The Rotman School is very saddened to announce that we lost a Rotman alum — Ikechidiadi (Ike) Kaja, Full Time MBA Class of 2008 — in a terrible act of violence near his home in Toronto. Ike died on January 26, 2022. This news is a shock to us all. Our thoughts are with Ike’s family and our heartfelt condolences go out to them as well as his classmates and friends.
Ike is remembered by the Rotman community as being an incredible alumnus, a kind friend, a well-respected professional and a loving father to his four-year-old son, Lex. His Rotman journey started in the fall of 2006 when he joined our MBA program as a full-time student. Ike quickly became an integral part of our community with his engaging energy. As a student, Ike participated in numerous club activities, wrote a student blog for the Financial Times, flew to Omaha with the value investing class and was always willing to connect with his classmates or incoming students.
Ikechidiadi (Ike) Kaja with son Lex
As a committed alum, Ike could be seen at events and class reunions. He was always happy to mentor students and fellow alumni. Ike remained very close friends with his classmates in the Class of 2008 and the broader Rotman family.
If you would like to share your messages of condolences or memories, please visit this online book of condolences. We intend to share these messages with Ike’s family so they can see how much he was appreciated by his classmates and the Rotman community.
We asked some of his classmates to share their memories of Ike and there were so many wonderful recollections of his positive and caring nature that we decided to share a few of them below.
Ike was real, down-to-earth and loved connecting with people. One of his favourite lines was, "So what's your story?" And he would listen, with genuine curiosity, and his trademark slow, gentle smile that put everyone immediately at ease. He gave good advice, which usually involved worrying less and enjoying life more. Thanks for dancing with us Ike.
—Sara Sarkar, Rotman 2008
Ike was a kind, smart, and caring friend, father, brother and son. His distinctive laughter, constant positivity, and unbounded energy connected all of us across the Rotman family.
—Narinder Dhami, Rotman 2008
It’s hard to think about Ike and not immediately think of his smile and how he chuckled with pleasure, often at his own jokes! He just emanated positive energy and you could sense it from the moment he walked into a room. He was the type of person who would shoot you a quick message the moment he thought of you, just to see how you were doing. Our collective hearts ache for such a loss from our community.
—Nicole Phillips, Rotman 2008
Ike embodied the sense of community at Rotman through his ability to reach out, stay connected with classmates, and provide support to his network of friends both personally and professionally. He has once again brought us all together to honour his memory and life, and to remind us of how deep our friendships at Rotman are.
—Tram Tran, Rotman
Ike was a great person. Accomplished accounting and finance expert, excellent friend with an infectious laugh and, most importantly, great father to his son Lex. This a huge loss for the Rotman community and he will be dearly missed
— Michael La Fleur, Rotman 2008
Ike was very much a valued member of the Rotman community. Our hearts are heavy as we mourn this tragic loss.
As the police have already shared widely, anyone with information is encouraged to contact the police at 416-808-7400 or Crime Stoppers 222tips.com.
If you would like to connect with other classmates a private Facebook group has been set up here.
Family, friends and classmates have also come together to establish the Ike Justin Kaja Memorial Scholarship to financially support a student who embodies the same values of leadership, kindness, and commitment to making the community a better place. For information or to donate, please visit this link – University of Toronto (utoronto.ca) or contact Anu Mann at email@example.com
Dean, Rotman School of Management
University of Toronto