More than 160 alumni, faculty, and friends returned to campus on October 15 for a celebration to recognize the achievements of retired Professor Aram Budak who taught in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department for more than 30 years.
Throughout the event, Dr. Budak and his wife, Helga, enjoyed reminiscing and reconnecting with former students, colleagues, and friends. "It was really amazing that so many former students showed up, many traveling long distances from all over the United States," said Dr. Budak. "I was particularly delighted to see four of my Ph.D. students and their wives."
The reception included a short program with brief remarks from alumni and former colleagues, as well as a video clip featuring highlights from Dr. Budak's academic tenure and a glimpse into his personal life. To cap off the festivities, ECE Department Head Tony Maciejewski formally announced the creation of the Aram Budak ECE Fellowship and he presented Dr. Budak with a scrapbook that contained more than 60 letters with personal stories and anecdotes from alumni and friends.
The response to Dr. Budak's reception speaks volumes,” says Tony Maciejewski. "He has touched countless lives and his commitment to education is an inspiration to us all." He adds, "Before the night was over, Dr. Budak received two standing ovations."
Dr. Budak was a key professor in the State University Resources for Graduate Education (SURGE) program - a continuing education curriculum for industry professionals that flourished for more than two decades.
He was born in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1928 to Armenian parents. He received an electrical engineering degree with high honors from Robert College in Istanbul in 1951. Dr. Budak attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on a scholarship and obtained his master's degree in 1954. While teaching at the University of Washington in Seattle, he was inducted into the U.S. Army. During his tour of duty in Germany, he met his wife Helga, and they moved to New Hampshire. He taught for a year at the University of New Hampshire before joining Colorado State in 1957.
Dr. Budak earned his doctoral degree from the University of Colorado and eventually retired from Colorado State in 1988. He and Helga have six children, three of whom obtained electrical engineering degrees. The couple now lives near Jackson Hole, Wyoming.