(random photo, but  remember Ian being mightily amused by it!)

Last week, my friend Ian King lost his fight with cancer.

I consider myself so lucky to have known Ian. We first met 8 years ago when I was student President at Hull University Union and had just been elected to the National Executive of NUS and the Board of Director for NUS Services where he was Chief Executive. Ian was already a very significant influence on me because I had heard so much about him from different people. Despite the fact that he will have seen hundreds of student officers come and go over the years, he made me feel welcome and at ease.

We hit it off pretty much straight away and found some common ground in our passion for good management and governance in students’ unions.

Over the past 8 years, Ian gave me so much of his time, knowledge and wisdom. He was always willing to give his time and had a knack for knowing when you needed a bit of tlc or support. He helped me find my first job post-NUS and gave me career advice and mentoring all the way. Even when he was seriously ill and under the weather, his first question was “how’s the job?”

NUS posted a tribute to Ian on their website today:

Ian King was undoubtedly one of the people who made some of the most significant contributions to the national students’ union movement since its inception. Over the past 35 years there has rarely been a significant strategic move that has not included his wise counsel and assistance. His unique political skills and antennae coupled with the trust of officers both locally and nationally made him a ready source of ideas and advice.

He devoted his life to improving students’ lives and he always had this in mind when undertaking his many roles within students’ unions. . .

. . . Ian gained most joy in his involvement assisting in the development of individual unions but most important to him was his role in the development of people – both students and staff.

His legacy is that many people have gained much for him being part of their lives and in many instances he has been one of the people who has had most influence on them in their future lives. In 2010, Ian was awarded a lifetime achievement award for his contributions to the student movement.

Ian will be rightly proud that he made a difference. His was a life of service, devotion and care to individuals. His spirit lives on in many, many people and we thank him for it and celebrate a great life lived. We remember his courage, humour, motivation and generosity.

To many people he will be irreplaceable.

I couldn’t put it better. It’s safe to say that there isn’t a single student in the UK who has not benefitted in one way or another from Ian’s work.

It was an honour and pleasure to know him and I will miss him so much.

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