My 30 plus year journey with Dr. Malszecki began in my first year of my Sport Admin program. The first thing I remembered about meeting Dr. Malszecki was that he made an effort to know every students name. The second thing I remembered was Greg telling us about his career path, first entering priesthood, then a motorcycle gang (briefly) and eventually he found his way into academia.
He cared about his students. “Destination Graduation,” the motto which he coined and wrote on the board each week to inspire his students was adopted throughout the Kinesiology program at York University. He wrote a paper on the topic and to quote, ” The phrase ‘Destination: Graduation!’ in its tormented origin, its manifold applications and its universal aim, has always been about the journey, not the arrival – the destination is a prize one never wins but that acts as a moral compass.”
He wanted us all to succeed, encouraging us to pursue our dreams. This earned him University Professor of the Year at York University. His popularity also earned him hundreds of requests for reference letters. Greg would respond to all of them. I was most grateful that he wrote one for me that helped get me in grad school.
“Without a doubt, the single best professor KINE has to offer. He is passionate, works to build relationships with all of his students, and is a genius at what he does. Just having the privilege of listening to him talk every week was enough to make this course worthwhile. His presence is something to be revered. Simply amazing!” Rate my Professor, Anonymous former student of Dr. Malszecki.
Dr. Malszecki was highly engaged in community whether at York University or his local residence. As academic advisor at Stong College, Greg contributed vastly to campus life and supported students in pursuing excellence. He wanted us all to achieve our goals.
Greg was a notable sports historian often interviewed in the media. An advocate against violence in sport, proponent of equity. He served on the LaMarsh Centre for violence against women.
Greg was passionate about his subject matter and he was an incredible orator. Sometimes a bit long winded, although he kept your attention with his humour and depth of knowledge.
He was an innovative professor and a life-long learner completing his PhD much later in life. We kept in touch and formed a special bond. He was my mentor and served on MindShare’s advisory board for 10 years. I was honoured to present Greg with the MindShare Learning Leader Award. His impact on students was unparalleled. He loved to lecture about listening skills and developed a package in retirement on Secrets to Success in life. Greg had an infectious smile.
In one of my last conversations with Greg recently as his struggled with 4th stage prostate cancer, I recall my saying to him, “You sound great!” His comment back, “its because you lift my spirits when I talk with you.” I will never forget those words. And hope to carry on his spirit of positivity and hope, especially in these challenging times.
Dr. Malszecki passed away on July 6, 2020, many years too soon. He left those who knew him amazing memories, including a recorded last lecture. He was so proud of his family. My deepest sympathies to his wonderful family, adoring wife, Jennifer; son Aislinn and daughter Karis.
While Greg left us far too soon, his legacy of love and passion for life and learning will always be remembered. I share with you a link to his last lecture below. RIP.