Benson decided after 10 successful years to retire. CU has had an astonishing run under his decade of leadership. New buildings flood the four campuses. The Anschutz Center has become the tech center (bio) of north Aurora.
|University of Colorado President Bruce Benson (R) and|
Financial Chief Todd Saliman at CU Systems Services office,
Denver, Feb. 27, 2017 | Mark Leffingwell/Boulder Daily Camera
Benson’s CU activities have been just one of his life projects. As president of the Denver Zoological Foundation, he led the master plan build-out and his leadership of the Denver Public Schools Foundation was one of the key elements in initiating the District’s reforms and improvements. After his first 5 years, Benson was asked as he considered a second 5-year term as president: When would it be time to retire? With his usual uncompromising candor, he said:
“…seven, maybe it’s four,” he said. “You get older, you start sliding – am I as coherent as I was 10 years ago? No. Do you forget names more easily? Yes. But if I start slipping, I’m going to be the first one to notice it, and I’ll say, ‘Hey, guys, I’ll give you a year – you’d better find somebody else.’”
Benson’s energy calls to mind another hardworking Coloradan. His old political rival Roy Romer. Romer was 70 when he took over Los Angeles Unified School District, a seemingly impossible job, which after six years, he also received wide acclaim. The two of them made 70 look like the new 50.
Benson mentioned his wife, Marcy, in his retirement letter. She has been his partner and handles a host of causes herself. Colorado and CU has been very fortunate to have the energy of the Bensons.
Good luck on your next project, Bruce.
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