- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 6, 2016

DENVER — Former Sen. William L. Armstrong died Tuesday after a long battle with cancer and just months after announcing he would retire as president of Colorado Christian University. He was 79.

The Colorado Republican served in the state legislature and the House before being elected to two Senate terms. He opted not to run for a third term in 1990 despite his popularity with voters, and was succeeded by Republican Sen. Hank Brown.

A pillar of Colorado Republican politics, Mr. Armstrong took over as president of Colorado Christian University in August 2006 and was credited with leading a successful expansion campaign that saw the institution bolster its enrollment, fundraising and campus facilities.

“He displayed an uncommon vision for our times by adopting the University’s Strategic Objectives at the beginning of his presidency, and went on to lead the University during a period of unprecedented growth,” said Gary Armstrong, president of the CCU Board of Trustees, in a statement.

Armstrong also spearheaded the current campus redevelopment campaign, now in its fifth year,” he said. “His impact on the University will be felt for generations.

Mr. Armstrong’s death came two days after the conclusion of Western Conservative Summit, which he and former CCU Centennial Institute director John Andrews launched seven years ago. The annual summer gathering at the Colorado Convention Center has since become a must-attend event for Republican presidential hopefuls.

Sen. Cory Gardner, Colorado Republican, said Wednesday that the nation had lost “a great public servant whose mark on Colorado and this country embodies the virtues of liberty, faith and family.”

“His booming voice, piercing gaze, and love of fellow patriots will never be forgotten,” Mr. Gardner said. “So many people in Colorado were brought to conservative ideas and optimism through Senator Armstrong. The United States is a better place because of his grace, humility and boundless spirit.”

During Mr. Armstrong’s tenure as CCU president, the university was “ranked in the top 2 percent of colleges nationally by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni for its core curriculum,” and “designated as a College of Distinction for five consecutive years,” said Gary Armstrong.

“But beyond his achievements, Bill’s true legacy was his focus on Jesus and his enthusiasm for CCU and all who are a part of it,” Gary Armstrong said.

In February, Bill Armstrong announced he would retire later this year as CCU president.

Born on March 16, 1937, in Fremont, Nebraska, Armstrong is survived by his wife of nearly 54 years, Ellen, as well as two children, eight grandchildren and “four granddaughters-in-law,” said the CCU statement.

He founded or owned a dozen businesses and served on the board of Christian Businessmen’s Committee USA and Campus Crusade for Christ.

Colorado Senate President Bill Cadman said Wednesday on Twitter, “The heavens are celebrating the arrival of William L. Armstrong. ‘Well done thy good and faithful servant.’”

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