August 13, 2020

In Jamaica, Adventist University Mourns Violent Death of Professor

Byron Buckley, Northern Caribbean University, and Inter-American Division News Staff

The Northern Caribbean University (NCU) family and the Board of Governors is still in shock as they mourn the recent passing of Gordon Lightbourn, one of the school’s professors. An associate professor at NCU, Lightbourn was discovered with multiple gunshot wounds at his home in Christiana, Manchester, Jamaica, by a housekeeper on August 7, 2020.

“Unfortunately, gunmen have once again carried out their dastardly deed by taking the life of one so valuable, not just to the NCU family but also to all who knew him,” said Lincoln P. Edwards, president of NCU, in a press statement after Lightbourn’s death was confirmed. Edwards expressed his deepest sympathies to Lightbourn’s family.

Gordon Lightbourn had served as an associate professor in the Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Science department at NCU since 2012. His expertise and work in the area of tissue culture were well known nationally, university officials said.

“He was a vital part of the national drive for self-sufficiency in the production of Irish potato and took seriously his role of producing Irish potato seedlings in the lab for distribution to farmers in central Jamaica,” Edwards said.

Dean of the College of Natural and Applied Sciences Vincent Wright said that “Lightbourn was a very competent faculty member and was well liked by students and faculty.” Wright disclosed that in addition to the tissue culture potato project through the Jamaica Social Investment Fund, Lightbourn was involved in a ginger project with the Food and Agriculture Organization.

“Dr. Lightbourn’s tragic and untimely demise highlights the unacceptable level of crime and violence in society, even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic,” Edwards said. “We call on the authorities and all who desire to lead this nation to urgently find a solution to this great and appalling malady we call crime.”

Authorities in Jamaica have reported that violent crime is increasing at an alarming rate.

Chairman of the NCU Board of Governors Everett Brown expressed shock and disbelief at the murder of Lightbourn.

“I am indeed shocked and saddened by the passing of our dear lecturer, who gave long and dedicated service to our university,” Brown said. “He was a very focused and committed worker, who served with distinction and spearheaded several of NCU’s breakthrough research projects.”

“We express our sincere condolences to Lightbourn’s family and assure them of our prayers as they go through this period of bereavement,” Brown added.

Nigel Coke contributed to this article.

The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-American Division news site.