The chairman of the Board of Governors at the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) Professor Kenneth Julien says former president George Maxwell Richards embodied the ideals of excellence, dedication and compassion.
Professor Julien has joined many offering condolences on the passing of the former president.
"I am deeply saddened by the passing of former President of Trinidad and Tobago, Professor George Maxwell Richards T.C., CMT, Ph.D. – a talented professional, a vibrant and respected academic, a passionate patriot, a dedicated and committed family man, and very dear friend.
It is difficult to encapsulate the impact of a statesman who stood tall among his peers and countrymen – literally and figuratively – in just a few words.
He embodied the ideals of excellence, dedication and compassion, and served Trinidad and Tobago with distinction – as an engineer in the petroleum industry; as an academic in the then fledgling Faculty of Engineering at the University of the West Indies St. Augustine Campus, where his stewardship as one of the pioneers of the Department of Chemical Engineering played an important role in developing the department’s capability in process industries; as a senior administrator at the St. Augustine Campus of the University of the West Indies, navigating the institution through some of its most difficult periods; as President, where he articulated his desire for a stronger, more unified, compassionate and progressive Trinidad and Tobago; and as Chancellor of UTT, the country’s national university, where his enthusiasm to engage with and motivate the young generation was boundless.
Professor Richards endeared himself to those with whom he interacted.
His gentle, accommodating and engaging nature reflected a deep and sincere interest in people and in treating people with dignity.
A champion of all things Caribbean and patron of culture and the arts, his legacy is in his stellar contribution to his beloved Trinidad and Tobago, his efforts to build a better country, and in his countless accolades and achievements continuing to serve as a symbol of excellence to be emulated by current and future generations.
There is a proverb that says – Good men must die, but death cannot kill their names. George Maxwell Richards will be remembered for quite some time to come, but his presence will be deeply missed."