UPEI mourns the passing of Leo Cheverie

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Leo Cheverie
Leo Cheverie on the shore in Cable Head East, PEI, August 2021

The University of Prince Edward Island is mourning the passing of Leo Cheverie, a passionate and dedicated member of the University community. Leo passed away on Thursday, September 7, surrounded by his family and music.

Leo graduated from UPEI in 1984 with a Bachelor of Arts in history and Canadian Studies, and the following year, he began working at the Robertson Library as a library technician. He loved meeting and helping people in his work, especially our students. He was involved on campus and nationally with the World University Service of Canada (WUSC), an international development organization that assists student refugees, for many years, and in 2007, he was awarded its Alumni Award.

He was perhaps even better known to the campus community and beyond as a passionate advocate and activist—a crusader against injustice. He was active in many social justice, labour, and international development organizations at the local and national levels. 

He was a dedicated member and supporter of CUPE, and he was an advocate for health care, housing, the environment, pharmacare—the list goes on. Even after his diagnosis of cancer in 2022, he traveled to Parliament Hill in Ottawa to advocate and lobby with the Canadian Cancer Society for change and support for people living with cancer.

He was politically active, community-minded, a life-long learner, a strategic thinker and organizer, and an enthusiastic supporter of the arts, especially music. He was named Volunteer of the Year in 2020 by Music PEI. 

"It is safe to say that there are not many people at UPEI—and perhaps on PEI—who did not know of or had not encountered Leo at some point. He has left a lasting mark on this campus and on this province," said Dr. Greg Keefe, interim president and vice-chancellor in a message to faculty and staff on September 8. "On behalf of the University, I offer my sincerest condolences to Leo’s family, friends, and colleagues."

The flags have been lowered to half-mast in Leo's memory. A requiem mass will take place at St. Columba Catholic Church, Fairfield, PEI, at 2 pm on Tuesday, September 12. 

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