In Memory of Ephrem Gezmu Liche

Recently we were shocked by the terrible message that our IEM-student

Ephrem Liche had suddenly passed away.

In the Capitol building (near the porter’s desk) you will find a condolence corner.

A small table supports Ephrem’s portrait. Feel free to write your thoughts in the booklet in front of it. In due time it will be sent to Ephrem’s parents in Ethiopia.

Ephrem Gezmu Liche

Ephrem Gezmu Liche

In Memory of Ephrem

Ephrem Gezmu Liche was born on April 8 1983 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as the youngest of eight children. In August 2000 Ephrem obtained his high school diploma (equivalent of university entrance exam) with very great distinction. From 2000 to 2005 he attended the Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. In July 2005 he obtained a BSc degree in Industrial Engineering, with distinction. During the last two years of his Bachelor education Ephrem did volunteer work by supporting street children and giving HIV/AIDS awareness education at Bahir Dar. From 2005 to 2006 Ephrem teached at the Department of Industrial Engineering of the Bahir Dar University as Graduate Assistant. In 2006 Ephrem won a Royal Dutch Shell Centenary Scholarship, which enabled him to do a Master’s study at the University of Twente during the period 2006 – 2008.

In September 2006 Ephrem entered the Faculty of Management and Governance, as a Master’s student in Industrial Engineering and Management, within the track Production and Logistics Management. He completed his regular courses by mid February 2008, after which he began his final Master’s internship at CEVA Logistics in Hoofddorp. It was on April 22 that Ephrem did not show up at a crucial meeting in Hoofddorp with all his Master’s supervisors. Soon after, the police was alarmed. They conveyed the sad message that Ephrem had passed away in his room at an Amsterdam student flat. His death had a natural cause, most probably related with an epileptic seizure.

Students who have known Ephrem characterize him as a kind, friendly person with a lot of friends. At first appearance he looked like a modest, quiet guy, who liked to sit in the back of the lecture room. A guy who would never raise his voice. A relaxed guy, also, all too often with a big smile on his face. He seemed very much at ease, wherever he was. Those who knew him better add a different dimension: Ephrem was a well organized man, hard working and ambitious. He was courageous and optimistic. He saw the pressure put on him by the tight two-year scholarship as a serious challenge which he should well control. He knew what he wanted in life. He was not easily influenced, but stuck to his principles. Ephrem was a religious man; the Holy Book was never far from his bed. He had a spirit for sports and was an able tennis player

Patiently and with a twinkle in his eyes he would answer questions about Ethiopia that might have seemed silly to him. If you would inquire about the Ethiopian language he would answer with a smile that there are nearly a hundred languages. Persisting your inquiry you would hear that Amharic and Oromifa were his native languages.

He liked to travel a lot, stayed with his sister in Atlanta last summer. He toured through the US visiting friends from his Bachelor study. With another sister, Etetu, he spent a fortnight in London around last Christmas. During that visit Ephrem had his first epileptic seizure. Another seizure occurred later in Enschede on the stairs of the Calslaan flat. Ephrem was brought to the MST. The medicine he received seemed to help. He realized that it might be dangerous to drive a car or to ride a bike, so, if possible, he walked. Did he realize that he was not even safe in his bed, where he was found, lying close to his bible?

Only 25 years old, Ephrem died. A dearly loved human being passed away. A promising future vanished in an instant. The only comfort, if any, is that Ephrem did not suffer any pain. The great loss remains. Our sincere condolences go to Ephrem’s family, friends, and to all those who were close to Ephrem. We wish them all the strength to recover from this terrible shock and hope that wonderful memories of Ephrem Gezmu Liche will accompany them for the rest of their lives.

Robert Muhizi, IEM student, friend of Ephrem

Peter Schuur, IEM lecturer, Ephrem’s thesis supervisor