Prior to his untimely death earlier this year, Ranjeet Koonar, who was working toward his MBA for executives with Athabasca University (AU), truly embodied everything that Athabasca University’s students are known for.
His tenacity and commitment to his goals led him first from a single course, through to the Supply Chain Management Certificate, transitioning into the full Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Leadership and Management, and ultimately pursuing an MBA.
“There was something special about Ranjeet right from the beginning. He was willing to build his education beginning in the LMD program and then MBA. From his commitment to his family and drive to achieve his career and academic goals, Ranjeet was always reaching to achieve more”– Dr. Deborah Hurst, Dean, Faculty of Business
Taking courses at AU, Koonar was able to continue working and supporting his family, while driving towards his academic goals. He focused on supply chain management and made a huge impression on one of his course coaches, Larry Berglund. Berlund encouraged him to consider applying for the MBA program and by that summer, Koonar had begun working toward that goal.
Koonar was working towards completing his MBA when the unthinkable happened. He was diagnosed with cancer and did not have a lot of time left. It looked like he wasn’t going to get the time to fully complete his academic dream of getting his MBA.
When the team at AU found out, they rallied around this remarkable man and his family. On July 1, 2020, Ranjeet, along with his wife Parminder and twin sons, participated in a virtual convocation that AU’s Faculty of Business and Office of the Registrar put together. He was granted his dying wish and received his MBA.
“Ranjeet Koonar sadly passed away on Jul. 2,2020, after a brave battle against Stage Four Pancreatic Cancer,” his wife Parminder said. “We are all grieving the loss of this incredibly gifted and talented gentleman, especially heartbreaking for our twin boys who are incredibly close to their father and role model. He gave his all to his family, friends, work, and especially worked incredibly hard at his course work for the MBA.
“He as well as our family is very thankful to Dr. Hurst as well as everyone at Athabasca University for making Ranjeet's dream of graduating with an MBA come true. His virtual convocation on July 1st, 2020 was one of the most amazing and touching moments I have ever experienced and there was not one dry eye, the experience is etched in my mind as one of the most special. Thank you for honouring my husband, best friend, and soulmate he deserves the very best as he truly was an exceptional individual who accomplished so much in his life at just 43 years old.”– Parminder Koonar
It is an honour for AU to have been able to be a part of Ranjeet Koonar’s journey and our team members are proud of everything that he accomplished.