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Conference Hall Renamed to Honor Krugman

CU School of Medicine

Faculty and staff of the University of Colorado School of Medicine and leaders from the Anschutz Medical Campus gathered Tuesday afternoon to dedicate the newly renamed Richard D. Krugman Conference Hall on campus.

Formerly called the Trivisible Room, the space on the second floor of Research Complex 2 has been renamed in honor of the School of Medicine’s longest-serving dean and the university’s vice chancellor for health affairs, who is stepping down March 31 after 25 years.

“I don’t think we’d be standing here today with the institution that we all are lucky enough and proud to be a part of if it hadn’t been for the efforts of Dick Krugman,” said Donald Elliman, Jr., chancellor of the Anschutz Medical Campus. “For me this is a wonderful moment, a fitting moment and a very, very well-earned moment.”

Krugman announced in January 2014 that he would step down as dean and return to the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect when the university hired his successor. Earlier this month, John J. Reilly, Jr., MD, chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, was named dean and the university’s vice chancellor for health affairs, effective April 1.

At the dedication ceremony on Tuesday, Lilly Marks, the University of Colorado’s vice president for health affairs and the executive vice chancellor of the Anschutz Medical Campus, recalled a Krugman quip about a hard-to-find meeting room at the School of Medicine’s former home at 9th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard.

“It was buried within what then was the Department of Preventive Medicine and it didn’t even open out onto a hallway,” Marks said. “Some of you might remember that it was not very noticeable. It was named for an individual named Ward Darley and whenever Dick would come into that room he would look at the portrait of Ward Darley and he would say ‘Who is that dude anyway?’

“Well, that dude actually was the former dean of the School of Medicine, about 70 years ago and he went on to become the president of the University of Colorado for a period of time,” Marks said. “And so Dick, I can’t guarantee that 70 years from now faculty and students won’t go by this picture and say, “Who is that dude?” But it will not be a hunt for them to find the room.”

Krugman thanked campus leaders for the recognition.

"I’ve never had a space with my name on it so this is really, really nice and I appreciate it,” he said.

He noted that his first office was a former oxygen tank closet by the elevators on the third floor of the old Colorado General Hospital. He upgraded to a shared office that once had been a bathroom and later had a one-time Mother Superior’s office in the St. James Convent where the Kempe Center was located in the 1980s.

Marks said it was appropriate to name the high-profile space on the Anschutz Medical Campus after Krugman because it matched the values he brought to his job as dean.

“I think one of the greatest legacies and accomplishments that you’re leaving with us is that you’ve created such a sense of trust and collaboration in our school and on our campus,” Marks said. “I think it’s really fitting that we name the primary meeting space on this campus for lectures, for meetings, for receptions, for gatherings after you because you are all about bringing people together. So today, dude, this one’s for you.”