The Zimdahls: Leaving a Legacy


Bob and Pam Zimdahl are proud to support Colorado State University because they know their giving makes a difference by helping the University grow and sustain its educational efforts for students and faculty. "To me, philanthropy means the giving of something to someone or an institution that you hope to perpetuate and encourage," says Bob.

Both Bob and Pam spent their professional careers at Colorado State. Pam spent the majority of her career as the associate director at Hartshorn Health Center and participated in initiatives through the Division of Student Affairs. Bob is professor emeritus of weed science in the Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management in the College of Agricultural Sciences. He shifted his research focus from weed science to agricultural ethics in the latter part of his career.

Bob graduated from Cornell University with his master's degree in 1966 and received his doctorate from Oregon State in 1968. Shortly thereafter, he began teaching at Colorado State.

"CSU was a pleasant place to work because it gave me the opportunity to explore new academic interests that go far beyond what I thought I would do when I arrived in 1968," says Bob. "I not only taught but had the valuable opportunity to continue to learn."

Although Bob is a retired professor, he still has a large effect on the CSU campus community. Bob and some of his fellow retirees are part of an organization called the Senior Scholars Group. Their main purpose is to partner with the University in order to continue to share their wisdom and experience with CSU. "We have time and love for the institution," says Bob. "Even though we are retired, we still have projects we want to complete."

The Zimdahls also stay active with Colorado State University through contributions to student scholarships in the College of Agricultural Sciences and the College Liberal Arts. Among their efforts are support of the Morgan Library and University landscaping.

When Bob isn't in his office on campus, you might find him weeding or mowing his 40 acres of land, and spending time with Pam, six children, and nine grandchildren. He also continues to write books and articles related to his academic interests.

During his 37-year career at CSU, Bob published more than 100 professional articles and six books. He is proud to say that his book, Weed-Crop Competition, has influenced people worldwide. "I've spoken to weed science colleagues from several other countries who have told me how valuable the book has been to their research," Bob says.

A major way Bob and Pam play a part in the sustainability and vitality of Colorado State is by making their planned gift to the University. "My choice in the planned gift of life insurance was mainly for financial reasons," Bob says.

"The federal government allowed people to withdraw from their IRA without penalty. It was not too much pain and not a huge financial sacrifice."

The life insurance includes a future award that will establish a student scholarship to be awarded during a student's junior year. The second part is an annual, funded lecture by a distinguished plant scientist who will give an all-campus lecture on an agricultural topic of current interest.

In addition to their planned gift, Bob gives annually to CSU in memory of his late wife, Ann, who graduated from CSU in 1981 and taught English to foreign exchange students in CSU's intensive English program. Two Liberal Arts scholarships are given in her name each year. "It was appropriate for me to give in her memory," Bob says.

Through their continued support and encouragement to the University, the Zimdahls are planting the seeds for success throughout the Colorado State community. "The most compelling reason for us," Bob says, "is our belief in and commitment to higher education."