Legends of Progress and Loss: Boulder from 1959 to 2009

Event Date: May 13, 2009
Event Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Wittemyer Courtroom, Wolf Law School

This panel discussion was presented by the Boulder Sesquicentennial Celebration Committee, the CU Center of the American West, and the Boulder History Museum.

To call the past 50 years of Boulder’s history tumultuous is an understatement. Boulder’s transformation over that time – from a community bent on a path of rapid growth and development in order to become a city of 300,000 people to the smaller city of today surrounded by open space – happened because of intense community debate and changing values.

But one person’s progress, no matter what shape it takes, can be another person’s loss. For those who have been active participants and observers of these changes, what have we gained and what have we lost in the process?

Moderated by Patty Limerick of CU’s Center of the American West, panelists Albert Bartlett, Sonny Flowers, Doris Hass, Bill Reynolds, and Dorothy Rupert will wrestle with that question.


Albert A. “Al” Bartlett

Al Bartlett is Professor Emeritus of Nuclear Physics at CU’s Boulder campus, where he has been since 1950. He served as president of the American Association of Physics Teachers in 1978, and in 1981 he received the Association’s award for outstanding scholarly contributions to physics education. He has given his celebrated lecture, “Arithmetic, Population and Energy,” over 1,600 times around the world. His collected writings are published in The Essential Exponential! For the Future of Our Planet. In 1959, Bartlett was a founding member of PLAN-Boulder County. He continues to be an active member and environmental advocate.

W. Harold “Sonny” Flowers, Jr.

Sonny Flowers grew up in Boulder and attended Boulder public schools and CU for undergraduate and law degrees. For more than 30 years he has practiced law in a Boulder firm. He has served on numerous community Boards, including the CU Foundation, KGNU, and Boulder County Community Corrections. Flowers has served as president of the bar associations of Boulder County, Sam Cary, and Colorado Trial Lawyers, vice-president of the Colorado Bar Association, and as an author and lecturer for numerous legal publications and audiences.

Doris Hass

Doris Hass has lived in Boulder for 52 of the past 58 years. She has worked tirelessly to create equity for women, minorities, and those less fortunate in Boulder. She has served on the Boards of the Boulder Public Library Foundation, Boulder Seniors Foundation, Global Response, Boulder County Latina Women’s League, and American Association of University Women. Hass has taught Sunday school for more than 40 years, hosted foreign exchange students, coordinated Share-a-Gift drives, and sent care packages to women in prison.

William W. “Bill” Reynolds

Bill Reynolds, a Boulder native, founded The W. W. Reynolds Companies in 1966, a real estate development and professional property management firm. His companies have developed over two million square feet of office, commercial, and residential buildings in Boulder and Fort Collins, with the downtown One Boulder Plaza development his most recent. Reynolds has served on the Chamber of Commerce and Boulder Community Hospital Boards. He was a founding member and president of the CU Real Estate Center as well as founder and first president of the CU Real Estate Foundation.

Dorothy Rupert

Dorothy Rupert, a Boulder resident since 1962, is best known as a state legislator from 1987 to 2001. Prior to her statehouse years, she served as a teacher and counselor at Fairview and Boulder high schools. For part of her childhood she lived in a children’s home, inspiring her to commit her life to young people and social and peace action. She has served on numerous Boards and now advises the city’s Youth Opportunity Program and Blue Ribbon Commission. Rupert is currently at CU coordinating the Youth Council for Public Policy and teaching “Civic Engagement: Using Democracy as a Tool for Social Change.”