CHHS ‘Legacies and Leaders Project’ Honoree – Craig Birdsong

CHHS ‘Legacies and Leaders Project’ Honoree – Craig Birdsong


(calm music) – I came to Colorado
State University in 1977. I came in July, and
that’s significant only because it was very, very beautiful. And I thought I would be
here two to three years. Well I retired from here in 2008, so 31 years later and I never left CSU. And it’s been a wonderful experience. – Craig’s personality’s
a pretty humble person. And so many students that come back now, and ask if I’ve seen Craig,
if I’ve talked to Craig. I don’t know if Craig knows
how much of an influence he made on their lives
and on their education. He valued their relationship
with him because he was so kind and so patient and
so willing to give his time. – You know, I’m not even sure I had a teaching philosophy to begin with. I think it evolved. It evolved out of
experiences with students. To me it was a very simple thing of trying to provide information and skills at the highest level I could provide it. – It was always very
apparent that he cared deeply about all of the students. His office door was always open. Everyone had the impression
that if you needed to talk, that Craig was there to help. – And the thing that I
have enjoyed the most about the teaching part, is
that it’s one of those things you can give away and
give away and give away. And you never lose it. There aren’t many things in
life you can do that with. But education is one of those. – One of his passions was helping people understand
creative scholarship and faculty getting recognized for that. He was very instrumental in that process. – We came up with a way of actually showing that creative
endeavors are important. Because many interior designers
and interior design faculty at the time did not
really do much research. They did more design work,
or they held exhibitions. And there was no way that
was really recognized when it came to promotion and
tenure for faculty members, that that could be accounted for. And out of that, I and
another faculty member from the University of
Minnesota really created a definition for the term
creative scholarship. What the parameters were and what the markers were
to use to evaluate it. – [Kendra] And that process
was really important for the department back then
because it’s paved the way for a lot of our faculty now. – His focus was always how
can we make the curriculum and the whole interior
design program better. That was his goal. Let’s make it the best that it can be. – Craig, we miss you. I think your value in the
department is something that we will never be able to replace. You’re such a kind man, so patient, and we all really miss having you here. – I hope that in some small way I helped both the program here at CSU, and the profession as a
whole grow a little bit. And change a little bit. I think that would be what
I would hope I leave behind. But I could never have
done what I’ve done alone. So I don’t see a personal legacy, I see a group legacy, I guess. (calm music)


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