On 6 May 2014, Prof. Dr. Wil Albeda passed away at the age of 88. Albeda had a rich career as a national politician and university professor. In Maastricht, he was the founding dean of the School of Economics, which, in 1988, became the home of the research institute MERIT, which he strongly supported from the very beginning. Albeda also played a large role in the establishment of UNU-INTECH, leading negotiations with then UNU Rector Dr. Soedjatmoko to establish the institute in Maastricht.
In 2006, MERIT and UNU-INTECH merged to become UNU-MERIT. Wil Albeda served on the board of both institutes, for MERIT from 1988 to 2002, and for UNU-INTECH from 1991 to 2007. He thus became a driving force behind the flourishing research into innovation and development in Maastricht. After retiring from the board, he remained involved by offering policy advice to the director. His extensive network was of immense use to UNU-MERIT and its predecessors.
Albeda’s style of leadership was one that fit particularly well in the Maastricht context. He had a very open mind, and was always looking to offer opportunities to young colleagues. He was dedicated to those with whom he worked, and always put his own time and efforts into achieving the goals of Maastricht University, MERIT and UNU-INTECH. He will be dearly missed by all those who worked with him, and most of all by his family and close friends. UNU-MERIT is very thankful to Wil Albeda for the many years he served the institute.
A full obituary can be read on the website of Maastricht University.
Image 1: Wil Albeda, centre (Credit: MERIT)
Image 2: Wil Albeda, left (Credit: Anefo / R.Croes)
Image 3: Wil Albeda, third from right (Credit: MERIT)