Iranian Students Memorial Award turns heartbreak into hope


They were families, students, university faculty and researchers, and all were passengers on the doomed Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, which crashed Jan. 8, near Tehran, Iran.

Of the 176 people killed in the tragedy, three were York University students. Sadaf Hajiaghavand was an upper-year student in the Bachelor of Human Resources Management Program. Pegah Safar Poor Koloor was a first-year Faculty of Science student, studying Biology. Masoud Shaterpour Khiaban was travelling to Canada to begin his studies in York University’s Post-Graduate Certificate in Business Administration program at the School of Continuing Studies.

York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton announces a new memorial award to honour the victims of Flight 752. The Iranian Students Memorial Award will be granted to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at York University who are in good academic standing, demonstrate financial need and have been active in the Iranian community. Preference will be granted to students who are either directly entering York University from a secondary school (equivalent in Iran) or who are coming to York from another post-secondary institution in Iran.

“Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones of our students and the other victims of the crash. The York University community has come together to mourn this loss and reflect on how we wanted to remember Sadaf, Pegah and Masoud and ensure that their legacy lives on,” said Lenton. “By establishing this award, we have found a way to benefit future generations of students and turn our community’s heartbreak into hope.”

York University is contributing $100,000 to the Iranian Students Memorial Award, which will be used as a match to donations at a ratio of 2:1.

To learn more about the Iranian Students Memorial Award, visit