To call Gordon Von Stroh a gentleman and a scholar is not a cliché.
Prof. Von Stroh joined the University of Denver as a professor of administration in 1967. DU, in announcing his passing earlier this week, described him as a “deeply respected and beloved” management professor.
“I think anyone who knew Gordon knew what a true gentleman he was,” said Ryan McMaken, spokesman for the Colorado Division of Housing, who had worked with Prof. Von Stroh on his acclaimed Apartment Vacancy & Rent Survey since 2006. “He was a throw-back to a bygone era.”
And there was no question of his scholarship when it came to the survey. “He was most famous for the survey,” McMaken said. “He certainly was one of the leading scholars in the multifamily industry. I don’t think any other city has a report as comprehensive as Gordon’s. Certainly no other city has the historical data and context of his report,” which he began in 1981.
Creating such a report – so accurate that it could spur lending activity when the numbers were bullish and help put the brakes on over-building when too much product was on its way – was no easy task.
“I don’t think a lot of people appreciate how much of the breadth and depth of that report came from Gordon’s cajoling,” McMaken said. “Your humdrum economist could not convince apartment owners to share the information that Gordon was able to obtain.”
Prof. Von Stroh, who had suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease, was 69.
Prof. Von Stroh also was a longtime leader of DU’s Commencement committee, preparing each year to usher new graduates across the stage and into the DU alumni community. He was director of the MBA-customized program and the master’s of management program in the Daniels College.
In recognition of his outstanding service to the University of Denver, the community, and the professorial profession, Prof. Von Stroh received the first Faculty Service Award at DU’s Convocation in October 2009.
“He was beloved by students, faculty, staff and alumni at the Daniels College of Business,” the university said in a release.
“Throughout Gordon Von Stroh’s 45 years of service at Daniels, he was a role model for achieving public good,” said Daniels Dean Christine Riordan. “We will miss his wit, his wisdom and his great gift of student connection. Gordon and his family will continue to be a source of inspiration to our students, faculty, staff, alumni and corporate leaders around the globe.”
James Griesemer, Professor and Dean Emeritus at the Daniels College of Business at DU, said Prof. Von Stroh was a treasure for the business community, the university and the many students whom he taught.
“Gordon was a wonderful person and was deeply involved in the community where his apartment vacancy survey was a basic resource for the apartment sector,” Griesemer said. “He was also a devoted family man and one of Daniels most highly regarded professors. During my years as Dean (from 1994–2004), Gordon was consistently rated by students as one of the very best professors at the Daniels College of Business.”
He noted that several months ago, “in recognition of Gordon’s extraordinary service to DU and the community, the University of Denver established the Gordon Von Stroh Endowed Scholarship. A number of his friends and colleagues have been working to build this endowment. This effort is particularly timely in that the University of Denver, as a part of its Ascend capital campaign, has agreed to match contributions to this scholarship when an aggregate amount of $25,000 or more is achieved by June 30. This provides an wonderful opportunity to honor Gordon’s significant contributions to our community while doubling the impact of gifts received by June 30.”
Tax-deductible contributions may be made to University of Denver, Gordon Von Stroh Scholarship, and sent to the University of Denver Advancement Office, PO Box 910585, Denver, CO 80291-0585. Questions or requests for additional information may be directed to the Advancement Office at the University of Denver, 303.871.2562 or to the Daniels College of Business, 303.871.3193.
McMaken noted that Prof. Von Stroh cared deeply about family – his and others.
“He always made fun of me,” McMaken said. “He would always harass me for not having a sufficient number of photos in my office of my wife and kids. He declared himself the official judge of my office accoutrements. It was an ongoing issue that I did not have enough family photographs in my office.”
The memorial service for Prof. Von Stroh will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, March 22, at 1:00 PM, at Augustana Lutheran Church, at 5000 East Alameda Ave. Prof. Von Stroh’s family requests that those interested in donating to one of the many organizations and institutions of which he was part to please contact the Horan and McConaty Cremation and Funeral Services at this link and click on obituaries.
Contact John Rebchook at JRCHOOK@gmail.com