Bursary established to honour students

January 26, 2006, vol. 35, no. 2
By Stuart Colcleugh

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The families of two students found dead in Burnaby Mountain Park on Jan. 14 have created a bursary fund at SFU named in their honour.

Second-year French student Brendan Midgley and third-year criminology student Joseph Stryjak, whose bodies were recovered at the base of a 61-metre cliff on the mountain's north side, went missing in the early hours of Jan. 13 after an evening at the on-campus Highland pub.

A public memorial service for the two men will be held on Jan. 28 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Willingdon Church, 4812 Willingdon Ave. in Burnaby.

The two friends were apparently on their way down the mountain to another friend's house. No one knows how they managed to stray from the area's well-marked paths.

The coroner will conduct an investigation into the cause of death.

The deaths are a tragic reminder to be cautious when travelling the trails surrounding the Burnaby campus, says campus security director Nick Coutu. “You have to be careful at all times, but particularly at night when you travel the paths down the mountain,” says Coutu. “And please, please respect the signs and fences. They are there for your protection.”

Nello Angerilli, acting associate VP-students and international, expressed deep regret over the two men's deaths, saying their immediate families and many in their extended SFU family have been devastated by their loss.

“We extend our condolences to the Midgley and Stryjak families in these difficult times and our campus community joins them in mourning the loss of two fine young men.”

Warren Gill, VP-university relations, says campus security, emergency preparedness and student services personnel were “outstanding” in their response to the tragedy. “They were fast and efficient in assisting police and search and rescue crews, and very responsive in ensuring the privacy of the family members and friends on site.”

To contribute to the Brendan Midgley and Joseph Stryjak Celebration of Life bursary fund, contact SFU awards fundraising manager Preet Virk at 604-291-5310 or email pchhina@sfu.ca

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