Remembering Van Skilling '55

Van Skilling '55, Lifetime Trustee

A Message from CC's Chaplain's Office

It is with deep sadness that we share the news that David van Diest Skilling ’55, better known as Van, died on the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 15, on the cusp of his 88th birthday after battling a severe illness. Van was a beloved member of the Board of Trustees at CC for many years. He served as the chairman of the board and was honored as a life trustee. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate and taught courses on business strategy in the Department of Economics and Business. With his wife and family, Van was a generous philanthropic supporter of the college, making an impact for our campus and CC students. Van dedicated himself tirelessly to the highest good of Colorado College in so many ways. He believed in the best of us, and in the institution.

Van loved community, embracing new people, and gathering others into conversation. He was devoted to friends and family. He was a solid presence and unshakable during challenging times — someone you wanted with you navigating the storms of life. Van was generous and hospitable. He was both straightforward in his speech and an avid storyteller around the table and grill. He would walk with you in mentorship and business, yet he was not one to be crossed.  Van was focused and driven, and brought his whole self to everything, never giving up. He embraced challenge with dedicated focus until he met it — whether as a gifted CEO and chairman of several successful corporations and enterprises, his golf game, or with adventures around the world.  

His family has shared that his life motto, borrowed from Yogi Berra was, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Van embraced his life fully, including the forks in the road he took without regret. He embraced the gift, mystery, and adventure of his life. He was intentional about participating and investing himself in his community, and he made a difference in many lives. He dedicated his life to one of service – serving others, God, his community, and his country. Van loved and was loved.  And we will miss and remember him.


In lieu of flowers the family suggests that memorial gifts be made in honor of Van Skilling to:
Colorado College, PO Box 1117, Colorado Springs, CO 80901
Attn: Advancement


Donations will support the Van Skilling Fund, which supports
student research projects through the Economics and Business Department.


May we hold Van’s family, many of whom are also CC alumni, in the light.

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Department of Economics & Business

Academic Administrative Assistants

Nancy Heinecke

(719) 389-6407

Palmer Hall, Ste 114

Mailing: 14 E. Cache la Poudre St.
Colorado Springs, CO 80903