Michael Grant: Beloved professor will be dearly missed

My friend, Alex Cruz, died a few days ago and I want to share some of my thoughts about this wonderful biologist, teacher and mentor. Alex was a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado Boulder who won numerous prizes for his teaching and national recognition for his biological scholarship.

Alex and I became colleagues in 1974, when Boulder was the University of Colorado, no further constricting modifiers attached. From that earliest beginning, it was abundantly clear to me, and his colleagues, that Alex always, always placed CU students first on his list of priorities as a faculty member. This means ahead of his personal reputation, his personal research publications and, most importantly, his personal time. As a mentor of both graduate and undergraduate students, Alex devoted his professional existence to them unstintingly and with great, positive effect. Over the 45 years of his professorship at CU, Alex guided, mentored and boosted the careers and lives of hundreds and hundreds of students.

His death will not engender much public recognition but it will engender much sadness, along with cherished memories, among all those who knew him well. Alex personified the finest attributes of the professoriate of which he was a member; he will be sorely missed. I encourage those of you outside the university to think of this man and his career when you think about or talk or write about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Michael Grant

Longmont

Professor and vice provost emeritus, University of Colorado Boulder







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