Remembering Robert W. Craig

1925 – 2015

The Staff and Board of Keystone Symposia are saddened to learn of the January 16, 2015 death of Robert (“Bob”) Craig of Keystone, Colorado at the age of 90. We express our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends all over the world.

Bob Craig served on Keystone Symposia’s Board of Directors for many years and as an Emeritus Board Member since 2008. As founder of The Keystone Center, he was instrumental in finding a home for Keystone Symposia within the Center after it left the University of California, Los Angeles in 1990. Although Keystone Symposia later separated from The Keystone Center to become an independent nonprofit organization in 1996, he remained a loyal supporter, offering sage and steady advice as Keystone Symposia expanded. It was great to have a “local” on the Board who really helped us establish our roots in the Summit County community.

Before founding The Keystone Center, Bob was one of the first leaders of the Aspen Institute and co-founder of the Aspen Center for Physics. He was a true Renaissance man, with remarkably diverse interests and a strong belief in bringing divergent fields together. In 1991, he wrote of Keystone Symposia’s scientist attendees: “I was pleased as well to observe that these same hard working souls (who never seem to get any sleep) were also just as dedicated to skiing hard and tramping through the mountains, and the Symposia confirmed my commitment to William Blake’s observation that ‘great things happen when men and mountains meet.’ ” Here are some of the tributes from fellow Keystone Symposia Board Members that poured in over the weekend:

Ralph Bradshaw, Emeritus Board Member: “KS has lost a great supporter and we have all lost a great friend. It will never be quite the same without him.”

Ed Dennis, Emeritus Board Member: “We will all miss our original Emeritus Trustee Bob Craig, who played such a key role in the evolution of the Keystone Symposia and was such a wonderful role model for us all.”

Curt Harris, Emeritus Board Member: “Bob was a driver of the Aspen Ideas Festival and The Keystone Center. He believed in the Keystone Symposia and stayed ‎with us. He made a difference.”

Gary Nabel, Current Board Member: “In addition to his Keystone legacy, Bob was a founder of the Aspen Center for Physics almost 50 years ago. The discovery of the Higgs boson was announced there. Truly a big thinker and light years ahead of his time!  We’ll miss him.....”

Terry Opgenorth, Current Board Member: “There are few people who are truly inspiring. I count Bob as one. I had the good fortune to arrive late to Jim Aiken's retirement dinner last summer and to be seated with Bob and Terry. It was a gift!”

Alan Sher, Current Board Member: “I will remember him as a uniquely accomplished individual with a modest demeanor and kind heart.”

Juleen Zierath, Chair of the Board of Keystone Symposia: “He will be deeply missed! He was a mountain of a man and a great inspiration to us all.”

Read more about the amazing life of Bob Craig in The Keystone Center’s press release and in the January 18, 2015 issue of the Summit Daily News.