Passing of George T. Richardson – statement by Dr. Lloyd Axworthy

George RichardsonPassing of George T. Richardson – statement by Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, President and Vice-Chancellor

It is with great sadness that The University of Winnipeg community acknowledges the passing of George T. Richardson, one of Canada’s most respected and generous business leaders, and extends deep and heartfelt sympathy to his wife Tannis and the extended Richardson family.

George Richardson exemplifies the true meaning of leadership. He was instrumental in growing a proudly Winnipeg-based company into a global and multi-faceted business, while remaining true to his Prairie roots. He nurtured close friendships within the business community and was quick to mentor others, with a low key style infused with humility. Forward thinking and ahead of his time, George Richardson instilled a powerful culture of social responsibility into the fabric of his corporate holdings and family members, creating a legacy of philanthropy that is visible throughout our community.

The Richardson family connection to The University of Winnipeg runs strong and deep. The Richardsons have been students and long-time supporters of the strengthening the downtown campus.  Dr. George T. Richardson was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by UWinnipeg in 1990. Hartley T. Richardson received an Honorary Doctor of Laws in 2012 for his leadership in business and service to the community.

Muriel Richardson served on the Board of Regents of United College from 1940-1951 and Tannis Richardson’s father, Paul H. T. Thorlakson, was Chancellor of UWinnipeg from 1969 – 1978.

Hartley and David (George’s sons) and Pamela (daughter) all attended UWinnipeg’s Collegiate high school on campus, as did Tannis.

The University of Winnipeg’s signature building at 599 Portage Avenue was made possible because of the generosity of the Richardson family. On September 12, 2006, Hartley Richardson, President & Chief Executive Officer, James Richardson & Sons Limited, announced a lead gift totaling $3.5 million from the Richardson Firm, Family and Foundation to establish The Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex and the Richardson Green Corridor at The University of Winnipeg. Today more than 2,000 students study in the state-of-the-art facility daily.

George T. Richardson will be remembered as a tireless community builder, and role model to us all.

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Diane Poulin, Senior Communications Specialist, The University of Winnipeg

P: 204.988.7135, E:



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