Memories of loved ones endure
Honouring members of the university community
By Jennifer Chrismas
|Chelsea and Kylie McMullan and their father Rick were deeply saddened by the loss of their mother and wife Heather last year. One way they are remembering her is by starting a UFV award in her name.|
Whether you have worked for, studied at, or graduated from UFV, you will always remain a part of the university community. Sadly, every year UFV loses members of its community of students, alumni, faculty, and staff. When a loved one has passed away suddenly and unexpectedly or as a result of a known illness, those left behind often want to do something to remember them. In an effort to offer comfort to family, friends and colleagues and more importantly, to honour the departed, the university provides the opportunity to create memorial awards.
Heather McMullan: beloved wife and mother and community advocate
Heather and Rick McMullan travelled to over 40 countries together throughout their 30 years of marriage. They often brought their two daughters, Kylie and Chelsea, along with them. Heather (BSW ’02) lived a very fulfilling and exciting life, but lost her battle with cancer last year at the age of 51. Her husband and daughters chose to honour her by establishing the Heather McMullan Memorial Endowment Leadership Award. Heather, a social worker who also served two terms as a Langley Township councillor, was a strong advocate for those who were mistreated. A realist, Heather knew that she could not save all the children who filled her caseload from a life of harm, her husband Rick recalls, but, “Heather had an amazing ability to seek out those who could be saved and made a difference in their lives.” At her funeral, Rick and his daughters were reminded of just how special Heather was when they met a number of children she helped through her social work career, yet another demonstration of just how passionate she was about her job.
Matt Pedersen: dreams cut short but memory lives on
Matt Pedersen is another alumnus who is honoured by a UFV award. His parents, Doug and Deb Pedersen, chose to create an endowment award so that his legacy will live on in perpetuity. Matt was flying before he could drive a car, and his dad never once worried about Matt when he was in the air. But sadly, a tragic plane crash took Matt’s life at age 23. Doug and Deb chose to keep his memory alive by helping struggling aviation students to complete their studies. Aviation is an expensive vocation, and the Pedersens are all too familiar with the costs accrued from learning to fly. They are also aware of the passion that lies within those pursuing that dream. For them, this is a way for Matt’s passing to make a difference in the lives of those left behind.
Alvin Prasad: student leader’s memory inspires others
Taken at just 21, business student Alvin Prasad had a whole lifetime ahead of him to fulfill his dreams. Alvin left behind his proud parents Gayanendra and Kamla Prasad, both of whom were eager to honour their son’s memory. They realized this goal by establishing the Alvin Prasad Memorial Annual Leadership Award. Alvin participated in a co-op education job placement with the Canadian Border Services agency and volunteered with Special Olympics BC. He also made it a priority to contribute to UFV’s student community by acting as a student ambassador, offering information and advice to prospective students. This shy student was happy to give back by sharing his experiences with others.
Whether establishing an annual award at $500 per year for three years, or an endowment at $12,500 that generates an award of $500 per year forever, memorial awards are a wonderful way to keep a loved one’s memory alive. If you are interested in establishing an award at UFV or supporting an existing award (of which there are many), please contact the Development office at 604-854-4595.