CALGARY – The University of Calgary is paying tribute to two young students who died under tragic circumstances.
Brett Wiese, 20, and Lawrence Hong, 27, were killed in two different violent attacks; Wiese was stabbed at a northwest house party in January of 2013, while Hong was stabbed in a horrific mass murder in the community of Brentwood on April 15th.
On Tuesday, the U of C announced both men would be commemorated with honorary degrees at this year’s June graduation ceremonies.
The Faculty of Arts granted a posthumous Bachelor of Arts degree in urban studies to Hong on June 10th, and on June 13, the Haskayne School of Business will bestow a Bachelor of Commerce degree on Wiese.
“Both of these students had bright, promising futures and it was truly tragic that their lives were cut short,” said President Elizabeth Cannon. “The University of Calgary was proud of Lawrence Hong and Brett Wiese and their loss is still profoundly felt.
“Granting them these well-deserved posthumous degrees is one way for us to honour their memories”
Both victims would have graduated from the university this week.
Lawrence Hong remembered as ‘shining star’
Lawrence Hong is described by the University of Calgary as one of the Faculty of Arts’ shining stars. Officials say he was passionate about urban planning and served as the vice-president of finance for the university’s Urban Studies Club.
He was also a member of the Q-Centre on campus, which offers resources for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and queer students.
Hong was involved in peer support activities at the centre, where he volunteered for three years.
“He was a spark of life wherever he went and he contributed so much to the people around him,” said Q-Centre co-ordinator Katie LeBlanc.
He was killed along with fellow University of Calgary students Jordan Segura, a religious studies major completing his third year, and Joshua Hunter from the Haskayne School of Business.
Musician Zackariah Rathwell, who studied at the Alberta College of Art and Design — and dancer Kaitlin Perras, who atteded Mount Royal University, were also among the young victims.
Bret Wiese was a ‘passionate and caring student’
Brett Wiese came to the University of Calgary from Ponoka, and was a third-year Bachelor of Commerce student when he was killed.
Remembered by friends for his positive outlook on life, his sense of humour and his unwavering love for the Edmonton Oilers, officials say Wiese was also a dedicated student.
“The loss of Brett was tragic,” said Jim Dewald, dean of the Haskayne School of Business. “He was a passionate and caring student who was following in the footsteps of his father, a Haskayne graduate and business leader in the auto industry.”
“Brett’s natural leadership ability was evident from his first days at Haskayne.”
Scholarships created in memory of the victims