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Andrew Arida

$64,450.00 (raised so far)

About Andrew Arida

Andrew was one of these remarkable people who truly loved what he did and the people he worked with. For those of us at UBC working directly alongside him, this translated into lively discussions about how to consistently do things better. The focus could be creating service standards for student and counselor advising, or the use of performance data to determine how best to admit a class of students that will be engaged and successful at UBC. The result is a highly dedicated, student-centered staff, that love what they do. And a holistic admissions process that allows us to understand applicants in different ways and to set new standards within Canadian higher education.

Andrew’s definition of a “colleague” extended well beyond the walls of UBC. He was always keen to listen to feedback, answer questions, collaborate in service of students, or share his research findings. This unfaltering eagerness to openly discuss his work encompassed the global membership of the International Baccalaureate Organization, the counselling community at both public and private high schools across the country, as well as his counterparts at other post-secondary institutions. During his time as President of the Association of Registrars of the Universities and Colleges of Canada (ARUCC), he was influential in moving the country towards a national solution for the exchange of trusted, verified data that would ultimately support student mobility.

For all Andrew’s analytic skills and big picture thinking, he never lost sight of the student as an individual and the focus of all our endeavors. He was always willing to review how specific circumstances potentially impacted a student’s admission to UBC. At applicant events, Andrew could be seen sporting a Destination UBC t-shirt and jeans, running around with the biggest smile on his face. He loved UBC and was genuinely excited about the experience these students were going to have over the next four years. Students often comment that an interaction with Andrew was the reason they ended up at UBC. And after a long day in the office, even as Deputy Registrar, Andrew cherished getting in front of a group of high school students and sharing his love of UBC.

Andrew dedicated his career to student recruitment and admissions, working in a number of roles during his 20+ years at UBC. Andrew started his journey at UBC in 1996 as the Business Development Manager, Student Recruitment. He held a number of other positions over the years, including Associate Liaison Officer, Student Recruitment; Coordinator, Student Recruitment and Advising; Associate Director, Student Recruitment; Associate Director, Undergraduate Admissions; and Associate Registrar, Undergraduate Admissions & Student Recruitment before taking on his final role as Deputy Registrar in 2018. Andrew Arida received UBC’s highest award the President’s Service Award for Excellence (2018).

For those of us who have had the privilege of working closely with Andrew at UBC, the impact of his endless energy, new ideas and passion for what he does and who he works with has forever changed us. He often pushed us further than we were comfortable, and after providing him with a long list of reasons why not, Andrew would simply reply “find a way.” And we always did. He mixed this drive with a genuine care, interest and enjoyment of the people he worked with. Many of us emerged with a new sense of confidence, with a perspective of our colleagues as family, and with an understanding of how changes to the broader system could impact the individual student experience. This award is our very small way of honoring all that Andrew has given and continues to give us.

Andrew’s energy, humour and passion extended well beyond UBC. Andrew’s family and friends have shared more memories on Andrew’s personal obituary.

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The impact of your support

To honour Andrew’s life and accomplishments, his family, friends and colleagues will be establishing the Andrew Arida Memorial Fund. Your gift will pay tribute to Andrew’s life by supporting students in their pursuit of a UBC education. Final decisions on the award description and student eligibility will be made in consultation with the family.

Messages of Remembrance

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  • I enjoyed working with Andrew for many years at UBC. He was engaging, friendly and very good at his job. He was a talented, decent human being that I feel privileged to have known.

    Randy Schmidt, Former UBC colleague
  • Our love and strength to Andrew's family, and our gratitude to them for sharing his time with us and with UBC. Safe travels, Andrew. And, safe journey dear friend. You will be greatly missed.

