Claude Packer hailed for brilliance in mathematics
Tributes continue to pour in for Professor Claude Packer, the first president of the Mico University College, who passed away on Thursday evening at his daughter's home in Florida, United States. He had been ailing for some time.
Packer served the education sector for more than 50 years before retiring in 2014. He became principal of Mico Teachers College in 1995 and was later appointed the first president when the teachers' college transitioned into the Mico University College in 2009.
"We have lost a giant, a passionate and creative educator who was in thought and action ahead of his time. His service to the Mico will forever be remembered as he has left a lasting legacy from which generations will benefit," said Dr Asburn Pinnock, president of The Mico, who hailed Packer as a visionary leader who set a solid foundation on which to build the future of The Mico.
Dr Peter Phillips, president of the People's National Party, said: "Professor Packer represented the best of the nation's educators, and his tremendous contribution to the sector cannot be overstated. He was the creator of several programmes at Mico and the University of the West Indies that facilitated access for many Jamaicans to tertiary-level education."
Phillips continued, "He upheld the higher standards of the teaching profession and pushed his students to aspire for better for themselves and their own charges. Jamaica is better for the work and commitment of Professor Packer and extends condolences to his family, friends, colleagues, and many students."
Over the years, Packer received several awards for his service to education, including the Governor General's Achievement Award in 2003 and the Mico Gold Medal for Excellence in 2007.
In 2008, Packer was conferred with the national honour - Commander of the Order of Distinction for Dedicated Service to Education.
He was also known for his brilliance in mathematics and lectured in mathematics in the Faculty of Education at the University of the West Indies. He also lectured at Cornell University and was an external examiner for Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate mathematics.
Packer was instrumental in the development of the Caribbean Centre of Excellence in Mathematics, a body that focuses on the teaching of mathematics in schools.
A condolence book is to be opened at the Mico University College.