Gwynne Robb – Lifelong Educator and Loyal CSU Alumna
On the streets of Cheyenne, Wyo., former students approach Gwynne Robb and say, "Ms. Robb, you were my teacher!" She must have left quite an impression, because in many cases it had been several decades since these students were under Gwynne's guidance. Even though she taught hundreds of students, Gwynne still enjoys hearing each update. "Often they will tell me how many kids, and grandkids, they have," Gwynne says.
Born and raised in Kansas, Gwynne began her teaching career in 1949, after she attended Colorado Women's College and received her teaching degree from the University of Denver. Her first teaching job took her to Oregon, before she returned to Colorado, where she taught in Alamosa and Estes Park. After taking a break from teaching to explore other avenues, the teaching profession called her back — this time to Cheyenne, a place she has called home for nearly 50 years.
It was while teaching girls' physical education classes in Cheyenne in the late '50s that Gwynne decided to pursue her master's degree at Colorado State University. Her parents were living in Loveland, so Gwynne stayed with them during several summers while earning her degree in Fort Collins. Her 1962 Master of Arts in education allowed her to expand her horizons and work as a counselor and, later, as an assistant principal at a time when mostly men held those administrative roles.
While counseling junior high students, Gwynne had a keen ability to help young adolescents discover their true passions in life, and how they could achieve them. "Most of the time I would go by feel on what they needed from me. Sometimes, it was a pat on the back, and sometimes, a ‘kick in the pants.'" Gwynne adds, "My goal was to give them a foundation to build on. I think students got some good out of those conversations."
Gwynne has always enjoyed working with kids, but admits there were some students she could never reach, in particular when she was an assistant principal in a disciplinary role. "They would spend a lot of time in my office, but they just wouldn't respond or talk." While she dealt with some disappointment, the happy memories far outweigh the sad ones. A further testament to Gwynne's impact on her students was the reaction from fellow teachers when she planned to retire. Many times over, Gwynne heard three words, "please don't leave!"
Since retirement, Gwynne has kept busy volunteering at the local animal shelter, playing bridge, participating in the retired teachers' association, staying involved in church, and spending time with her lovable dog, Pookie.
For the past 40 years, Gwynne has been a loyal supporter of CSU's College of Applied Human Sciences, specifically, the School of Education, where she has also designated a planned gift through her estate. When asked what has inspired her longtime giving to the college, Gwynne responds simply, "I got an education there. Being an alumna is an honor, so I give what I can."
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