Richard Golden, former associate dean for administration of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, died at his home in Princeton early Wednesday morning at age 76.
Golden, who earned a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Princeton in 1954, joined the engineering school’s administrative staff in 1990 and retired in 2001.
During his time at the University, Golden served as the school’s chief operating officer as well as the editor of EQuad News. He oversaw the addition of the 70,000-square-foot J-Wing and the Friend Center for Engineering Education, which opened shortly after his retirement.
“Dick was a very good engineer and made many fine contributions to catalytic chemical engineering,” said James Wei, professor of chemical engineering who first met Golden in 1955 while working for him at Mobil Oil Research. The two longtime friends – Golden served as an usher in Wei’s wedding – were reunited in 1991 when Wei joined the engineering school as dean, a position he held until 2002. “Dick was also a Renaissance man, who had a warm love and deep knowledge of literature, music, art and architecture. He was particularly excited during the many construction and renovation projects that we undertook,” Wei said, lauding Golden’s key contributions to the successful design and construction of the Friend Center. “I am very grateful to Dick for all his wonderful contributions and I mourn his departure as a friend who cannot be replaced.”
In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Golden served as an academic advisor and taught a freshman seminar on sustainable development for multiple years. From 2001 to 2005, he continued to teach as a Lecturer with the rank of Professor in the chemical engineering department.
Prior to joining the University staff, Golden held a series of vice presidential appointments at Oxirane International, Halcon International and Arco Chemical Co. He earned his bachelor of engineering degree in chemical engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 1951 and completed an Advanced Management Program at Cornell University in 1983.
Golden is survived by his wife, Judith; daughters and sons, Ann Ivanhoe, John Golden, Adam Golden and Elizabeth Rubach; and eight grandchildren.