University of the West President Dr. Steven Morgan issued a statement Dr. Ananda Gurugeon Aug. 6 about the passing of Dr. Ananda Guruge, a former UWest dean, professor of religious studies and supporter of the university in its early days. He was 85.

A well-known author and scholar in his home country of Sri Lanka, and the U.S., Dr. Guruge was instrumental in driving UWest to achieve accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission.

A memorial service is planned for the fall 2014 semester, which starts Aug. 25.

President's Statement