The Stars

– Meet the Featured Stars –


Professor / Historian / Author / Coach

Dr. Vandenbusche was born in Detroit, Michigan on August 4, 1937. He grew up in a Belgian farming community in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and graduated from Rock High School in 1955. He attended Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan and graduated with a B.A. Degree in history in 1959. He received an M.A. in history from Oklahoma State University in 1960 and a PhD in 1964. Since 1962, Vandenbusche serves as a Professor of History at Western State Colorado University. He has won the Professor of the Year in 1975 and given the commencement address at WSCU in 1975, 1985, and 2016.

He was an award winning cross country, track and field coach at WSCU from 1971-2007 and started the women’s program in 1982. During that time, WSCU won 7 men’s and 3 women’s NCAA cross country national championships in cross country and one Men’s and one Women’s NAIA cross country national championship. He coached 4 WSCU athletes who competed in the Olympic Games, all in distance running: Elva Dryer, Michael Aish, Zuzanna Sarikova, and Bobby Gaseitsiwe. Mr. Vandenbusche was inducted into 3 Hall of Fames: Upper Peninsula of Michigan Hall of Fame in 2006, NCAA National Track & Field Cross Country Hall of Fame – Orlando, FL in 2007, and Mountaineer Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.

Dr. Vandenbusche has authored 9 books and co-authored 2 books about the history of central Colorado and written numerous articles for the Colorado Central magazine (formerly named Colorado Magazine). He is featured 5 days a week, 2 times a day on Crested Butte’s and Gunnison’s radio stations with over 200 vignettes entitled “Tails of the Gunnison Country”. He stars in two videos, “Crested Butte, Queen Jewel of the Elk Mountains and a slide show “Through the Midst of Time”.

In his spare time, Dr. Vandenbusche enjoys skiing in 12 inches of powder, mountain biking the 401 trail, walking to Aspen, helping his students, former students and community in any way he can and dancing the polka.

Update 7/14/2020 – Duane Vandenbusche becomes Colorado State Historian. Read full press release here.

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Professor / Geologists / Avid Speed Skater

Dr. Bartleson is originally from Chicago. He graduated from Beloit College in Wisconsin with a Geology Bachelor’s Degree, from the University of Illinois with a Geology Master’s Degree, and from University of Colorado in 1965 with a Geology PhD. He worked as an exploration petroleum geologist in Texas and Wyoming for 4 years and consulted for numerous private and government entities. His experience includes work in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado. He has been involved in such diverse projects as environmental studies for site development, gold exploration, uranium exploration, oil and gas exploration, field mapping, evaluating the mineral potential of the West Elk Wilderness of Colorado, and also served on the advisory board to the Colorado Geologic Survey. He has published numerous papers in professional journals and made oral presentations at regional and national geological conventions. He has led numerous geological field trips for students, Elderhostel, and private tour company clients mostly in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and the Canadian Rockies.

Bruce spent the majority of his career from 1965 to 1998 as a Professor of Geology at Western State Colorado University, while doing considerable summer consulting for various entities. While at WSCU, he was named Outstanding Professor of the Year, was graduation speaker selected by the students, and was honored as Outstanding Emeritus Professor of the Year in 1998. Since retirement, Bruce has kept very busy as the President of the Gunnison County Library Board, Vice President of the Western State Alumni Board, by researching and writing about local weather history, and writing a Newsletter for the Western State Geology Department as well as keeping in touch with his former students.

He has continued to be an educator by giving numerous geological tours and talks and was recently named as “Outstanding Educator of the Year” by the Gunnison Chamber of Commerce in 2012. In his spare time, he still enjoys hiking in the local mountains, fly fishing, mountain biking, skiing, travelling (especially Hawaii and Switzerland), and driving his wife crazy!

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