50 Year Club to honor outstanding alumni

Charlie Vail
Charlie Vail

CSU’s Class of 1969 will be recognized Friday, Oct. 4, during this year’s Homecoming and Family Weekend 50 Year Club Luncheon, and prominent veterinarian Charlie Vail and Lt. Col. Robert W. Johnson will be honored for their many accomplishments.

Career achievement

Vail, who earned degrees in biological science (’58) and veterinary medicine (’60) from CSU, will receive the Career Achievement Award. He has been a prominent figure in thoroughbred and quarter horse racing for more than five decades. The Denver native was named track veterinarian at Colorado’s Centennial Race Track in 1962 and is has been a board member for the Colorado Racing Commission since 2007.

Vail has also been a passionate supporter of CSU in several areas, including the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Athletics, the Division of Student Affairs and the Alumni Association. He and his wife, Jean Williams Ebsen, have been married for 56 years, and have two children: Ellen and David (B.A. Liberal Arts ’97).

Public service

Lt. Col. Robert Johnson
Lt. Col. Robert Johnson, second from right, at one of nearly 100 ceremonies honoring veterans for their service in World War I and World War II.

Johnson (B.S. Electrical Engineering ’68) will receive the Public Service Award.

He was born in Bronxville, New York, then spent his youth living in Argentina and Puerto Rico before coming to CSU. He entered the Air Force after graduating and spent 21 years in service to his country, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.

Over the past 20-plus years, he has tirelessly worked making sure that French veterans of World War I and World War II are properly recognized for their service. He has helped organize nearly 100 Legion of Honor ceremonies, recognizing 60 World War I and 260 World War II veterans. He was awarded France’s two highest honors, the Legion of Honor and National Order of Merit, for his service.

Johnson has also worked to make sure American World War I veterans are properly recognized, as well as volunteering for numerous other organizations near his California home. He has been a CSU Alumni Association ambassador in the greater Los Angeles area for more than 30 years. He and his wife, Susan, have been married 46 years.

Tickets for the annual luncheon, set for 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hilton Fort Collins, are $10 for 1969 alumni, $20 for Alumni Association members and $25 for non-members.