Longtime Wilfrid Laurier University professor Barry Kay died early Friday morning, the school announced.
Kay, who first joined the school’s staff in 1978, was often called upon by Global News for his analysis during elections.
“Barry has been part of our award winning election team for the last 15 years,” Ward Smith, Senior Vice-President, Global News said. “His expertise and insight has provided Canadians trusted analysis and accurate electoral results. Our thoughts are with his family and the Laurier community.”
Kay, who taught in the political science department, was named a “Legend of Laurier” in 2016.
“Barry Kay’s passing has left a huge hole in our department and in our hearts,” said Dr. Patricia Goff, associate professor and chair of Laurier’s department of political science and North American studies. “Many people knew Barry from his media presence, as an astute analyst with an encyclopedic knowledge of politics. Indeed, his many professional accomplishments, including his pioneering method for projecting election outcomes, are noteworthy.
“We knew him as a beloved professor, who inspired thousands of students with his knowledge and infectious enthusiasm, and as a warm, kind-hearted, and generous friend and colleague. He will be greatly missed.”
He was also instrumental in creating a widely consulted seat-projection model based on electoral data and polls, the school notes.
WATCH BELOW: Barry Kay would often appear on Global News’ election coverage
Darrell Bricker, a former student and current CEO of IPSOS public affairs, touted his importance in the field of political research in Canada.
“Barry’s passing is very sad news,” he said in a statement. “His influence on political research in Canada is undeniable. He taught many of us at IPSOS, including me, the skills we use every day. Not only was Barry an amazing teacher and scholar, he was a true mensch. I will miss him very much.”
The school says that funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.
Tributes to Kay poured in on Twitter after the announcement of his death on Friday.