Former University of British Columbia president David Strangway has passed away at the age of 82.
The geophysicist was one of UBC’s longest-serving presidents, holding onto the position for 12 years from 1985 to 1997 before being succeeded by Martha Piper. Hailing from Simcoe, Ontario, Strangway was previously the chief of the geophysics branch at NASA during a period of the space agency’s Apollo era in the 1970s.
Prior to leading UBC, Strangway was returned to the University of Toronto, where he received his PhD, to serve as vice-president and then later for a short period president.
Strangway, the 10th UBC President, is recognized as one of the most transformative presidents in UBC history, having been responsible for enhancing partnerships in Asia, initiating market developments on university endowment lands, and spearheading what was then Canada’s largest fundraising campaign for a university. He propelled UBC from being a major Canadian institution to a globally recognized university.
“I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to his family on behalf of the entire UBC community,” said UBC President and Vice-Chancellor Santa Ono in a statement. “I know the UBC community will be joined by countless others around the globe in mourning the loss of this extraordinarily inspiring man.”