To: UC Santa Cruz CommunityFrom: Dustin Smucker, Associate Director of Recreation and Physical EducationAugust 14, 2018UC Santa Cruz staff member Nikolas Madsen died July 20 in an auto accident while traveling in the country of Columbia. Nik turned 24 years old the day before his death.
A 2016 magna cum laude graduate, Nik was a 2013 Wilderness Orientation (WO) Volunteer, became a Recreation Leader in 2014 and was about to return for his third season as WO field staff with the Recreation program at OPERS. Throughout, Nik was one of the kindest, most thoughtful and joyful people to have ever walked into the Recreation office. Nik’s calm smile genuinely communicated his warmth and love. This loss leaves his family, friends and communities in shock and wrenching sorrow.
Nik’s life was a light to many of us and others. His spirit of joy, kindness and enthusiasm for adventure will live on in our memories and actions. Nik will forever be remembered among our Rec community.