News & Events

Students Reunite to Celebrate the New Academic Year and the Life of Nii Amar Amarfio

Aug 15, 2017
School gathers to honor the memory of a student who led with passion and joy

By Nathaniel Luce

The Owen Student Government Association (OSGA) kicked off the academic year with an Opening Bell ceremony to welcome students and remember rising second-year MBA student Nii Amar Amarfio, who passed away last week in California. The cause of death has not yet been determined, but the coroner’s office is investigating natural causes. Nii was interning at the Skoll Foundation this summer.

“It’s a little sad to welcome you all back and remember Nii at the same time, but I bet he would’ve loved this event,” noted Dean M. Eric Johnson, who rang the bell and held a moment of silence in Nii’s memory. “He loved getting together and having juice, coffee, and anything sweet. We bought donuts to as a way to remember Nii this morning.”

Nii Amarfio was a member of the MBA class of 2018

An active member of the Turner Family Center for Social Ventures (TFC) and the incoming president of the Christian Business Association, Nii was pursuing a career in social enterprise. The Ghana native was a fixture in several facets of the school, particularly the TFC, and was known for his infectious enthusiasm and passion for any project he undertook.

In a letter to the TFC community, TFC leadership wrote that they “will remember Nii as a fiercely passionate leader, committed to finding common solutions to persistent problems in our society. We will remember his constant desire to engage his faith in his work and relationships in meaningful ways. Most of all, we will remember his deep joy.”

Professor Bart Victor, the Cal Turner Professor of Moral Leadership, remembered Nii with great warmth.  

(Nii’s) search to be of service was as profound and passionate as any student I have ever met. – Bart Victor

“As a teacher, I enjoy a hard question from a student more than anything else. Nii Amar Amarfio brought me great joy,” he said. “In our first encounter before classes even started until just a week or so ago, Nii challenged and inspired me. His search to be of service was as profound and passionate as any student I have ever met. In that search, he applied his heart and brilliance in equal measure. We are all at a loss from his tragic early passing. But we are also all better and more committed to our shared mission as the gift of knowing him.”

A memorial service will be held for Nii this Friday, August 18th, at Benton Chapel.


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