    Paola, Mike, Lucas, and Nadia, Colleagues and Friends
  • Andrew's passing is a great loss for many in the admissions community where he mentored many professionals and led the way in innovating processes to better serve students. For us in the IB community this is an especially sad day as Andrew was a champion for our students both domestic and international. When I joined IB Andrew was already a valued member and contributor to the College and University Relations Committee. His keen intelligence, his clear vision, his sense of humor and his chilled attitude made him easy to talk to and work with. He had an eye for data and how it could be used to advocate for better opportunities for students. I must also point out that Andrew was also a connector. He brought other colleagues to our table and so his contribution lives on in their presence and work on behalf of IB students. This image is from my first IB Conference of the Americas. We came prepared to face slings and arrows over university recognition for IB students. Through the years he would enthusiastically don any silly get up I concocted because he understood that setting the stage with laughter would create space for a better, more fruitful conversation. Safe travels Andrew

    Marie Vivas, Colleague - IB University Relations
  • I am so thankful to have been able to work with Andrew for so many years as a high school Counsellor in the Okanagan. His kindness, fairness and far-reaching wisdom always made me feel like I was a close colleague of his. It was always clear to me that although he worked for UBC, his main priorities were the students and issues that we discussed. Andrew had an incredible way of making me feel like my concerns were the most important thing to him at that moment - that is a very special talent that very few people posess. l will carry that forward with me.

    Sandy Corrado, HIgh School Counsellor - Kelowna Secondary School
  • May his memory be a blessing...

    Pam Ratner,
  • I am so deeply saddened to hear about the loss of this incredibly talented, intelligent and kind ndivdual. Andrew was a truly special human being, and possessed a beauty of spirit that was unique. During my time as counsellor at York House, I called upon him numerous times to assist with a challenge we were facing or with a question that needed answering. He never failed to connect with me no matter how busy he was, and always solved the issue. He even did a presentation for us at York House, which was so much appreciated given our comparatively small population and, again, his incredibly busy schedule. There is a special place in Heaven for Andrew - I believe that with all my heart. My sincere condolences to his family and colleagues.

    Anita Irani, Former University Admissions Counsellor, York House School
  • It was a blessing to have known Andrew both as a colleague and a friend during the past 30 years. I knew him as an extremely dedicated member of UBC's enrollment services office where we interacted often to help create and implement better and better ways to be welcoming to students from overseas and across Canada during an extensive growth period of the University's internationalization. However, the more times I worked with Andrew in events both off campus throughout Canada and on trips outside of Canada, the more I appreciated his human warmth and caring for the students we were all encouraging to come to UBC. Although I have been working outside UBC for the past decade, I have followed his career and watched it grow as he became more and more an integral member of the University's recruitment and admissions mission. I will miss him, but will often think of him as I remember our great times together.

    Donald Wehrung, Colleague and friend
  • Andy arrived to work at UBC's School & College Liaison Office and immediately made a lasting contribution to the lives of students parents and a vast network of colleagues. He loved music. His laugh warmed the room. He was an amazing person.

    Blair Grabinsky, Colleague
  • My deepest condolences to Andrew's family and his many friends. Like so many, I experienced the joy of working closely with Andrew over many years and in many contexts--provincial, national and international. His professionalism, dedication, intellect and wit were always evident, and will be missed by all of us who had the opportunity to have him as a colleague and friend. Andrew made a difference, providing greater opportunities for learners and the educational professionals who support them. His inspiration and innovation will remain with us.

    Rob Fleming, Colleague
  • A leader in higher education with a massive reach in BC, Canada and internationally, Andrew was someone who always walked the talk with incredible grace and dignity....and knowledge. Complex problems seemed to be a welcome challenge in Andrew's world and he managed these with ease and positivity. Nothing was beyond his reach. I am grateful to have known Andrew for 25 years and he will always be remembered as a true gentleman with great spirit and a sincere heart. Rest in peace my friend, you've earned it.

    Nancy Cromarty, Dir. of University Counselling, West Point Grey Academy
  • I consider myself very fortunate to have crossed paths with Andrew. I am incredibly touched at his willingness to help and support me while he was away recovering. His compassion and willingness to help what I will treasure most. My sincerest condolences to his family.

    Rajesh Ghosh, Colleague
  • Andrew will be sorely missed as both a friend and colleague throughout the International Division of the College Board. His contributions to expanding the scope around what constitutes a meaningful educational journey cannot be overstated. As a member of the AP Capstone International Advisory and the inaugural National Advisory for the AP Canada Summit, Andrew’s vision for breaking down barriers between K-12 and Post-Secondary learning will be remembered across Canada and around the world. As a key facilitator behind the Vancouver International AP Summer Institute being hosted at the University British Columbia, teachers from across the planet now have an opportunity of the experiencing the beauty of the British Columbia, while making connections to higher learning for their students. Andrew, you will be remembered as a visionary, a colleague, and a friend.

