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Professor Emeritus Bill Barton ’57 Passes Away

Professor Emeritus of Economics Bill Barton ’57 passed away on Friday, Nov. 24 in Paonia, Colorado, at age 85. He taught in the Economics and Business Department at Colorado College for 40 years, and in 2012 an endowed professorship was established in his honor.

At the Nov. 15, 2012 celebration establishing the Bill Barton Endowed Professorship, it was noted that if asked to remember a favorite class, more than three decades of CC alumni would quickly reply, “My favorite class was any class from Bill Barton.”

The proclamation establishing the Barton Professorship says, “Students, faculty, friends, family, and administrators wish to recognize Professor Emeritus Barton for his instruction in the classroom, his commitment to students and the college, his unique style, his friendship, his smile that lights up his entire face, and an encyclopedic memory of his students.” Barton was especially known for his accounting courses, and for the significant impact he had on the lives of CC students.

History Professor and former Dean of the College and Dean of the Faculty Susan Ashley, recalling her status as a newly hired faculty member at CC, wrote in a souvenir book presented to Barton, “Students identified Bill as one of the good teachers. The secret, I think, was a winning combination of informality and command. It fit the spirit of the ’70s and of the Block Plan, it seemed worth trying to emulate.”

Barton graduated from Colorado College cum laude with a degree in business administration and went on to earn an MBA from the University of New Mexico. His wife, Jean, received a master’s of arts in education from CC in 1968.

Barton began his teaching career at Colorado College in 1958 as an Instructor in the Economics and Business Department, working up to full professor. He was awarded emeritus status in 1997.

He received the Gresham Riley Award from the CC Alumni Association in 2000. The award was presented in recognition of “his loyal and unwavering support of his alma mater and for making a significant difference to the college community through outstanding service, commitment, and accomplishments."

In addition to his wife, survivors include several CC alumni. Barton is survived by sons William R. Barton ’76, David M. Barton ’77, and Mark Barton; daughter-in-law Patti Barton ’76, who worked in Alumni and Parent Relations, College Relations, and External Relations at CC; seven grandchildren including Haley Barton ’10; and twin great-granddaughters.

The family is planning a memorial service in Paonia in January 2018.