University of Wyoming Loses Beloved Professor

Associate Professor Adrian Bantjes died September 3rd in a car crash outside Saratoga.
Associate Professor Adrian Bantjes died September 3rd in a car crash outside Saratoga.

LARAMIE, WY – University of Wyoming News – Just three days prior to the accident that took the life of a UW Cowboys football player, the university lost one of their professors. Adrian Bantjes, an associate professor in the University of Wyoming Department of History, was killed in a head-on automobile crash at approximately 8:15 p.m. Friday, about 11 miles south of Saratoga on Wyoming Highway 130.

UW President Tom Buchanan issued a statement saying "The tragic death of Professor Bantjes is a tremendous loss for the University of Wyoming. He was an excellent scholar and a valued member of the faculty who was well-liked by students and colleagues...he will be missed by all who knew him..."

Bantjes' wife, Mary Henning, and daughter Aida, 8, were injured in the crash.

Bantjes, 50, joined the UW faculty in 1991. His research and teaching focused on modern Latin American history with an emphasis on the political, social, cultural, and religious history of 20th century Mexico.

Bantjes, who was respected for his expertise in Latin-American history, taught modern and colonial Latin American and Mexican history, an introduction to Latin American studies, and specialized seminars on topics such as Latin American revolutions, popular religions and indigenous cultures. He also taught interdisciplinary courses in international studies, religious studies, American Indian studies, Chicano studies and American studies.

As an academic hobby, he was interested in the cultural history of fly-fishing. Bantjes taught what may well be the first course on the history of fly-fishing ever offered at a U.S. university, and published essays on the history of the sport in the Rocky Mountains.

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