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In Memory

Maury Alberston memorial service Saturday

February 13, 2009

The life of Colorado State University Professor Maurice "Maury" L. Albertson will be honored with the flying of a Colorado State University flag at half-staff today and Saturday and a celebration of life beginning at 10 a.m., Saturday Feb. 14, at the First United Methodist Church, 1005 Stover St., in Fort Collins.

Video tribute to Maury Albertson

Albertson, a Centennial Emeritus Professor, had served CSU as director of the Research Foundation, director of International Programs and professor of civil engineering. One of Albertson's most recognized contributions was his critical role in the formation of the Peace Corps. Colorado CSU conferred an honorary doctoral degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, to Albertson at spring 2006 commencement ceremonies in recognition of his exceptional contributions to industry and Third World nations.

Albertson was fascinated with visiting countries and cultures new to him. During his trips, he not only taught others about new innovations in his field of water resource management, but he discovered many different ways of life in environments outside the United States.

Peace Corps pioneer

It was this passion that prompted his colleagues at other colleges in 1958 to suggest that he be the one tapped to help build an engineering college on the Mekong River - to be known as the Asian Institute of Technology - in Bangkok, Thailand, under the authority of the Southeast Asian Treaty Organization.

In 1960-1961, Albertson was the director of the U.S. Congressional study on the Point 4 Youth Corps, which led to creation of the Peace Corps. Albertson and two colleagues, Pauline Birkey and Andrew Rice, co-authored the book, "New Frontiers for American Youth - Perspective on the Peace Corps," which set up the basic design for the Peace Corps.

Albertson served as a consultant to the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, the Agency for International Development, UNESCO and other agencies on projects dealing with water and sanitation, water resource development, village development, small industry development and research and education.

Motivated by service

After retirement, Albertson continued to be active in education, research and outreach at Colorado State. In recent years, he was involved in the foundation of the Fort Collins-based Village Earth, a non-governmental organization supporting community development worldwide.

"We need to be motivated by service as well as by profit," Albertson had said. "We serve best by finding out what people want and helping them work to realize their dreams, not by going into a country and telling villagers what they need."

Contact: Nik Olsen
Phone: (970) 491-7766