Farewell to dean a pleasant alfresco event

About 100 members of the UCCS campus community turned out to honor Tom Christensen, dean, College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, and wish him well on his return to full-time teaching. A clear blue sky and late afternoon sunshine enhanced the May 15 reception at the Heller Center for the Arts and Humanities.

Christensen, who served as LAS dean since 2005, announced his plan last March to retire as dean and re-join the Department of Physics and Energy Science in July as a teacher and researcher.

“One of the wonderful things about serving as dean is getting to work with so many great people,” he said. “It is the people that really make UCCS a special place to work. I hope to continue to work with many of the people I have gotten to know while serving as dean when I am back in the faculty.”

Whether guests were there for Christensen or to inspect the Heller Center might be a matter for speculation. For many of them, it was the first visit to the property since major renovations were made. And while the party centered around the main house and the outdoor buffet, there was a great deal of foot traffic to the Heller guest house, just opened after nine months of restoration efforts.

But this was part of the plan. Christensen was always a major advocate for the center and the plans to make it a showcase for Colorado’s natural beauty, the region’s artistic heritage, and the unique academic style and commitment of UCCS.

The reception offered the university community a prime opportunity for a visit many would not otherwise make. Fresh air, singing birds and comfortable temperatures highlighted an enjoyable social gathering.

“I am deeply touched by all of the wonderful people who joined us for this event,” Christensen said.

Tom Christensen, left, talks with Carolyn Fox and Gary Reynolds of Facilities Services during a reception that honored Christensen and showed off a new renovations at the Heller Center.
A renovated guest house at the Heller Center served as a backdrop to celebrate Tom Christensen's tenure as dean.
About 100 members of the UCCS campus community joined in a celebration of Tom Christensen May 15 at the Heller Center.

Photos by Jeff Foster, University Advancement

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