In Memory: Judith Price

A celebration of life is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Dec. 6 in Cragmor Hall Room 008, the Boettcher Orientation Room, for campus educator Judith Price, senior instructor, Department of History.

Price, 68, died Nov. 13 following an extended illness. She began her UCCS career in 1987 as a teaching assistant while a graduate student and became an instructor in spring semester 1990. She continued as an instructor until fall 2012 when she took medical leave. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UCCS in 1987 and 1989.

Last year, Price anonymously endowed the William Donahue Chair in East Asian History now held by Yang Wei. As part of her gift to the CU Foundation, Price requested no public acknowledgement of her gift until after her death.

Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak noted Price’s teaching, her passion for history, and her gift to the university.

“Judith Price’s commitment to UCCS was without boundary,” Shockley-Zalabak said. “She was a caring educator who brought history to life for her students. Through her generosity, her passion for Asia and her respect for Professor Donahue will continue in perpetuity. On behalf of UCCS, I offer my sincere condolences to her family, friends, colleagues and former students.”

Price’s obituary, as published in the Nov. 25 edition of the Colorado Springs Gazette follows. To see the online version and comments posted, visit

Judith Ellison Price

Judith Ellison Price passed away on November 13, 2012, after years of physical challenges. She was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on September 22, 1944, the daughter of James Owen Price and Emily Ellison Price.

She and her family moved to Hillsborough, California. Her early life in Honolulu and in the San Francisco area exposed her to different cultural influences and led to her special passion for “all things Asian”. Judy was an avid horsewoman and was particularly devoted to her hunter-jumper Furdie, and her canine companions Sasha, Taki and Zambrina. Her love for opera was fostered at the San Francisco Opera, her favorite was Madama Butterfly.

As in her travels Judy was fearless and adventurous with her wardrobe; her taste ranging from the delightfully quirky and funky to simply chic. She was one of the first westerners to venture to China after President Nixon established diplomatic relations with Mao’s government in 1972. Her innate good manners, her receptiveness to different cultures and ideas and experiences, and her wit made her the best of traveling companions and an avid voyager. Judy moved to Colorado in 1962 to attend the Colorado Women’s College in Denver. She graduated in 1966 with a B.A., as she liked to say, in partying.

She was a successful businesswoman and former Director at The Bank At Broadmoor and owned an international speedboat racing team PBG Marine. In the early 1980’s, Judy embarked on a new phase of her life. She returned to study Chinese and Japanese history. She was determined to get a serious education at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, where, at her very first registration, she met the professor who would change her life and who would become her mentor and friend, Professor William Donahue, whom Judy always called “the Doc”. Under his guidance Judy began to earn a second B.A. (in history) and an M.A. in history. In one of the proudest moments of her life, the department offered her the opportunity to teach classes in Asian history which she did until the fall of 2012.

She was an outstanding instructor. A lively and entertaining lecturer, Judy, always on the cutting edge, incorporated many creative teaching techniques. Judy became a mentor and confidante for hundreds of students. She had a real gift for encouraging and motivating those who entered her classroom. While her standards for scholarship and writing were high she treated her students with humanity and compassion. She had a particular rapport with non-traditional students. Her exceptional gift for teaching was honored by the College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences in 2008 with an award for outstanding part-time instructor. She dedicated Saturdays to college football. Judy was a devoted fan of the AFA Falcons and an even more rabid fan of the Colorado Buffaloes! Judy had a strong philanthropic commitment.

She touched many with her generosity including Care and Share Food Bank and many other organizations. Her particular love for the Department of History at UCCS led her to fund the first endowed chair in the department’s history: the William J. Donahue Chair of East Asian History. Judy was a valued and loyal friend. Her colleagues, students, friends and family deeply mourn her loss. Judy is survived by her brothers: Gordon Price (Marta) and Courtney Price (Ann), her sister, Cathryn Ellison: her nephews, Jo Price, Tim Price, and Noah Price: her niece, Brandy Price: and her great-nephew, Jack. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Care and Share Food Bank.

2 Comments on In Memory: Judith Price

  1. I am shocked and saddened to learn that my favorite professor during my time at UCCS (91-94) passed away. I graduated in 94′ with a BA in History. I took every one of Professor Price’s course offerings during my time at UCCS. I WAS on of those “non-traditional” students that she helped along the way. In my late 30’s, returning to college to obtain my B.A. with a spouse, 4 little kids in tow, working days and nights and taking full-time credits. Having not attended college in many years, I sometimes wondered if I could get the job done. Her classes made the difference for me. By far, Professor Price had the greatest influence on my history studies and my writing. She was tough, funny and fair! I am very proud to say that I earned Professor Price’s coveted “Golden Pig” award (stamp) on several of my papers. Thank you and God bless you, Judy. You are not forgotten. RIP.

  2. Earlier this morning I was telling my team at work about my favorite professor in college, Professor Judy Price. I explained that I used all of my college electives on Asian history because I loved listening to her lectures. I credit Professor Price for more than teaching me about Asian history; I credit her in large part for the success I’ve enjoyed in my professional career, as she taught me how to write. She and I spent a lot of time discussing writing styles and the general incorrectness of my papers. Thankfully, over my four years at UCCS, we were able to focus more on style than errors. I credit her, and her alone, with guiding me from low literacy to proficient. Although I graduated in 1995, Professor Price will forever be one of my favorite people and someone who I will always remember with true fondness.

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