    College Board, International, Colleague and Friend
  • Andrew was an amazing & passionate advocate for students, for global education and for intercultural learning. I was fortunate to collaborate with Andrew on several occasions, and was lucky enough to recruit Andrew to join as our College Board AP Capstone Champions group as an inaugural member. A privilege to be with, Andrew always impressed with his sharp insights, nuanced reflections, caring demeaner, & powerful creativity. We featured Andrew on several international education conference panels over the last decade, after my friend & colleague George Ewonus introduced Andrew to AP & the Board. Our deepest condolences & empathy to his family, colleagues & community. Rest in peace & power, Andrew. Your presence will be dearly missed, while your extraordinary legacy will persist and grow. It's now up to us to sustain the direction of your great work.

    Clay Hensley, Colleague/ Constituent/ Admirer/ Friend
  • We would like to express our sincere and heartfelt condolences to Andrew’s family. We will always remember Andrew for championing international education and for his dedication to excellence. His guidance, enthusiasm, support, encouragement and positivity will be deeply missed by Bodwell staff and students.

    Bodwell High School,
  • Andrew will be missed by so many of us. He will be fondly remembered for his work in university admissions not just in British Columbia, but around the world. He was one of the best! When I was a counsellor in West Vancouver he would often come to the school on his own time to deliver sessions to students/parents. He once offered to present at a conference we were hosting, and despite it being on the same day he was arriving home from Australia, he stopped by the conference center, did his presentation, and then carried on home. Whenever I had a UBC question I could call Andrew and he would actually answer his office phone – no voice mail. Not only was he a champion in his profession, he was a warm and caring person who always gave his time to have a few words with others and to share a few laughs. He has left us too soon, but the memories will last. My condolences and best wishes to his family and friends – he will be missed. Dr. Kel McDowell

    Kel McDowell, Counsellor - WPGA & UBC Advisory Council Member
  • As a Canadian higher education community, we were fortunate to have Andrew with us, working tirelessly to further our cause on behalf of our students. Andrew served on the Executive of ARUCC, our national association of Registrars, notably as President from 2014 to 2016. His contribution to our association and indeed to our profession is unquestionable, as evidenced in our having bestowed upon him ARUCC's Outstanding Achievement award at our 2018 conference in Charlottetown, PEI. As a friend and colleague, however, Andrew's legacy will shine as a model for compassion, humanity, collegiality and work ethic. On behalf of ARUCC, thank you Andrew for your work and for your friendship. We will miss you dearly.

    Romesh Vadivel, President, ARUCC
  • Over the past twenty years that I have had the privilege of working with him, Andrew has consistently shown immense care for not just the process of recruitment and admissions, but for his colleagues and individual students. His charm, thoughtfulness, gracious manner, and wit were not just endearing but also inspiring. Andrew, your shoes will not easily be filled; you are is missed.

    Dave Chevreau, UBC Counsellors Committee
  • I am very sadden to hear of the passing of Andrew. I first met him when I worked as Associate Dean for the Barber School and later in the Provost office. I was always fascinated by his passion for serving the UBC community, always striving to do better, always using data analysis to ground his ideas for improvement in evidence. He was someone we could only profoundly respect. All my thoughts go to his family, his friends and colleagues. May all the memories accumulated through his life help you in this time of sorrow.

    Patricia Lasserre, Faculty member
  • In my role at the International Baccalaureate Organization, I had many choice moments with Andrew. Everything said that the people at UBC and the people who have added their memories resonate with me. Rather than repeating them, I would add that Andrew was fun. Fun to work with, fun to talk with, fun to be with. At one of our IB summer conferences, a close colleague of mine ran a session called "Under Fire," where IB practitioners ( a passionate group, I might add) pelted senior university admissions officers with questions. Andrew showed up in full hockey gear, although I am not sure that he had a stick. It was hilarious! In fact, I think he wore the goalie helmet when he spoke to all 2000 people at the conference. I am sad for the moments that won't be, but grateful for the moments that were. I have spent a lot of time in Canada, and Andrew is one of the people that cemented my status as an aspiring Canadian.

