Western State College is located on Colorado’s Western Slope, deep in the Rocky Mountains. It began as Colorado State Normal School, which was a two-year institution in 1911. Twelve years later, Colorado Normal became a four-year school—Western State College. Sitting at an altitude of 7,723 feet, it is the highest college or university in the nation. The elevation, the Rocky Mountains, two nearby ski areas, world-class mountain bike trails, stunning scenery, and the nearby Blue Mesa Reservoir (which is Colorado’s second-largest tourist attraction) all combine to make Western State College an outdoor mecca, attracting students from all over the nation.
Author Bio: Author Duane Vandenbusche has been a professor of history at Western State College for 51 years. He is the author of nine books on the Gunnison Country and Western Colorado, including Arcadia Publishing’s Around Monarch Pass and Crested Butte. He was the cross-country running coach for men and women at the college until 2007, and his teams won 12 national championships and produced three Olympians. The photographs in this book were gathered from libraries, museums, private collections, and old-timers.
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