Colorado's new State Historian's Council includes Vandenbusche

Western history professor Duane Vandenbusche outside Kelley Hall

Colorado's new State Historian's Council includes Vandenbusche

Aug 1, 2018

Western Colorado University history professor Duane Vandenbusche was introduced on Colorado Day, Aug. 1, by History Colorado as one of five academics to form a new State Historian's Council.

Vandenbusche was recently recognized by Colorado Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne as the longest-serving, full-time faculty member at a public higher education institution in the entire state of Colorado. He has been teaching at Western since 1962.

Vandenbusche teaches the history of the American West—especially water, public lands and the environment. He teaches a History of Colorado class. And his history of Colorado’s Western Slope, “A Land Alone,” has been the standard text on the region since its publication in 1981.

Vandenbusche is joined on the Council by noted historian and author Dr. Tom Noel, who will serve as chair. Also on the Council: Dr. Nicki Gonzales (Regis University), Dr. Jared Orsi (Colorado State University) and Dr. William Wei (University of Colorado Boulder).

The State Historian's Council will reach across the state to aid in interpretation of the history of Colorado and the West. Through collaboration among historians led by the Council, History Colorado will seek to support citizens of Colorado and visitors to the state by bringing the narratives of the state to the forefront.

Since 1924, History Colorado has appointed a historian to work with the organization to preserve, interpret and share Colorado’s past. The role of the State Historian's Council will be to provide even greater opportunity to expand the understanding of the historical perspectives, cultures and places of Colorado. Councilmembers of the State Historian's Council will work with History Colorado to produce and share scholarship about Colorado and connect with more residents throughout the state.

Since 2016, Dr. Patty Limerick of the University of Colorado Boulder and the Center of the American West has served as the state historian.

“Dr. Limerick brought great expertise to the role and helped lead the evolution of our exhibition direction,” said Robert Musgraves, chair of the History Colorado board of trustees. “We deeply appreciate Dr. Limerick and her service to the citizens of Colorado.”

Photo by Taylor Cull.