    Paul Campbell, Colleague
  • Andrew was a phenomenal individual, with whom the BCAIBWS first worked to put together the UBC IB World Student Conferences. He put countless hours into the events, in order to make them a success and everyone adored him. After he established a connection with our association, Andrew worked tirelessly to advocate for the IB Diploma Program (DP) at UBC. His department conducted research studies in order to better understand the IB Diploma Programme and its positive impacts on education. Andrew travelled to our IB high schools, to put on presentations, for parents and students, in order to explain why the students should complete the DP. He made presentations at national and international events, once again promoting our IB community. Along with the BCAIBWS, Andrew hosted a Pan Canadian IB association event and invited universities from across the country to come and share best practices around admitting IB students to their schools. He spoke so passionately about the value of an IB education and it was evident that his fellow colleagues respected him greatly. Ultimately, he was an incredible advocate for IB programmes at home and abroad and we will miss him terribly.

    BCAIBWS, IB World Schools
  • Andrew was my first boss. He took the time with everyone he met to listen and help them down their path. Andrew always looked for ways to help demystify the admissions path for students and families. His clear communication and thoughtful demeanor was a calming presence to all. Anyone who has worked in admissions or guidance in Canada knows that he is irreplaceable. Thank you Andrew for everything you did and I hope you can rest in peace and love now.

    Chris Payne, Friend and colleague
  • Andrew's passing is absolutely heartbreaking, and I wish his loved ones my sincere condolences. Andrew Arida changed the way I did my job. As a high school university counsellor from 2000-2011, Andrew was an absolute lifeline so many times throughout my career. He was always a phone call or email away with a quick and educated response to my many questions. When he gave presentations at counsellor information days regarding every faculty at UBC and what students needed to do to get in, he blew me away with how much he knew and how clearly he communicated that knowledge. What a gentleman. What an amazing ambassador for UBC. He will be greatly missed.

    Brad Smith, University Guidance Counsellor/High School Principal
  • My heartfelt condolences to Andrew's family. It is hard to believe that Andrew is gone and his familiar smile and laugh will no longer be part of Brock Hall, but he has left his mark at UBC with his kindness, intellect and compassion. May he rest now without pain and in peace.

    Shirley Nakata, Colleague
  • I fondly remember Andrew encouraging us to take advantage of the weather with this outdoor meeting way back in 2013.

    Steve Taylor, Colleague
  • Like many guidance counsellors across BC, I was incredibly fond of Andrew and greatly admired his dedication to his work. He stood for honour, integrity, fairness and kindness. He believed that students and staff rise up to the high but attainable standards set for them. His inclusivity and respect for the secondary counsellor was evident and helped to forge strong working relationships between the secondary and post-secondary worlds. He made UBC feel like everyone's home. He will be greatly missed.

    Raquel Kolof, High School Guidance Counsellor
  • Dear Andrew: I feel so privileged to have been a part of your amazing Admissions dream team when I was still at UBC. Thank you for your vision, commitment to students, leadership, kindness, humor, and for introducing us to the best baklava there is (my Admissions colleagues know what I am talking about!). On my last day at UBC, I really appreciated how you took the time to drop by not only to wish me well in my next adventure, but to also let me know how you’ve always considered me as a valuable member of the team. I am glad that I was able to capture that lovely memory through this photo. Rest well, Andrew. cm

    Cherry Mesina Legaspi, former UBC colleague
  • I first met Andrew at a recruitment event for UBC. I will always remember his humor, his love of data, and his impacts. His passion for UBC, for our students, and for admissions has shaped UBC in many profound ways. I send my deepest condolences to his family. Andrew will be missed by many.

