MSC News

University of Winnipeg Archives UR-95-3292-33. "George Richert portrait," [February] 1995

Remembering Dr. George Richert

Dr. George Richert was President of Menno Simons College from 1992-2001, and one of CMU’s three founding presidents in 2000. He passed away on April 6, 2016.

George held a Ph.D. In Educational Administration from the University of Alberta and had a very significant career as an educator and educational administrator. His teaching began in a one-room rural school in Saskatchewan, and included an 11–year span as Professor at the University of Regina as well as several years in Nigeria.

George provided leadership to many educational councils throughout his career, and retained connection across education organizations, Mennonite church bodies and agencies, government and other agencies. His involvements included acting as Special Advisor to the federal Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development on Self-Government of First Nations peoples, to serving as Vice-chairperson of Conference of Mennonites in Canada (predecessor body to Mennonite Church Canada) and Board Chair of MCC Canada. 

George was a visionary leader with broad experience in education and in the church, both globally and locally. As President contributed significantly to building the programs and faculty of Menno Simons College, and to establishing Canadian Mennonite University.  

Cheryl Pauls
President, Canadian Mennonite University

Although I had worked with George on other projects, it was through the discussions around the formation of CMU that I really came to appreciate and respect him.  At times the negotiations became quite passionate, but his clear vision to build an institution together which would make a larger impact on church and society, along with a unique sense of humour, contributed immensely to the conversation.

Gerald Gerbrandt
President Emeritus & Professor Emeritus of Bible, Canadian Mennonite University

In terms of George Richert’s approach to his work, he always kept the big picture in view, and encouraged his faculty to focus on the details. He always assumed the best of his staff, he was optimistic, and he was always available to chat. His students enjoyed his critical perspective on development, and he was well known at the university as a competent and effective administrator.

Jerry Buckland
Professor of International Development Studies, Menno Simons College

I appreciate George for the significant contributions he made to MSC, as the College grew substantially under his leadership. And I fondly remember him for the twinkle in his eye. George freely shared his generous heart and hearty laugh—including in response to his own wry jokes and puns.

Dean Peachey
Executive Director, Global College

George Richert was a big man in every way: physically large, with a big heart and large in spirit. I remember how grateful all of us at Menno Simons College were for how well he represented us both at the University of Winnipeg and at CMU.

Paul Redekop
Associate Professor Emeritus, Menno Simons College

George was a great president who cared about his faculty and staff. He knew our families and we always felt supported by him. He will be greatly missed by all who have known and worked with him.

Stephanie Stobbe
Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution Studies, Menno Simons College

George was my teacher, my mentor, and my friend. His biggest strength as a supervisor was the level of trust he had in me. He didn’t micromanage, he didn’t sweat the small stuff, and if I went to him for advice he often tossed the question back to me – “Well, what do YOU think we should do?” While at times frustrating, this response was empowering because it meant that he believed in me and as a result, I became truly invested in the College and the work that we were doing.

Ruth Taronno
Practicum Director, Menno Simons College