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Alan G.
Democrat FL 9

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  • Remembering the Life of Trevor Colbourn

    by Representative Alan Grayson

    Posted on 2015-01-21

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    GRAYSON of florida in the house of representatives Wednesday, January 21, 2015 Mr. GRAYSON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize an outstanding member of the Central Florida community, Trevor Colbourn. Trevor passed away on January 13, 2015 at the age of 87 and will be deeply missed.

    Born in Armindale, New South Wales, Australia on February 24, 1927, Trevor became the second President of, what was then known as, the Florida Technological University in 1978. Recognizing that the University had grown beyond being just ``Florida's Space University,'' Trevor renamed the institution the University of Central Florida. In addition to the high-profile name change, Trevor also established the University's honors program and a football program that went on to earn national rankings. Trevor nurtured Orlando's fledgling research park, and developed a partnership with Orange County that has created thousands of high tech jobs and helped transform the region's economy.

    Under Trevor's leadership, the University introduced the state's first stand-alone doctoral program in computer science, and expanded its Ph.D. offerings to include civil, computer, electrical, mechanical, industrial and environmental engineering. Trevor also spearheaded a long effort to create equitable funding for the state's newer universities to put them on the same financial footing as the well- established state universities.

    Known as the ``Scholar President,'' Trevor held degrees from the University of London, the College of William and Mary, and the Johns Hopkins University, where he earned his doctorate in American History in 1953. An expert on the American Revolution and Thomas Jefferson, Trevor penned a number of books and articles, including The Lamp of Experience, Fame and the Founding Father, and The Americans: A Brief History.

    Trevor was an active member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission, the Orlando Crime Prevention Association, the Board of Visitors of the Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base, the United Way, the Greater Orlando Sports Organizing Committee, the Kiwanis Club, the boards of the local opera company and public television station and the Organization of American Historians.

    A lifelong Episcopalian, Trevor is survived by Beryl, his wife of 66 years, his daughters, Katherine ``Kit'' Wrye and Elinor Colbourn, and four grandchildren.

    I am saddened by the loss of such a valuable member of the Central Florida community and extend my heartfelt condolences to his family.


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