Northern Lights College’s longest-serving president passes at the age of 74

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DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Jim Kassen, former president of Northern Lights College, passed away on November 19, 2019.

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, November 30, at 10 am in the Centre for Clean Energy Technologies at NLC’s Dawson Creek campus.

“We are all deeply saddened at Jim’s passing. He was instrumental in shaping higher education in the North,” said M. Bryn Kulmatycki, current president and chief executive officer of Northern Lights College. “He will long be remembered for his unwavering commitment to NLC and the educational needs of northern British Columbians.”

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Kassen started his 25-year tenure as president of NLC in 1980. During his time he grew the College from a single campus in Dawson Creek, with three storefront operations in Chetwynd, Fort Nelson, and Fort St. John, and just a few hundred students, to eight campuses and access centres across the upper third of British Columbia.

Under his leadership, the College entered into a formal arrangement with the University of Northern British Columbia in 1992. Jim awarded NLC’s first honorary degree to renowned opera singer Ben Heppner in 1994.

Along with being remembered for his compassion, integrity, and dedication to his work, family, and friends, Jim was known for his sense of humour.

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Jim retired from NLC in 2005. In 2007, the College opened the Jim Kassen Industry Training Centre at the Fort St. John campus in his honour.

Jim is survived by Marty, his wife of 51 years, son Wade, daughter Nicole, grandchildren, and extended family.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Jim Kassen Legacy Award, administered by the Northern Lights College Foundation.

To make a contribution, call 250-787-6240 or email foundation@nlc.bc.ca.

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