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Pair of legendary professors to be feted in red-carpet style

Pair of legendary professors to be feted in red-carpet style

Bruce Bartleson, an emeritus professor who taught Geology at Western from 1965-98, and Duane Vandenbusche, a professor of History at Western from 1962-present who also coached cross country and track & field from 1971-2007, are the guests of honor among an audience of 200 for a gala dinner and champagne toast/roast. The event will celebrate 88 collective years of teaching by Bartleson and Vandenbusche at Western as well as the legacies each has formed shaping the lives of thousands of students and athletes in the Gunnison Valley.

The “Hollywood Comes to Western” event, which is sold out, starts with a red-carpet arrival at 6 p.m. Attire: glamorous. The gala dinner and champagne toast/roast begin in the University Center Ballroom at 6:30 p.m.

“We are honored that Colorado Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne and CSU president Tony Frank will be in attendance, joining the cavalcade of Western alumni luminaries to celebrate our icons, Duane and Bruce,” said Tom Burggraf, executive director of the Western Foundation, which is sponsoring the gala. Western president Greg Salsbury is also slated to attend.

The main event is the world premiere of a pilot to a documentary series, which will show in the University Center Theater at 8:15 p.m. Episode 1 of “Breaking the Mold: Human Inspirations” stars, of course, Bartleson and Vandenbusche in a one-hour documentary about their life of breaking their own molds and the influences and inspirations they have shared with students, athletes and community members. The episode includes footage of the two leading their venerable San Juan Mountains mining tour, where they share the knowledge and beauty of Colorado history, geology, business, human nature and environment.

“Each in his 80s, Bruce and Duane have combined to inspire generations–from businessmen to Olympic athletes–breaking the mold for their own lives and for those who are lucky enough to have them as professors, mentors, fellow Coloradans and friends,” said Cathy Carpenter Dea, the executive producer and producer of “Breaking the Mold,” and president and CEO of CLCD Productions, LLC.

This pilot documentary of “Breaking the Mold” is slated for broadcast on Rocky Mountain PBS in late 2018. The series is intended to highlight and share the lives, accomplishments and mold-breaking human inspirations of contemporary Coloradans who have changed the face of Colorado in their industry or profession. These nuggets of wisdom, mentoring and traits have rooted themselves in the next generation of “mold breakers” who in turn are distinguished individuals and leaders in Colorado who continue pass along their own inspirations.

While the world premiere is sold out–“with a lengthy wait list,” Burggraf said–a simulcast will air on campus in the band room at Quigley Hall. Tickets at $10 apiece for the overflow viewing at 8:15 p.m. are available for purchase at the door or by calling the Western Foundation at 970.641.2237.

Major gifts to the “Breaking the Mold: Human Inspirations” film have been provided by: Jeff ‘75 and Karen ‘75 Holway, Peter Dea ’76 and Cathy Carpenter Dea, Monarch Investment & Management Group, PowderMonarch LLC, Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association, Western Colorado University, Western Colorado University Foundation, Nancy Chisholm ‘90, Gary Garland ‘85. Art Chaput ‘66, Ed ’66 and Patti Holthaus, Sanders and Karen Hickey.​

Story by Bryan Boyle, Marketing Communications. Bartleson photo, left, courtesy of Western Colorado University Foundation. Vandenbusche photo by Taylor Cull.

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