Wednesday, July 23, 2008

To the campus community:

I am saddened to share news of the death of a pioneering member of the UCCS faculty, Dr. Jacquelyn “Jackie” Beyer.

Dr. Beyer died Tuesday, July 22, at Pikes Peak Hospice following a short illness. She was cremated as she had requested.  A campus memorial service is planned at a later date.

Born in Mitchell, S.D., July 11, 1924, Dr. Beyer attended high school in Lakewood and Evergreen before earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism and, later, a master’s degree in geography from CU Boulder. In 1957, she became one of the first women to earn a PhD in geography from the University of Chicago.

She taught at Chicago Teachers College, Roosevelt University, Montana State University, the University of Cape Town (South Africa) and Rutgers University before helping found the Geography and Environmental Studies Department at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in 1970 as an associate professor. She was named professor in 1972 and served as department chair from 1970 to 1976 and from 1980 to 1984, during which time geography course offerings greatly expanded. She was named professor emerita in 1990 and remained active in campus affairs. She served as a volunteer campus archivist at the Kraemer Family Library from 1993 to 2007. Additionally, she contributed to books about pioneer woman aviator Amelia Earhart and continued to travel extensively, including a trip to South Africa in 1995 to revisit that country post-apartheid and a trip to Antarctica at the age of 80.

Dr. Beyer’s life-long interests in ecological, environmental and habitat issues were reflected in the courses she taught including Physical Geography, Global Issues-Peace/War, and World Conflict Areas.

In 1993, Dr. Beyer initiated, and continued to endow, the Women in Geography Scholarship for students. She was also active in the communities of professional geography, women in geography, and gay and lesbian rights, and regularly made donations to organizations in support of these issues. This past year, Dr. Beyer received the Association of American Geographers’ Enhancing Diversity Award in recognition of her long-standing efforts.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Women in Geography Scholarship, in care of the CU Foundation/Women in Geography Endowed Scholarship, Colorado Springs, Colo. 80918, are suggested.


Peg Bacon