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Sudden death of Canterbury Christ Church University lecturer Goran Stefanovski sparks petition

By Brittany Tijou-Smith

A petition has been launched calling for a new university building to be named after a celebrated playwright and Canterbury lecturer who died suddenly last week.

The death of Goran Stefanovski, who had taught at Canterbury Christ Church University’s Department of Media for 16 years, sparked tributes from academics, students and even the president of his home country of Macedonia.

The 66-year-old was described as “wise and gentle” by colleagues, and President Gjorge Ivanov said the Macedonian nation will forever be indebted to him for his work.

Goran Stefanovski died suddenly last week
Goran Stefanovski died suddenly last week

Mr Stefanovski started working at the university in 2002, passing on his expertise in scriptwriting to students in the School of Media, Art and Design.

Head of school Professor David Bradshaw says he was a much-loved and admired colleague and was appreciated for his wisdom, gentleness, empathy, warmth and humour.

“He will be greatly missed,” he said.

“We send our deepest commiserations to his wife Pat and children Igor and Jana.”

On a petition launched by student Harry McGhin to name the new creative arts building after him, Mr Stefanovski is described as an “incredible man and lecturer”.

“What better way to honour his memory than to name the new building after him?” he said.

The building at St Augustine’s Abbey forms part of a £150 million development plan and is aimed at inspiring the next generation of artistic professionals.

Canterbury Christ Church University. Pic: Rosina Sharrock
Canterbury Christ Church University. Pic: Rosina Sharrock

Mr Stefanovski wrote more than 30 plays for theatre, radio and television and a dozen television serials and film scripts and was extremely well-known in Macedonia and eastern Europe.

His work was translated into many languages and he was a celebrated European public intellectual, holding honorary awards from several European universities.

In the 1980s he established the Department of Playwriting in the Faculty of Dramatic Arts at the University of Skopje and was also visiting professor at the Dramatic Institute in Stockholm.

See the petition click here.

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