    Joanne Fox, Colleague
  • Thank you Andrew for your wisdom, your generosity and kindness in supporting our school and our students. Your warm personality, sharp mind and big heart were always evident as you worked with us on the Mulgrave Advisory Board. Our counsellors, students and teachers who worked with you and met you, always spoke so highly and positively about you. We will miss you. Our sincere condolences to your family and close friends who are sincerely mourning your passing. John Wray on behalf of the Mulgrave Community

    John Wray Head of School Mulgrave School, Member of the Mulgrave Advisory Board
  • My deepest sympathies go to Andrew's family, friends and co-workers. I wanted to express how much I appreciated what Andrew did to make our job easier, and to ensure that the transition to post-secondary was as seamless as possible for our high school students. He will be deeply missed.

    Tracy Tifenbach, High School Counsellor
  • Andrew was a tireless advocate for equity in admissions decisions, and for using data to better support student success. I learned a tremendous amount from Andrew both during my time working at UBC and after launching Plaid. In a note to to Andrew, I shared that I learned 3 really key lessons from working with him: 1) Patience 2) Doing right by the student 3) Knowing your data well can help you be a better leader. There were many moments where I realized that Andrew's reaction should have been "oh grasshopper, you have so much to learn" but that he would always react with grace and aplomb, helping me to learn new things and ensuring that I understood the "why" behind them. We shared a lot of laughs over the years, and I'll miss him greatly. My condolences to his family and all who were part of his journey.

    Andrew Drinkwater, Colleague, friend
  • Since I started with UBC in 2005 it seems that Andrew was always a part of my journey. From working down in the Welcome Centre and then moving upstairs into Admissions, Andrew was always near. Whenever I was in the Kitchen or just passing him by in the hallways, he was always very cheerful and took the time to ask how I was. We had many conversations about my doing "Tough Mudder" and he was one of those rare individuals that gave you his complete attention. Having him around make me feel that we were in good hands as he always had your back. I will miss his mischievous smile and his profound wisdom. He was a much loved colleague.

    Bunny Armour, Colleague
  • Andrew has had, and will continue to have, such a profound influence in my life, both personally and professionally. I'm so grateful that I had the pleasure and privilege of working with and learning from Andrew, and the many laughs we had along the way. If there was anyone who could get you excited about an excel spreadsheet, it was Andrew. I smile thinking about our shared obsession for getting every last kilometre out of our diesel engines in our volkswagens, and the distain on Andrew's face when I told him the mileage I now get on my gas-guzzling pick-up truck. My deepest sympathies for Andrew's family, friends and colleagues. I will miss him, think of him often, and continue to be inspired by him.

    Michael Bluhm, Colleague, friend
  • When the ARUCC conference was in Vancouver in 2016, Andrew took a large group of colleagues up a mountain after a long day at the conference--he was such an eager and convivial host. He was so gracious and welcoming to someone coming back into the ARUCC fold and his team that presented at the conference had such respectful and fun things to share about him as their supervisor. I will miss him and his unfailing support for higher education in Canada and in the world. Much love to his family and friends.

    Ena Chaisson, Canadian post secondary colleague
  • Signing the Groningen Declaration on behalf of ARUCC, setting the stage for the creation of our myCreds.ca national network

    Romesh Vadivel, Colleague, friend
  • Rick and I were so very saddened to hear of Andrew's illness and eventual passing. What a sad time for all those who knew and loved Andrew. As old friends, it has been a true pleasure reading of Andrew's accomplishments at UBC. Certainly not surprising for us to hear of the love and admiration that is so evident in the tributes from his coworkers. Andrew has always shown his passionate side to us through his love of music and his amazing young family. We loved hearing him declare his love of Bruce Springsteen and his dismay of our love for Bon Jovi!. We enjoyed having a beer or two with Andrew on their beautiful deck in North Van. His love of Leanna, Jude and Luke was abundant and obvious to all who knew them. We hope peace and comfort can be found through the wonderful memories they shared with their Dad. We love you all. Wendy and Rick

    Rick and Wendy Hollinshead, Family Friends
  • I send my deepest condolences to Andrew's family. Although I only knew him as a colleague, Andrew always impressed me by his commitment to UBC and to its students. He will be greatly missed by those with whom he worked – by me and by many others.

