Dr. Tom Buesch retires from CMC Aspen
Arts and Humanities professor steps down after 32 years
May 15, 2023 – Dr. Tom Buesch is stepping down from his role as a full-time professor at Colorado Mountain College’s Aspen campus.
On May 19, from 4-7 p.m. “Tom’s Last Lesson” – a special event marking the end of Buesch’s full-time professorship – will be held at the Aspen campus. It’s a retirement party open to students, staff, faculty and Aspen community members to celebrate Buesch’s decades-long contributions to teaching and learning at CMC.
In Aspen, there are locals, and then there are locals like Buesch. He and his family came to Aspen in 1949, well before Colorado Mountain College existed. The Buesch family, originally from the Chicago area, built their vacation house at First and Bleeker and spent summers and holidays in Aspen. Buesch moved back to Aspen permanently in 1990.
Buesch has been teaching, first part-time, then full-time, at the Aspen campus since 1991. In that time Buesch has taught hundreds of philosophy, communication, literature and history classes such as “Intro to Film Art,” “Greek Mythology,” “World Literature to 1600” and so many more.
In that time, he has taught hundreds if not thousands of Aspen students and has amassed an enthusiastic following. Some search Aspen’s class schedule searching for classes Buesch is teaching. Some even take the same class over just because they enjoy Buesch’s classes so much.
Buesch earned a bachelor’s degree in German and English from Ripon College in Ripon, Wisconsin. He earned both master’s and doctorate degrees in German language and literature from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. At CMC, he was twice voted the Aspen campus’s faculty of the year.
“Tom is a top-notch teacher,” wrote Betsy Starodoj in her recommendation for Buesch receiving his most recent Aspen campus faculty of the year award. “I am taking the western film class. Before each screening, he gives us a fascinating introduction to the actors, directors and various elements of filmmaking to look for. During the film, he comments on unique features. Afterwards, he encourages us to express our opinions and to ask any questions we may have. Interwoven into each class is his remarkable intelligence, background and playful sense of humor.”
“It is truly a pleasure to be in Dr. Buesch’s classroom,” wrote Aaron Lee, a student writing about Buesch. “His passion for learning is prevalent in his teaching and this makes his classes fun. He wants to be there and he wants to make an impact and a connection with his students.”
"Tom is an icon and an outstanding contributor to our campus’s success,” wrote Steve Skadron, CMC vice president and Aspen campus dean. “He will be impossible to replace.”
Buesch, who has five children, six grandchildren and one great granddaughter, said retiring from CMC will give him more time to spend with his family. However, don’t count him out from teaching an occasional class at CMC Aspen in the future.
Contact CMC Aspen for more information.