Equestrian photos to honor former Spanish instructor

Feb. 8, 2016

Hannah Harvey
[email protected]

It’s not often that an instructor has a significant impact on an entire community, even years after their death.

Andrea Herrera, director of the Women’s and Ethnic Studies department, in coordination with the Office of the Chancellor, is raising $500 to print and display equestrian photos to honor former senior Spanish instructor Margaret Mistry.

Mistry died in September 2013 after being hit by a car.

“Her death was a complete shock. She left a big hole here (at UCCS),” said Herrera.

Mistry was a languages and cultures instructor at UCCS for 30 years. She started the UCCS radio station, coordinated an annual event for International Women’s Day and was involved with theater and photography.

“She was involved in so many things on this campus. Nobody had any idea how involved with people’s lives she was,” said Herrera.

Mistry taught Herrera’s daughter Spanish and was a close friend.

Herrera started the Rosa Parks and Cesar Chavez scholarships on campus. The Cesar Chavez scholarship is also dedicated to Mistry, according to Herrera.

“She was a character. She had a wicked sense of humor. I just loved her, so many people loved her,” added Herrera.

The photos honoring Mistry will be displayed in the front entrance of Dwire Hall, where Mistry taught.

Equestrian photos were chosen because of Mistry’s love of animals. She bred Arabian horses with her husband for years.

Herrera coordinated the project with Eileen Skahill, a lecturer in the Department of Sociology. Skahill took and donated the three photos that will be used in Mistry’s memorial. The photos are of wild horses in Taos, New Mexico.

Skahill said she visits Taos frequently and photographs the horses every time she visits.

The photos are also a personal sentiment for Skahill to keep going during difficult times.

“I can’t really explain it; it’s just the beauty of it. It just reminds me to keep on keeping on. For me it’s, fundamentally, a reminder of the beauty of the natural world,” Skahill said.

Mistry was also a photographer, according to Skahill. She has no tie to Mistry, but is happy that her work can represent Mistry’s life and spirit.

“Just to be able to know that she would’ve been moved by the shots makes me happy,” said Skahill.

The opening reception for the photos has not yet been planned, but those who wish to donate may contact Herrera at [email protected]. The team plans to stop taking donations once they have reached the $500 mark.