Dr. Robert Pollard honored by ASC Foundation

(07-12-2011)

The Adams State College alumnus who conceived of "Great Stories on Walls in Halls" was recently recognized through the program himself. The Great Story of Dr. Robert Pollard '61 was dedicated July 1. His framed photograph and plaque joins three other tributes created to date: John Spencer '62, Rick Spier '88, '91, and Johnny L. and Electra (Watson) Wilson.

A lifelong educator who earned a doctorate from Stanford University, Pollard was the first in his family to enter college, having begun his schooling in a two-room schoolhouse in rural Arkansas. He was an all-conference football player at ASC and wrote sports for the South Coloradan. Following retirement at age 55, Bob started the last leg of his educational journey by teaching developmental reading to inner-city minority students in the Dallas Public Schools.

The Great Story of Dr. Robert Pollard '61 was unveiled at a reception in the Luther Bean Museum. With Pollard are his daughter, Dr. Lisa Pollard (right) and Director of Alumni Relations Lori Laske '91, '01.

Pollard and family resided in Alamosa from 1948-50; he attended AHS and was on the football, basketball, and track teams. He was the only freshman in the San Luis Valley to qualify for the Colorado Track and Field Championships in Boulder in 1949, running the 880 yard dash for the Maroon team.

His family purchased business interests in Monte Vista and moved there in 1950.

He lived in Alamosa again when he returned from serving in the US Army to pursue a degree at Adams State. He was second in command of the Colorado National Guard unit and trained personnel in the conversion from a medical unit to becoming a 105mm howitzer artillery unit. That unit scored highest during the Ft. Carson summer camp. He has maintained contact over the years with many of his high school and college friends in Alamosa. He says: "Alamosa would be my choice for year-round residency if it weren't for those darned cold winter and spring winds."

"I discovered that except for former ASC presidents and those students who were highly successful athletes, there were no avenues for the Great Stories of a vast majority of alums, faculty, and friends to be told and read by others who might be inspired by these stories," Pollard explained. With encouragement from Director of Alumni Relations Lori Laske, Connie Spencer, and his family, Pollard presented his idea for raising unrestricted funds for the Adams State College Foundation, which approved it unanimously.

The project is a unique way to honor loved ones or alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the college. The Foundation accepts a minimum donation of $5,000 to dedicate a Great Story with a framed photograph and plaque, to be hung in the Student Union Building.

"As I near age 76, I suspect that I will have fewer and fewer opportunities for involvement at ASC. My daughter would have funded a plaque after my death, but this way she and I and my friends and colleagues can experience it together.

"ASC has come a long way, and it's going to go even further, and I?want to be with it," Pollard said. He supports Adams State for the "same reasons one supports his family, church, and country: love, respect, empathy, adulation, undiluted admiration, innate need to protect, to nurture, and to bond."

For more information on how to dedicate a Great Story on Walls in Halls, please contact Lori Laske, 719-587-7867, or Tammy Lopez, 719-587-7122.