March 14, 2013 - 12:17 PM
Kamloops' university is in mourning this week after learning one of its innovators in international operations died while working overseas.
Dr. Wesley Koczka, Associate Vice President, International and CEO Global Operations for Thompson Rivers University, died suddenly over the weekend.
"Wes Koczka was a visionary," TRU President and Vice-Chancellor Allan Shaver said in a statement.
Koczka had been instrumental in leading the growth of TRU World in his three years at the university.
Many people expressed their condolences for his loss on the TRU World Facebook page.
"I am at a loss for words. He had great character and a big heart. He was one of the most influential people to be around I am deeply saddened by the loss," posted one Facebook user.
"Wes and all his charm will remain in our hearts," posted another user.
His background in domestic and international marketing and recruitment and partnerships contributed to the university's hosting of more than 1,800 students from 80 countries.
He earned his BA, BEd, and MEd degrees from the University of Saskatchewan, and his Doctorate in Education from Brigham Young University in Utah before gaining 20 years experience in the public and private sectors and working for the University of Victoria in internationalization.
According to a release by the university, "Wes's foresight, strategic sense and exceptional communication abilities sparked connections between TRU and institutions and people around the world."
A service will be held in the Grand Hall of TRU's Campus Activity Centre on Friday at 11 a.m. Those who wish to speak to the memory of Wes may can email Cindi Thompson.
Wes leaves behind a wife, daughter and two sons.
Colleagues and students affected by Koczka's passing may obtain grief counselling through the human resources department.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013