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The College Mourns the Loss of Emeritus Professor Cornelius Hofman

Emeritus professor of economics Cornelius Hofman passed away on Jan. 2. Hofman was born in Holland, and immigrated to the United States when he was 5 years old. He grew up in Salt Lake City, served an LDS mission, and received his Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Utah. He began his teaching career at ISU, and taught from 1960 to 1997, and he won the Distinguished Teacher award in 1989.

The College Mourns the Loss of Emeritus Professor Cornelius Hofman

Emeritus professor of economics Cornelius Hofman passed away on Jan. 2. Hofman was born in Holland, and immigrated to the United States when he was 5 years old. He grew up in Salt Lake City, served an LDS mission, and received his Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Utah. He began his teaching career at ISU, and taught from 1960 to 1997, and he won the Distinguished Teacher award in 1989.

Hofman was one of alumnus Wade Tolman’s most influential teachers and mentors. Tolman first took a class with Hofman as an engineering student. He said he was captivated by the concepts, logic and clarity of the economics material, but also enjoyed Hofman because he was knowledgeable, personable and engaging. At the end of that semester, Tolman knew that he wanted to pursue a major in economics, and was accepted to the program by Hofman.

Tolman remembers a job offer he received 1 ½ years before graduation that would have required him to quit school. He asked Hofman what he should do about the offer, and the advice made a big impact on Tolman’s life. 

“He simply looked at me like I had lost my mind and said, ‘Listen! If they want you now, they will want you even more when you graduate. So stick with the program.’ He was right,” Tolman said. “I stuck with the program, graduated and enjoyed a wonderful, fulfilling career in large measure because of Dr. Hofman.”

When Tolman retired, he came back to Pocatello and found Hofman in his office. He said they enjoyed a wonderful reunion together, and he was able to thank Hofman for being one of the most influential teachers and mentors in his life.

Hofman’s funeral was held on Jan. 7 in Pocatello, and Idaho State University lowered their flag in honor of him on Janu.12. At his funeral, it was Hofman’s wish that in lieu of flowers, guests took their families to dinner. The College thanks Hofman for his dedicated service to his students, department, and Idaho State University during his tenure.

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