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International College of Manitoba principal Susan Deane mourned

September 16, 2014 — 

On Sept. 2, 2014, to the shock and sadness of many in the university community, Susan Deane passed away. Deane was principal of the International College of Manitoba, a private college helping international students prepare for university and located at the University of Manitoba. Her memorial service on September 6 saw hundreds from the university and larger community pay their respects to the woman known for her vision and determination to help students.


Susan Deane, former principal and CEO of ICM.

One of the first in her family to achieve a post-secondary education, Deane immigrated to Canada from India in 1984. She began work at the U of M as part of the Faculty of Social Work, and in 2009, moved on to become principal and CEO at the  International College of Manitoba (ICM). Her obituary posting in the Free Press online site Passages noted that the role was her “most cherished achievement.”

David Collins, Vice-Provost (Integrated Planning & Academic Programs) at the U of M, worked with Deane. He was humbled by Deane’s efforts and dedication. “Susan Deane had personal experience of the transformative power of education and devoted her considerable abilities and energy to ensuring others might share this experience,” he said.

“She was a tireless in her dedication to quality education for international students and I am humbled by her efforts in this regard. Her energy, compassion, vision and humour benefited the lives of everyone she touched, and her untimely passing is a huge loss to our community — I will miss her terribly.”

Former dean of the Faculty of Social Work Harvy Frankel knew Deane through her work at the faculty in various capacities. “No matter the specific role, I can say that Susie was a warm and generous person who behaved with integrity and kept the interests of others at the centre of her being,” he said.


Deane’s online memorial garnered an outpouring of admiration, grief and love from students and colleagues.


The online memorial garnered an outpouring from students and colleagues. Mira, a student, posted, “Susan was a kind hearted woman and would do anything it took to assist her students towards achieving their goals. The college has lost a gem, but heaven has gained an angel….”

And Deane was perhaps best remembered for the genuine empathy and personal caring she demonstrated for her international students.

ICM Student Karinna Bornilla wrote, “Despite knowing her for a short period of time, [she] gave me a great memory I can never forget…. I, a couple of my fellow classmates [and staff had] a bake sale charity for The Philippines due to the typhoon’s destruction … I was having a radio interview … and I was nervous. Mrs. Susan called … and reassured me that everything will be alright…. When the interview ended, I felt that I didn’t really do a good job at it, but she sent me a text saying that she was very proud and said that it was a wonderful interview.

“I am very pleased to have met such a wonderful principal who cares so much for the well-being and future for all of us international students. With this memory I have of her, and her dedication towards the school, I hope that I can make her proud and be successful as that is what she would have wished for all of us.”

According to the Passages posting, in lieu of flowers, donations can made to the Abraham and Mary Mathai University Entrance Scholarship at the University of Manitoba (for international students who have made the most progress in their first year at the international College of Manitoba) or to the Victoria General Hospital Foundation.


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