One of Bob's favorite photographs, when he snuck off to sit with the students at commencement.

We've all lost a true colleague, mentor, and friend. Former HEXS Professor Bob Hautala passed away in Rhode Island while visiting family for Christmas. A note from WOU professor Gavin Keulks is below.

“I write with tragic news that Bob Hautala, professor of health and exercise science, unexpectedly passed away due to a stairwell fall. He was visiting his children out east, and his final days were filled with their laughter, joy, and grand-kids. He is loved and remembered by many of us at WOU, too. This campus was his home, and his decision to retire last year was one of the hardest he made. His impact on friends, coworkers, programs, and especially students will be long-lived. A mentor to many people, he volunteered his time selflessly, regularly supporting students at sporting events or sharing meals and drinks with colleagues.”

According Bob's wishes, there will be no funeral, but his family has said there will be a memorial in the summer. Also per his wishes, they are requesting charity donations in lieu of flowers and a new fund has been created through the WOU Foundation: the Bob "Dr. H." Hautala Student Success Fund. If you'd like to give to the fund, visit, then select "support WOU" then "other" as the gift designation. Include Bob's name in the note line.

We would love to hear your stories about Dr. H on the board below.