Misha Bazelevskyy: Celebrating a life well lived

September 8, 2016

On September 8, final goodbyes were said at a memorial service for Misha Bazelevskyy, a MacEwan University student who tragically lost his life in a terrorist attack on July 14 while attending an international study program in Nice, France. The service was attended by friends, classmates, university faculty and administration, his brother and sister-in-law, and his parents, who traveled to Edmonton from Ukraine. Throughout the service, representatives from the student body, university leadership, the Government of Alberta and Misha’s family offered words of comfort and condolence, and shared stories of a young man whose kindness and enthusiasm brightened the lives of all who were lucky enough to have known him.

Misha was fondly remembered as a dedicated and passionate Bachelor of Commerce student and Griffins cross-country athlete. According to former cross-country teammate Robyn Taylor, Misha took a great deal of pride in being a Griffin. “It never seemed to matter whether our team was going to training, to dinner or Misha was spotted in the hallway, walking to school or wherever,” she recounted. “He always seemed to be wearing his cross country jacket. He was proud to be a member of the team.”

Provost and vice-president, Academic John Corlett praised Misha’s sense of adventure and encouraged students to continue to embrace international education as Misha had. “Our students are, and must be, international citizens,” he said. “Our students are our best expression of our belief that it is better to create than to destroy, better to sing in harmony with each other than to shout in discord at each other. Misha was wise beyond his years in seeing the importance of this. He had the courage and spirit of discovery that great global explorers have always been remembered for.”

President David Atkinson encouraged Misha’s peers to take inspiration from the exuberance with which he embraced life. “We will remember Misha with sadness but it is a sadness that fades in time to be replaced by the memory of someone very special,” he said. “From this we should take consolation and inspiration for our own lives, and in our own way make up for what was lost with his loss.

“Misha had a moment and made it count. No one should ever say that Misha’s life was a waste.”

The university will continue to honour Misha’s legacy through a scholarship established in his name to support students who participate in study abroad programs. Those interested in contributing may do so by contacting Brianne Thomas at 780-633-3907 or thomasb10@macewan.ca.

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