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Lasting legacy for talented student

09 December 2019 @TeessideUni

 

A memorial tree has been planted at Teesside University as a tribute to a gifted student who passed away earlier this year.

Tan and Michelle Hanif with the memorial tree for Michael.
Tan and Michelle Hanif with the memorial tree for Michael.

Michael Hanif was described as a genius by his father who said he is humbled by the tribute the University has made to his son which will help to ensure he is never forgotten.

It was in May this year when Michael, an Aerospace Engineering student, died at the age of 30.

Teesside University has been supporting his family and a memorial tree has now been planted in King Edward’s Square as a permanent legacy to Michael.

His friends and family were on hand to help plant the tree and pay tribute to Michael.

His father, Tan Hanif, 51, from the Grove Hill area of Middlesbrough, said: “It is a really emotional time but I am humbled by what the University has done for my son.

'It helps to keep his legacy alive and this is something his family can look after for years to come and ensure he is never forgotten.

'To lose a child is heart-breaking, but to be able to honour Michael in this way is comforting and it creates a legacy for him.'

we hope that by planting a tree in memory of Michael, it offers some comfort to his family and friends.

Michael was a promising student who also worked as a mechanic in the area and harboured dreams of working for NASA.

Tan added: 'The last conversation we had, he was telling me how he wanted to fly rockets into space.

'Michael was a maths genius – he was like a machine and never needed a book or a calculator – he was too clever and could work everything out for himself.

'I am incredibly proud of him and am sure he was destined for great things.'

Professor Mark Simpson, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) at Teesside University, said: 'Words are often inadequate at times like this but we hope that by planting a tree in memory of Michael, it offers some comfort to his family and friends.

'Michael is sadly missed by his tutors, friends and fellow students and he remains in our thoughts during this difficult time.'


In the News

Family "humbled" by lasting tribute to gifted Teesside student Michael Hanif
Gazette Live, online, 12/12/2019
The memory of a high-flying student who died aged just 30 has been honoured by Teesside University. Michael Hanif was studying aerospace engineering and harboured dreams of working for NASA.


Tree is planted in memory of 'genius' Michael
Evening Gazette, p.17, 13/12/2019
The memory of a high-flying student who died aged just 30 has been honoured by Teesside University. Michael Hanif was studying aerospace engineering and harboured dreams of working for NASA.


University plants tree in memory of gifted student
Northern Echo, P.2, 10/12/2019; Darlington and Stockton Times, p.24, 13/12/2019
A memorial tree has been planted at a University in tribute to a 'gifted' student who passed away earlier this year.