The Brandon University flag will fly at half-mast for two days as the campus mourns the passing of Associate Professor Michael Malazdrewicz.
Malazdrewicz graduated from BU in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Computer Science, before going on to become a Chartered Accountant. Later, he was awarded the distinction of a Fellow of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.
Pairing his business acumen with his talent as a public speaker, Malazdrewicz began his BU career as a sessional instructor in 1996. He first taught in the Department of Math/Computer Science before being hired into a full-time term appointment as Endowed Chair, Business Administration (Associate Professor), which he filled from 2002 to the present. Among other service to the University, he served on both the BU Senate and the BU Board of Governors.
“Mike was deeply committed to his students and Brandon University,” said Assistant Professor Lindsay McLachlan, a colleague in the Business Administration department. “Just before his death he joined a Zoom presentation to support his students as they presented their business plans. He cared about his students’ personal growth and aspirations and always had time to discuss innovative ideas. His passion for Brandon and small business will be remembered.”
McLachlan says that Malazdrewicz was a supportive and resourceful member of the department, challenging his fellow professors to think outside the box, to include more writing assignments in their courses, and always to encourage their students to achieve great results.
“Before Mike was my colleague, he was my professor,” she recalled. After learning of his death, she looked back to a journal from 2003 when she completed her degree at Brandon University and finished Small Business Management, a course that Malazdrewicz taught.
“I think we were a special class for Mike as we were the first class he taught that graduated. His way of getting right to the point and making it seem simple are gifts. He was, and I hope will continue to be, a mentor at the highest level,” she wrote then. Today, she said, “Mike did continue to be a mentor to me and was always available with a listening ear or words of wisdom. He will be greatly missed.”
Along with his community engagement and his devotion to his students, Malazdrewicz was a driving force behind the establishment of the BU Innovation Zone, a 3D-printing and rapid-prototyping workshop that he ran on campus. For nearly 20 years, he also paired fourth-year students with local organizations to develop business solutions to real-world problems.
For many, it is his kindness and consideration that will continue to resonate.
“The kindness Mike showed me when I arrived here on my own was indicative to his approach to life. When I was living here by myself the first six weeks, Mike took me to his place at Clear Lake, we went many other places together and we worked on his Business high school competition where he convinced me to give one lucky student a prize of free tuition,” recalled BU President David Docherty. “Although he will be greatly missed, Mike set an example for everyone here at Brandon University. His students loved him, and I know that they will continue to cherish the lessons he taught them.”
Malazdrewicz passed away peacefully at his home on Friday, Dec. 10, at the age of 65. Funeral arrangements are through Brockie Donovan. An online obituary and tribute wall are posted on their site, and a livestream memorial service is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 17 at 10:30 a.m.
Students and colleagues affected by Malazdrewicz’s passing are urged to take advantage of campus counselling supports. Students can book an appointment by calling 204-727-9737 or visit https://www.brandonu.ca/personal-counselling/ for more options and resources. Staff and faculty have access to support through Homewood Health at 1-800-663-1142 or at https://homeweb.ca/.
Donations in Michael’s memory may be made to the St. Augustine’s Parish Organ Restoration (327 Fourth Street, Brandon MB, R7A 3H1, email@example.com, 204-727-4728) or to the Brandon University Scholarship for Small Business & Entrepreneurship (Brandon University Foundation, 270–18th Street, Brandon MB, R7A 6A9, BrandonU.ca/Give, 204-727-7374).
For more information, please contact:
Marketing Communications Officer
Director, Marketing and Communications
To receive any BU publication in an alternate format: Communications@BrandonU.ca