Image courtesy of SFU Archives

In Memoriam

In Memoriam: Parzival Copes

September 26, 2017

Parzival Copes passed away on September 8, 2017. He was the founding Head of Economics and Commerce at Simon Fraser University (SFU). He also established the Centre for Canadian Studies and the Institute of Fisheries Analysis. Many prestigious awards recognized his insightful research on the economics of fisheries. 

Parzi, as he was known to his friends and colleagues, began his post-secondary education at the University of British Columbia and went on to completed his PhD at the London School of Economics in 1956. He started his academic career as an Assistant Professor at Memorial University, Newfoundland. In 1965, Copes returned to British Columbia to join SFU.

James Dean, who is an Emeritus Professor of Economics, remembered how Copes shaped the department, “I think I speak for many of my generation at SFU by expressing the deep debt that we owe him. He was the founding Head of Economics and Commerce, who laid our academic foundations."  Copes led the Department in recruiting faculty members and graduate students from all over the world. In a few years, he attracted bright faculty members that contributed to the current success of SFU.

His academic accomplishments have been recognized at the international and national level. In 1994, he received the inaugural SFU Sterling Prize in Support of Controversy for his research on Newfoundland’s declining fish stocks that he predicted would close fishing communities. The International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade presented Copes with the Distinguished Service Award in 1996. He received honorary degrees from the University of Tromso in 1993, Royal Roads University in 2011, and the Memorial University of Newfoundland in 2014. Copes was awarded the Order of Canada in 2005 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013.

Parzival Copes will be deeply missed for his contributions to fisheries economics and to SFU.