Professor Gerald Lalor, renowned scientist and former principal of UWI, passed away on Sunday, August 22. He was ninety years old at the time of his death.
Professor Lalor earned a B.Sc. in physics, chemistry, and mathematics from the University of the West Indies in 1953.
Professor Lalor began his career at The University of the West Indies as an assistant lecturer in Chemistry in 1960, and three years later, he earned his PhD in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of London. Professor Lalor also received a Leverhulme Colonial Scholarship to undertake study at the University of Cambridge for a year. His academic career took off when he was named head of the Chemistry Department at The University of the West Indies Mona in 1966 after visiting Harvard University as a Carnegie Fellow. He was the first West Indian to hold the position of Head of Chemistry and lecturer in the department. In 1969, he was raised to the position of professor, and from 1969 to 1972, he served as the department’s head. In 1974, he was promoted to Pro Vice-Chancellor.
He was appointed Principal of the Mona Campus in 1991, a position he held until 1996. He founded the International Centre for Environmental and Nuclear Sciences (ICENS) in 1997 after his retirement.
Professor Lalor has garnered various awards for his achievements as a scientist. The Order of Jamaica, Commander of the Order of Distinction for his work in science and technology, and the Order of Merit for his contribution to Jamaica and the world’s development through the application of Science, Technology, and Innovation, as well as, his private sector service. He also earned the Gold Musgrave Medal from the Institute of Jamaica, as well as, the Norman Manley Award for Excellence, the Phillip Sherlock Award for Excellence, and the Centenary Medal.