Lionel Vernon Baldwin, 87, of Fort Collins, passed away early Wednesday morning June 26. He was born to Eugene and Wanda Baldwin of Port Arthur, Texas, on May 30, 1932. Lionel married Kathleen Flanagan on Sept. 3, 1955.
Lionel V. Baldwin served in academic administration for more than 30 years, with his knowledge and skill aiding in his success. As the founder of National Technology University in 1984 until his retirement in 2000, Lionel served as the president of NTU. His goal was to create a nonprofit organization that offered graduate courses via satellite and led to a Master of science. The NTU national satellite network provided advanced education to technical professionals at more than 1,000 sites. NTU coordinated instruction offered by 53 major universities. In 1985, the congressional caucus for science and technology cited him “for outstanding leadership in fostering industry and university relationship and training via telecommunications technology.”
Prior to his incredible achievement of establishing a graduate learning institution, he was dean of the College of Engineering at Colorado State University for 20 years. He joined CSU in 1961 as an associate professor of civil engineering. Baldwin received his B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1954 and his S.M. in chemical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1955. In 1959, he earned his Ph.D. degree at Case Institute of Technology while serving six years in the U.S. Air Force stationed at NASA. He relied on his immense knowledge and expertise as a leader in developing linkages between industry and universities. In 1967, he created the first ITV program in the U.S. employing courier-carried videotape to deliver CSU graduate classes to seven Colorado industries.
He has received many honors throughout his lengthy career, including an award for plasma research from NASA, the Kenneth Andrew Roe Award from the American Association of Engineering Societies, and a Distinguished Service Award from the University of Notre Dame. He also received an Innovator Award from the Society of Satellite Professionals International, Engineering Manager of the Year from the American Society for Engineering Management, Entrepreneur of the Year from the Fort Collins Chamber of Commerce, and inclusion in the Engineering Education Hall of Fame. One of his greatest achievements was patenting an apparatus for increasing ion engine beam density.
Lionel is preceded in death by his parents, Eugene and Wanda Baldwin, his wife Kathleen, and a granddaughter, Kelsey Baldwin. He is survived by his four adult children, Brian C. Baldwin (Michelene) of Fort Collins; Michael V. Baldwin (Julie) of Houston, Texas; Diane M. (Baldwin) and Wayne Troup of Morrison; and Daniel F. and Kristen Baldwin of Alpharetta, Georgia; and seven grandchildren. Visit bohlenderfuneralchapel.com to send online condolences.
A memorial Mass will be held Tuesday, July 23, at 10 a.m., at Saint John XXIII Catholic Church, 1220 University Ave., Fort Collins. Reception to follow at the Suzanne and Walter Scott, Jr. Bioengineering Building, 700 Meridian Ave.
Published in The Coloradoan on June 30, 2019