Alumnus Bob Horth’s confidence in student impact stands test of time

After a failed bid to raise hemlines on cheerleading uniforms to rally students at football games, Bob Horth redirected his focus to bringing the student voice to pivotal legislative budget decisions made in 1962 and 1963.

Horth served as president of the Associated Students of Colorado State University during 1962-63. During his tenure, he participated in the growth of student government and efficacy, both on campus and at the state level—and spearheaded efforts to prevent a massive cut in CSU’s 1963 budget.

Horth and the student legislature found the way into the heart of the Colorado House of Representatives through its stomach by hosting an elegant banquet—baron of beef and all—and strategically seating House representatives next to CSU students for the meal.

The dinner remained strictly a student initiative; even the high-priced food was paid entirely out of ASCSU funds. These special efforts paid off well. CSU received all required funding and a surprise addition that is one of the most student-used buildings on campus to this day: The Morgan Library.

“As I remember,” Horth reflected, “President Morgan told me that the State Board of Agriculture was surprised when they learned that the entire CSU 1963 budget was approved…Bill gave a lot of credit to the student intervention in Denver.”

Along with this amazing accomplishment, Horth and the student legislature worked to modify campus in creative ways, though most of their efforts didn’t succeed until years later. A few examples include liberalizing “parietal hours” (approved time for co-ed mingling), instituting professor evaluations, and creating an honor system for test-taking. 

“We also hired the first full-time student government secretary to handle an expanding amount of office tasks,” Horth said, “and equally important, to provide better continuity of service from student government to the students.”

In times of great change at Colorado State University, it is critical to look to those individuals who will be impacted most by the decisions made: our CSU students, faculty and staff. As a model of political savvy, intelligence, and forward thinking, Horth provides this insight:

“I hope that ASCSU, the administration, and faculty are continuing their cooperation,” Horth offered. “As in my view it has proven, at least on this occasion, to be a powerful tool for improving the quality of education at CSU.”

To make this difference, turn to the Lory Student Center renovation. A collaborative effort by the entire CSU community, it will emerge as a compelling example of what is possible when all parties work together to improve CSU. 

Since graduating Colorado State University with a degree in physics, Horth headed to Bangkok to work on a CSU/Advanced Research Projects Agency team for two years, before getting his MBA specializing in international agribusiness. 

After moving to Brazil to work on managing subsidiaries of multinationals—and even starting a few firms of his own—Horth married his wife Flavia and had four daughters who have followed in the accomplished footsteps of their parents. Spending 23 years in Brazil and 13 years in Texas, Horth and his wife moved to Mozambique last year where Flavia teaches surgery at the medical school and Horth works on agricultural development projects

Alumnus Bob Horth summited Mount Kilimanjaro (pictured above) in 2013 with his family.