[Editor's Note: This post is the first in a series sharing memories and stories of Professor David Clough as he approaches retirement. Join the conversation by using the hashtag #MyDaveCloughStory to share your memories on Facebook or Twitter, or submit your story online.]
I have so many great memories of Dave Clough that it is hard to choose just one. Would it be that as a junior faculty member in 1980 he stepped up to be the faculty advisor for the Society of Women Engineers CU chapter when no one else did? There were few women faculty members in those days, but Dave saw the need and made himself available to us.
A common theme in all of my encounters with Dave was his encouragement and interest in every student, no matter our background or GPA, to keep at the challenge of our engineering classes while also enjoying life outside of the Engineering Center. Dave wanted us to stay grounded and be well-rounded, and he walked the talk.
In my senior year, Brigham Young University hosted the AIChE Western Region Student Conference over Spring Break. What senior chemical engineering student wouldn’t want to spend a few days skiing in Utah over Spring Break while stopping into a conference? A handful of us went, and we were joined by our faculty advisor, who was once again Dave. At that point in his life, Dave’s wife had passed away, and he was a single father of two young kids. Where he went, son Rod and daughter Astrid weren’t far behind. Dave showed us what work-life balance looked like long before we ever heard the phrase! We were proud to have Dave and our junior faculty advisors, “the facultettes,” as part of our CU team in Provo.
Dave’s interest in his students didn’t stop at graduation, either. I left Boulder in 1982 for Procter & Gamble in Kansas City, and when Dave and the facultettes were en route to his sabbatical in Massachusetts, they stopped off in Kansas City to say hello and catch up over lunch. As always, there was enthusiasm and encouragement for success in my new endeavor, pride in the accomplishments of Astrid and Rod, discussion of process control in the P&G synthetic liquids operation, and the promise that we would stay in touch.
Thirty-five years later, that promise lives on. And while I am sorry that the coming generations of CU students won’t be as lucky as I was to know Dave Clough as an outstanding teacher, mentor, and friend, I'm excited to have been part of the legacy he leaves behind.
Nan Joesten (ChemEngr'82) is the principal and founder of Rapid Evolution, a member of The BOLD Center's Advisory Council and an emeritus member of the college's Engineering Advisory Council.