When he broke the tragic news of Samuel Terblanche’s passing, Dean Josef Sorett shocked everyone at Columbia University. Samuel Terblanche (CC ’25), a junior studying Sustainable Development with a specialization in Economics, passed away recently, leaving a loss that many will find difficult to replace.
More than just a name on the roster, Samuel Terblanche was a player. He was a motivating figure, an enthusiastic supporter of sustainability, and a committed student. His premature departure has had a significant impact on the university, serving as a powerful lesson in the fragility of life and the need to savor each moment.
Terblanche’s academic journey at Columbia was marked by his unwavering dedication to the field of Sustainable Development. His concentration in Economics allowed him to explore the intricate relationships between economic systems and environmental sustainability. With a fervor for creating a more ecologically responsible world, Terblanche consistently engaged in initiatives and organizations aligned with his passion.
His commitment extended far beyond the classroom. Terblanche was actively involved in both on-campus and off-campus organizations focused on climate change, sustainability, and impact investing. He viewed these platforms as essential channels for driving positive change in the world.
Samuel Terblanche is referred to by friends and acquaintances as a “firecracker full of light.” His bubbly disposition made everyone around him happy, and his infectious cheerfulness spread quickly. Terblanche has a remarkable talent for bringing a room to life with his contagious excitement and friendly smile.
But his allure went deeper than that. His depth of character was admired by those who knew him well. Terblanche was a person who treated everyone with love and respect, not merely as a cheery presence. Those who were lucky enough to come into contact with him admired him for his sincere care for other people’s welfare.
Beyond his warm-heartedness, Terblanche possessed a sharp intellect. His commitment to his studies was apparent to all who knew him. He approached his academic pursuits with the same enthusiasm and purpose that defined his personal interactions.
Terblanche’s involvement in sustainable development and economics wasn’t just a matter of following trends. He was intentional in his actions, driven by a deep-seated belief in the potential of sustainable practices to reshape the world for the better. His academic excellence reflected not just his intelligence but also his passion for making a meaningful impact.
The death of Samuel Terblanche has echoed across the Columbia University campus, leaving a lasting impression on the neighbourhood. The institution has come together to express its sorrow, contemplate, and support those who are grieving in reaction to this devastating loss.
In Lerner 401, a place for introspection and community support, friends, teachers, and other students gathered to remember Terblanche and express their condolences. To help those who needed it, representatives from Religious Life, Counselling, and Psychological Services were there.
Dean Sorett, in his email announcing Terblanche’s passing, extended his heartfelt condolences to Samuel’s family and friends. He also urged students to “seek care and support as needed in the days ahead,” recognizing the profound impact this loss has had on the Columbia community.
As the Columbia University community grapples with the loss of Samuel Terblanche, it is essential to remember the legacy he leaves behind. His unwavering dedication to sustainable development, his kindness, and his intellectual curiosity have left an indelible mark on those who had the privilege of knowing him.
Samuel Terblanche serves as an inspiration to us all, a reminder of the positive change one individual can enact when driven by a genuine passion for a better world. In his memory, we can continue the work he started, striving for a more sustainable and compassionate future.
In this challenging time, it is crucial for the Columbia University community to come together and support one another. The university offers various resources to help students cope with grief and seek assistance when needed. These resources include counseling services, support groups, and avenues for discussing grief and loss.
In his speech, Dean Sorett emphasised the value of getting support when coping with challenging emotions and urged students to take advantage of the facilities on campus. It serves as a reminder that there is a network of support available to lessen the load of grief in times of loss.
The Columbia University community is devastated by the loss of Samuel Terblanche. He was more than simply a student; he was a lighthouse, a fervent supporter of sustainability, and a kind person who changed the lives of many. We must acknowledge the impact he had during his brief time with us even as we lament his premature passing.
Samuel Terblanche’s legacy will continue to inspire us to work towards a more sustainable and compassionate world. In his memory, let us carry forward his passion for positive change and his commitment to kindness, leaving a lasting impact on the community he held so dear.