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Chico State

Fond Farewell: Electrical Engineering Professor Emeritus Albert Richardson

Stars shine above Trinity Hall.
Jason Halley / University Photographer

Professor Emeritus Albert Richardson, who taught electrical and computer engineering for 22 years, passed away November 25. He was 75.

Born January 22, 1946, in Assin-Fosu, Ghana, he was a brilliant student and awarded a scholarship to attend Adisadel College secondary school in Cape Coast, where he continued to excel and earned recognition as the top senior student. Through the African Scholarship Program for American Universities, he attended Yale University and earned a master’s degree from Case Western University and a PhD in electrical engineering from Penn State.

Richardson spent five years in the industry with Digital Equipment Corporation and Polaroid before he followed his passion to become a professor. In 1982, he began his career as a lecturer at the University of Benin in Nigeria, then worked at Northeastern University in Boston before he was hired at Chico State to work in what was then the Electrical Engineering Department in 1989.

Professor Emeritus Roy Crosbie, the former chair of the Computer Engineering Department, remembers how collaborative Richardson was from the moment he arrived on campus, helping navigate the challenges between what were two distinct departments before they eventually merged. They also bonded over their shared appreciation of soccer, reminiscing about Richardson’s years playing and even watching an English Cup final together. 

Albert Richardson

Richardson loved teaching and dedicated his life to helping others build the skills they needed to improve their lives and the world around them. He also served as an advisor for the Chico State chapter of Tau Beta Pi engineering society and as a visiting professor at the University of Zacatecas, Mexico, and North Dakota State University; and a faculty fellow at NASA Space Center in Houston. He retired in 2011 but continued teaching through 2013.

“He was always very helpful and friendly—he was probably the best in those ways of anyone in the department,” said Professor Emeritus John Zenor. “And he was very interested in and active with his students.”

Richardson received many awards through the years, but he most cherished when the National Executive Committee of Adisadel Old Boys Association of Ghana conferred on him the “Outstanding Santaclausian of the Year” award in 2018 for his selfless donations of equipment, lab supplies, and textbooks to schools in Ghana.

Affectionately known as Ebo, Richardson is remembered by friends for his generous spirit, larger-than-life personality, and love of a good time. He loved music and played the piano, and he and his wife would often invite friends to participate in songs of praise at their home.

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Cecilia; sons Kojo and Elvert; daughter Effie; numerous siblings; grandchildren; and many cousins, nephews and nieces. Services were held in December, and Richardson was buried at the Chico Cemetery.

The University flag will be lowered Monday, February 14, in his memory.