Dr. Kurt Fausch’s Retirement Speech and Party

I am lucky to have some pretty spectacular in-laws. I married into a family that is warm, friendly, and incredibly interesting… My Father-in-Law turns out to be an accomplished academic and biologist. Dr. Kurt Fausch just retired from his tenure as professor in the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at Colorado State University. Check out his recent book, For the Love of Rivers, and the corresponding series of incredible videos celebrating rivers and relationship with them. He finished off three decades of teaching and research with a huge weekend of events celebrating his time at CSU. I was asked to document the weekend, getting footage of his retirement dinner at CSU and the party the next day.

I think the speech was an excellent way to wrap up a distinguished academic career. It was such an honor to be in the room with decades of past students and colleagues, all honoring his work. I had never been exposed to the behind-the-scenes life of a professor and it was a real thrill to see administrators and professors emeriti joking around and letting loose. Turns out, these folks know how to have fun like the rest of us. Plus, biologists can drink the rest of us mere mortals under the table… The empty beer bottles were evidence of their love of a good time!

The day after the events at CSU, the Fausch crew set up an impressive spread at their home and invited a group of musicians in to play a set of traditional jazz standards for the friends and family assembled. His son (my husbando) plays the tuba and led the crew through a long set. The video below is Dr. Fausch’s favorite tunes from the gig.