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Calsyn Award

Long-time past Gerontology Program Director (1982-2003), Dr. Robert Calsyn, passed away on Friday, 9/21/12, after a long battle with cancer. Dr. Calsyn endowed a special scholarship for Gerontology students in the name of his parents, Albert & Virginia Calsyn. This award is given annually in their honor, and now also honors Bob, as his friends and colleagues knew him, for his many years of dedicated and visionary service to Gerontology education and UMSL in general.

Donations in support of the Calsyn Award may be made by check (made out to "UMSL Gerontology" with "Calsyn Award" in the memo line) or via the University Advancement website. Mail your check to Gerontology Program, 1 University Blvd., 574A Clark Hall, St. Louis, MO 63121.

ABOUT THE CALSYN SCHOLARSHIP:  This award is given in memory of Albert and Virginia Calsyn who were ordinary people who worked extraordinarily hard in raising their seven children.  Throughout their lives they devoted considerable time to charitable work, particularly for the St. Vincent DePaul Society and the Catholic Missions.  Having experienced poverty themselves they were particularly supportive of public and private programs that assisted low income individuals. This tuition scholarship is given to a Masters student with solid academics and a demonstrated commitment to the service of older adults and their families. The Gerontology faculty choose the winner each June and the award is made in September. The award amount varies, somewhat, based on interest earnings on the endowment. It is usually in the $750-1,500 range and given as a tuition scholarship.

Recent Past Winners:

2018  No Award Given
2017  Dawn Bess
2016  Megan Ryan
2015  Julia Tatara
2014  Christy Burger
2013  Suzanne Miller
2012  Rebekah Patterson
2011  Margaret "Peggy" Shelly
2010  Elaine Cassidy
2009  Naomi "Amy" Henson
2008  Kara Bernsee
2007  Ember Jordan

Here is his obituary as it appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on 9/23/12:

Calsyn, Dr. Robert Joseph of St. Louis, passed away peacefully on Friday, September 21, 2012 after a valiant fight against kidney cancer. Bob, as he was known to his family and friends, was a loving husband to his wife of almost 20 years, Maria, a caring father to his sons Dylan and Christopher and his stepdaughter, Soledad, and a doting grandfather to Zoe, Margaret, Abigail, Ella, and Max. He is also survived by his six siblings: Donald, Alanna, Joan, Gina, Joseph, and James. During his distinguished career, Bob served as the Chair of the Psychology Department and the Director of the Gerontology Program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Bob's research focused on programs assisting homeless, mentally ill people. Since retiring in 2009, Bob loved spending time with family at their vacation home on Anna Maria Island, Florida where he penned much of his first novel, Primal Man, and continued to play tennis with his good friends. In lieu of flowers, the family asks any donations be made in Bob's name to the Albert and Virginia Calsyn Scholarship in Gerontology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, One University Blvd., 107 Woods Hall, St. Louis, MO 63121.


Robert Joseph Calsyn, PhD
Professor Emeritus of Psychology
Former Director of Gerontology (1982-2003)