grandmother on her use of Facebook, James Wright said.
Not one to shy away from hard work, Mr. Wright had jobs washing dishes at a campus dining hall and working at the campus library during his college career, his grandfather said.
Mr. Wright was president of the International Business Council at Dartmouth and was also a member of the Beta Alpha Omega fraternity.
During the fraternity's regular meeting last week, James Wright said, the Beta Alpha Omega brothers spent time sharing stories about Adam Wright. He said all the fraternities and sororities at Dartmouth broke early from their regularly scheduled meetings that day and gathered in front of Mr. Wright's fraternity house, where they quietly sang the Dartmouth Alma Mater together.