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Raising Ram fans

January 20, 2009

Summer 1977. Freshmen orientation is ending and President A.R. Chamberlain is speaking to the students and parents in attendance. At the end of his speech, Dr. Chamberlain points to a cake specially made for one of the attendees: Teresa Blach has just finished her ninth and final CSU orientation session with her ninth child.

Blach FamilyThe Blach Family

The CSU Blach family legacy started in 1942 with Perry Blach from Yuma, Colo.

“I grew up on a farm and was interested in agriculture and livestock, particularly cattle,” he says. Blach studied agricultural sciences and played football under Coach Harry Hughes.

Blach left school during WWII, but returned to complete his studies (and play more football) where he played alongside the likes of Jack Christensen, Thurman “Fum” McGraw, and John Mosley. Blach also was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, Livestock Club, and served on student council, including sophomore class president.

In 1948, Blach graduated, married Teresa – whom he met when they were chaperones at a youth meeting in Wray, Colo. – and moved back to Yuma for farming. A descendant of Austrian immigrants and farmers, Blach started and still owns Perry J. Blach Farm and Ranch, cattle operation.

In the past 60 years, Mr. Blach has been an integral part of this University in many ways:  football season ticket holder, member of the Alumni Association board of directors (including president from 1963-65), lifetime member of the Alumni Association, member of several different collegiate councils, advisor to the CSU Foundation, winner of the Distinguished Alumni Henry Award, and parent and grandparent of numerous CSU alumni.

A few CSU attendants from the Blach family:

Tom Blach (attended, ’68-’71) is second in the line of nine Blach children. He studied animal science and was a member of the Livestock Club, the Livestock Judging Team, and the Meats Team. “When I went to school, we were required to take swimming. The coach told us to jump in and swim to the other side of the pool. Well, growing up in Yuma, I had never seen so much water, let alone swim in it. I jumped in the water, stood up, and the coach fished me out,” recalls Tom. “But I did learn to swim.”

Tom’s wife, Brenda, also attended CSU and their two sons, Justin (’95) and Jaden (’97) moved back to Yuma after graduation and the family now owns a cow calf operation and a dirt contracting business.

Patty Metzler (attended, ’70 -’73), the third child in line, inherited her father’s athletic ability. Patty’s daughter, Hannah, shares the story of how her mom got recruited for the women’s softball team. “Mom’s P.E. teacher was also the softball coach. One day when the class was playing softball, the teacher said ‘you’re coming to tryouts.’ She pitched for the women’s softball team for three years.”

Three of Patty’s five children have graduated from CSU:
Katie (’01), Hannah (’03), and Maggie (’06).

Second home

No matter which Blach you talk to, you’ll hear the same response: “CSU was like a second home to us.” And this comfort has inspired additional generations of Blachs to attend CSU. “I can’t count how many of our cousins attended or attend CSU,” says Randy Blach.

This article was originally published in Around the Oval magazine. To subscribe to Around the Oval, become a member of the CSU Alumni Association.

Contact: Beth Etter
Phone: (970) 491-6533