Michael Jensen remembered

University of Calgary student Michael Anthony Jensen passed away suddenly last week, at the age of 29 years. Michael was well known to many students and professors on campus, and his untimely passing was a shock to all who had become accustomed to his seemingly effortless way of beating the odds. One of Mike’s most daunting challenges in life was living with cerebral palsy; however he rose above this challenge with grace, determination and optimism.

An accomplished academic, Mike was in the midst of completing his PhD in political science. His Master’s thesis, “The Neoconservative Mind: the Legacy of Leo Strauss,” was nominated for the Governor General’s medal for academic excellence.

Michael was passionate about politics, and was involved in campaigns in all levels of government. His idealism and sincere belief in a just society motivated him to engage with other students as president of the Liberal Club on campus, as well as to be involved with debates and model parliaments.

Michael was never afraid of a good debate, and for several years articulated liberal ideals and lamented the political conservatism of his home province in his regular Gauntlet column, Liberal Doses. In honour of Michael’s remarkable academic career, the faculty of political science has determined to award him his PhD posthumously.

Michael will be remembered for his humility and for his sense of humour in the face of the many curveballs he was thrown throughout his life. Several weeks ago, reflecting on his feelings regarding the onset of a sudden illness, he wrote:

“But what I don’t comprehend is when people tell me I’ve been through so much already. To me, it just sounds like gibberish. I’ve been a child of privilege. Was it really a struggle to get an MA more so than anybody else? Was I not to go to college? I don’t think so. I just did what anybody could have done. I’m not a hero. My friends are my friends because they don’t pity me and can see me for who I am.”

In the eyes of his friends, family and colleagues Michael was a hero. He will be dearly missed.

A scholarship has been established in Michael’s honour. Donations can be made at the Development Office in Cragie Hall D 604.

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