    Andrew Szeri, Colleague
  • My most sincere condolences to Andrew’s wife, children, family and friends. I just recently heard of Andrew’s illness and was saddened to learn of his passing. I worked with Andrew at UBC for many years. I always admired Andrew’s leadership, intellect, commitment, professionalism, and sense of humor. I can still see him sitting at the head of our meeting table in recruitment and sharing a good laugh. Thank you Andrew for the time that you spent with me and everything you taught me. I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers in the days to come.

    Graeme Joseph, Colleague
  • My deepest condolences to Andrew's family and to the many people who will miss him in Canada and worldwide. I'll remember him fondly as a person who cared about students, his family, his friends, and his colleagues. He was passionate about his work and that shone through. Andrew was a talented person who was generous with his knowledge and advice, which I often sought when I was at McGill. His work and accomplishments extend nationally and internationally, including for ARUCC, the Groningen Declaration Network (GDN), and more. Andrew's professional accomplishments were many, but I know from conversations with him that his family mattered most to him. May you rest in peace, Andrew, knowing that you made such a difference to so many.

    Kathleen Massey, Colleague
  • Andrew was a gentleman, scholar, colleague and friend. His ability to think analytically and present topics in a coherent fashion were so smooth and impressive that he could have you mesmerized in a matter of minutes. I looked up to him as a mentor through his words but it was his actions that impressed me most and set the bar. I thank you for all you did for me, students and the world of Canadian higher education Andrew. I raise a pint to you my friend.

    Dan Seneker, Colleague
  • I am very fortunate for the opportunity to know, work with, debate intensely and laugh a great deal with Andrew, and am deeply sorry to learn of his passing. Andrew's unwavering dedication to getting the best outcome for students, for faculties, for the university cannot be overstated. Thoughtful, energetic, great humoured, data-driven and student-centred, he had a heart as big as UBC. I will miss him.

    Elizabeth Croft, Colleague
  • I am grateful for the opportunity to know Andrew and to serve as his thesis supervisor during his MA in Higher Education in the Department of Educational Studies at UBC. Andrew's contributions to excellence in higher education research and practice extended from his own academic involvement as a graduate student to his willingness to come back to the classroom as a guest presenter, as well as his interest in mentoring new professionals in the field. His influence on Canadian higher education and UBC is extensive and will be felt for many years to come. On a personal level, I extend my heartfelt condolences to his family, who he spoke about often during our catch-up sessions over coffee on campus.

    Dr. Amy Scott Metcalfe, Professor, Department of Educational Studies
  • Andrew a dear colleague and friend. You will always be remembered for your thoughtfulness, compassion and drive. Your laugh will always live in our memories.

    Ang Saweczko, Colleague
  • Like so many others, I consider it a blessing to have worked with Andrew. His commitment and determination to improving the learning environment infused his work, from supporting individual learners, to advancing large organizational and national projects. He would not be deterred, and he inspired us. Sincere condolences to Andrew's family. We will all miss him greatly.

    Robert Adamoski, Colleague
  • Andrew will be remembered for his amazing contributions to Canada Post Secondary. Andrew's holistic admissions will be a legacy along with his many contributions to enhance the student experience to achieve success. You will be missed my friend.

    Jason Colombo, Colleague
  • Furthering the Canadian national network

    Romesh Vadivel, Colleague, friend
  • I am saddened for his loss, as I'm sure are a great many friends and colleagues from across the country. Andrew's spirit, leadership, humility and good humour will be deeply missed, in addition to his incredible work ethic and his compassion for all. On behalf of our Canadian higher education industry, including our Association of Registrars at the Universities and Colleges of Canada (ARUCC), we will forever be greatful for Andrew's contribution to helping us advance our profession. For my part, I will miss Andrew's quick wit, good friendship, unforgiveable sailing abilities, and willingness never to leave a pint unfinished. Rest well, my friend.

    Romesh Vadivel, Colleague, friend
List of Donors
All Donors
  • Wedad Arida Assaf

  • Anonymous Donation

  • Mark and Tina Glazier

  • Cheryl D. Mitchell

  • Anonymous Donation

  • Richard and Renee

  • AAPS Board of Directors

  • Anonymous Donation

  • Kyle McCleery

  • Leanna, Jude and Luke Arida

  • Holly Kerr

  • Paola, Mike, Lucas and Nadia

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