In Memory: Robert Durham

Long-time UCCS faculty member, researcher and campus community member Robert (Bob) Durham, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Psychology, died March 6, surrounded by family members.

According to friends and faculty members, Durham, who taught classes for more than 45 years, had a love for higher education and the UCCS community.

His dedication to UCCS and its students manifested itself in his commitment to service and volunteerism. Since the first move-in day at UCCS in 1997, Durham never missed an opportunity to help students settle into campus to kick off the fall semester.

During his time teaching and researching at UCCS, Durham co-authored more than 60 journals, papers, presentations and technical articles, and his work was cited more than 300 times.

His work brought attention to the university, and he in turn earned funding for his work. In 2008 Durham earned a spot in the UCCS Million Dollar Club for his research funding.

In 2009, Durham earned a Faculty Assembly Service Award for his efforts.

Durham is survived by his sisters Cat Wollrab and Dangia England, his nephews and nieces and his loving extended family. In lieu of flowers, his family requests donations to the Karen Possehl Women’s Scholarship Fund.

Durham’s family submitted the following obituary and granted UCCS permission to publish it, and announce his death.

Robert L. Durham
January 5, 1944 – March 6, 2021

“Alone we do so little, together we do so much,” – Helen Keller

Robert L. Durham ‘Bob,’ was born on January 5, 1944 to Robert C. Durham and Virginia Arnold in New York, NY. He grew up in Manhattan and Bronxville, NY and spent his summers in the Adirondacks. He attended Choate preparatory school, graduated from Bronxville HS in 1962, and enlisted in the army in 1963. He became fluent in German after attending the Defense Language Institute and went on to become an elite Green Beret, serving our country for four years.

Bob had a desire to pursue higher education and attended UC Boulder where, not only did his career took shape, but where he met Lee, the love of his life. They spent every summer in their cottage on Lake Michigan, a place dear to both their hearts. They were married for fifty years before Lee passed away in May 2020, proceeding Bob in death by less than a year.

Bob completed his PhD in Experimental Psychology at Vanderbilt University after which he was hired as a professor of Psychology at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. For forty-seven years, Bob taught generations of students in courses related to statistics, experimental design, cognition, and the history of psychology. During his truly prolific career, he chaired the Psychology Department where he created the Psychology Honors program and became an inaugural member of the Million Dollar Club. He co-authored over 45 technical articles and journals.

Despite his many achievements, he was most passionate about helping students. Through leadership roles which he held at UCCS, he mentored countless students and acquired research grants to evaluate innovative initiatives in student success. And in that success, his legacy will live.

Bob passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 6, surrounded by family He is survived by his sisters, Cat Wollrab and Dangia England, his nephews and nieces and his loving extended family.