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The Scarlet & Black

Grinnell mourns loss of physics professor

Photo Contributed
Photo Contributed
Photo Contributed

Eva Lilienfeld, News Editor

Professor Sujeev Wickramasekara, Physics, passed away from an apparent cardiac arrest over winter break on Dec. 28. Due to the unexpected nature of his passing, a medical professional will confirm cause of death.

Since coming to Grinnell in 2005, Wickramasekara earned a reputation in the school community and internationally as a brilliant professor and was awarded both the Cottrell College Science Award and the Harris Faculty Fellowship.

He is remembered fondly by students in the Grinnell Community who recall his dedication to engaging students in physics and for adapting physics education to the liberal arts through advanced seminars and freshman tutorials.

In his honor, Wickramasekara’s friends and family have been posting on a Tribute Wall, a website run by Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service that allows for mourners to write their thoughts and feelings on the loss of a loved one.

“He was always so passionate about teaching our class, and when I was struggling with a concept he could explain so clearly that I would understand immediately,” wrote Patrick Sheehan-Klenk ’19, one of Wickramasekara’s students, on the website’s message board. “His class reaffirmed my desire to learn physics every day.”

A wake and memorial service was held for him in Iowa City on Jan. 2 for friends and family, and a service for the Grinnell community was held in Herrick Chapel on Jan. 31. Wickramasekara is survived by wife and Grinnell Professor Tammy Nyden, Philosophy, and their family.

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