Academics and Research / Magazine Feature

Von Stroh receives first DU Faculty Service Award

Gordon Von Stroh with Chancellor

DU Professor Gordon Von Stroh accepts the first Faculty Service Award. Also pictured are DU Chancellor Robert Coombe and Michael Levine-Clark, president of the DU Faculty Senate. Photo: Wayne Armstrong

Gordon Von Stroh believes that to be a successful professor, service must go hand-in-hand with teaching and research.

It’s a philosophy that has guided Von Stroh, professor of management and director of the customized MBA program at the Daniels College of Business, during his more than 40 years of service to DU and has led him to dedicate countless hours to causes within University and in the community.

In recognition of his outstanding service to the University of Denver, the community, and the professorial profession, Von Stroh received the first Faculty Service Award at DU’s Convocation in October 2009.

It was DU’s triple emphasis on the importance of service, relevant teaching and research that originally attracted Von Stroh to the University in 1967. 

“I thought that DU had long-term potential, and I could not be more proud of how much more DU is involved in the community now than they were back then,” he says. “So many people at DU are very active in their communities, from engineering to business to social work — if you look across campus at what we’re doing, it’s just phenomenal.”

In addition to his work on numerous committees across campus, Von Stroh has served in leadership positions for Rocky Mountain Communities, the Central City Opera, Cherokee Ranch and Castle Foundation, Rocky Mountain Mutual Housing, the Denver and Southwest Denver Chambers of Commerce, the Highlands Ranch Development Revenue Committee and the Highlands Ranch Communication Association Development Review Committee.

“In today’s complex world, we need people that care more about their community,” says Dennis Wittmer, chair of the management department. “Gordon exemplifies and personifies the spirit of commitment to achieving the public good.”

Von Stroh feels that DU faculty, staff, and students have a responsibility to be involved in the community, in both leadership and hands-on capacities.

“Whether it be spending time with the disabled, mentoring, or doing one-on-one kinds of things, we should not just contribute our financial and professional skills, but our personal skills,” he says. “I’ve found that when you give of yourself, the return is incredible — I get much more than I give.”

He recommends that those who are looking to get involved in community service first identify personal interests, be it arts, human services, or environmental issues, then study the issues impacting those service sectors.

“Figure out what you can bring to an organization, and then start in the local community and be prepared to commit for a period of time,” he says.

When asked how he manages to balance his work, family and volunteer lives, Von Stroh shrugs.

“The busier you are, the more you get done,” he says. “It’s worthwhile, it’s important, and it’s fun.”

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