People hold photos of those lostA commemorative bench and tree on Windsor’s riverfront honour the members of the University community killed in the crash of Ukraine flight 752.

President memorializes victims of Ukraine flight 752 air tragedy

UWindsor president Rob Gordon released this statement today in memory of members of the University community killed in a plane crash one year ago.

A flood of emotion swept over the University of Windsor a year ago today, Jan. 8, 2020.  We faced the terrible reality that members of our campus family had been lost when Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was shot down over Iran.

There was sadness, disbelief, shock and anger. Five cherished members of our University community — our colleagues, our students, our friends, our family — were returning to the University from holiday visits with their families and loved ones.

Today, we remember doctoral student of civil engineering Pedram Jadidi; biology research assistant Samira Bashiri and her spouse Hamidreza Setareh Kokab, a PhD candidate in mechanical engineering; and civil engineering doctoral student Zahra Naghibi and her spouse Mohammad Abbaspour Ghadi; who were among the 176 people killed.

Their lives were filled with promise and possibility. Then, with no warning, they were caught in the middle of a needless and senseless tragedy.

The impact on all of us at the University of Windsor was devastating — for both those who knew them well and those who didn't. We all felt a bond. They represented everything that we hold dear — hope for a future of commitment and accomplishment, and the successful search for a place in life where dreams can become a reality.

But our friends and colleagues who died will not be forgotten by their University of Windsor family.

We have established a memorial scholarship to honour them, and joined with the City of Windsor to establish riverfront memorial that will serve as a tangible and permanent reminder of the lives they lived, their great and lasting impact on our community, and the unlimited potential that was lost to the world.

The University has also contributed to a collection of videos dedicated to the victims that will soon be available on this website:

We join together with the families and friends of all of the 176 innocent individuals whose lives ended in the unspeakable and terrible tragedy over Iran and pay our respects and honour them.