Feb 272011
Authors: Rachel Childs

Maury Albertson’s face does not grace the side of any building. There is no bust of him in the halls—no biography in the library. But for those who knew him at CSU, Albertson was unforgettable.

Throughout 50 years of working at the university, Albertson used his creativity by helping create the Peace Corp, launching research projects and even studying possible life on other planets.

He came to CSU in 1947 to assist with the civil engineering program. He went on to become first director of the CSU Research Foundation, spearheading many projects to enhance university research.

“Of all the professors and other people at CSU, he was the one I admired the most,” said Neil Grigg, an engineering professor and former student of Albertson’s.

In 1961, Albertson teamed up with CSU researchers Pauline Birky-Kreutzer and Andrew Rice to create the feasibility report for what is now the Peace Corps.

Fifty years after Albertson, Rice and Birky-Kreutzer formulated their plan for the Peace Corps, CSU is now 10th in Peace Corps participation in the nation.

“It was a real labor of love, honestly, for all three of those people,” said Martha Denney, director of international education at CSU.

Denney worked with Albertson when he was director of international programs at CSU and remembered him as “tall, slim and always kind of larger than life.”

In the 1980s’ Albertson met with former CSU graduate student Bob Siblerud after lecturing at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins. The two discussed the possibility of alien life and decided to inform the public through the International Association of New Sciences and the Institute for the Study of Galactic Civilizations.

The institute explores the concepts of new energy sources and life on other planets. The ISGC believes that aliens are currently on Earth and are assisting humans, all under the knowledge of the government.

“Once you start considering the facts and the interactions and the evidence, there is no doubt that they have been here and they’re helping us,” Siblerud, president of the ISGC said.

Despite his eclectic interests, Albertson was seen as a powerhouse of ideas, which became affectionately known as “Maury projects,” according to Denney.
His enthusiasm transferred to students and colleagues whom he encouraged to follow their dreams.

“One of my favorite quotes of Maury’s was, ‘That’s just a wonderful idea’,” Denney said.

His ideas didn’t cease even after he fell ill in 2009. Grigg said that even on his deathbed Albertson was thinking of ways to solve poverty and world hunger. Albertson’s last trip was a more than 24-hour flight to Indonesia. He later died in Colorado.

“I thought his death was the way that he should have died, that is with his boots on so to speak,” Grigg said.

Staff writer Rachel Childs can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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