In Memoriam: Max D. Richards

September 28, 2012

Max D Richards
Front: (L to R) Max Richards, David Currie, Frank Dasse. Back: (L to R) Martin Schatz, Martin Bell, Julian Vincze, James Higgins, Karen Carrow. (Photo courtesy of Rollins Archives)

Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Management at the Crummer Graduate School of Business Max D. Richards died September 14, 2012.

Considered by Rollins MBA faculty as the top professional in the field of management, Richards is remembered for being instrumental in helping the graduate school of business attain its accreditation and developing the Executive MBA and non-credit programs at Crummer.

Born May 23, 1923, in Nova, Ohio, Richards received his undergraduate degree from Miami University, his MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. Before beginning his career in academia, he served in the U.S. Naval Reserve during World War II and worked as an industrial engineer with the U.S. Steel Corporation.

Richards held positions at the University of Illinois, the University of Wichita, and the Pennsylvania State University, where he garnered an international acclaim as a writer and consultant. His strong leadership was echoed in his tenure as president of the Academy of Management and a profile in Who’s Who in America, a publication which endeavors to profile the leaders of American society.

In 1981, Richards joined the faculty as distinguished professor of management at the Crummer Graduate School of Business, providing guidance and wisdom at a time when the young graduate school was seeking accreditation.

“We hired him at a time when we really needed his type of expertise,” said Steve Gauthier, associate dean of operations and student services at Crummer. “Adding his credentials really helped us with accreditation. He was ‘it’ in the field of management. If you asked anyone who was a leader in the industry of business administration, Max Richards’ name would have come up.”

Additionally, Richards provided the Rollins MBA program with foresight and innovation in the form of establishing management education programs for top executives, which has contributed to the business school’s longstanding competitiveness.

“The Crummer School was honored to have Professor Richards on our faculty,” said Craig McAllaster, dean of Crummer. “Given his distinguished experience before arriving at Crummer, he brought a wealth of knowledge and a remarkable can-do attitude. Even though I never had the pleasure of working with him, the faculty is glowing with praise and felt he was a great teacher, colleague, and friend. He will be missed by all and remembered by all who had the privilege of working with him as a colleague or student.”

Richards is survived by his wife, Ruth, and daughters Cassandra Petrillo of Pensacola and Elizabeth Richards of State College, Pa.; two granddaughters; and two great-granddaughters.

By Justin Braun

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