SALT LAKE CITY – Bruce Bastian, co-founder of WordPerfect and head of the B.W. Bastian Foundation, died Sunday, June 16, 2024 at the age of 76. Westminster University would like to express our most sincere condolences to his husband, Clint Ford, as well as the Bastian family.   

Bruce will be remembered as a key figure in Utah’s tech industry, a philanthropist, an advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community, and a generous benefactor to many non-profit organizations and causes through the B.W. Bastian Foundation. One of the causes is the Bastian Foundation Diversity Lecture Series, which has taken place at Westminster University for the past 23 years. 

Dr. Beth Dobkin, president of Westminster University, greatly appreciates Bruce's contributions to Westminster and his friendship.

"Bruce was both a generous supporter of Westminster and a joy to engage with personally. Randy and I valued the friendship extended by both Bruce and Clint, and we will both miss Bruce and honor his legacy," she says.

One of Westminster University's signature initiatives, the Bastian Foundation Diversity Lecture Series explores a range of topics and perspectives through creative and innovative presentation formats that align with Mr. Bastian's philosophy of featuring ideas, stories, lived experiences, and expressions that deserve value, attention, and respect. We wish to express our gratitude to the B.W. Bastian Foundation, which is committed to supporting programs and organizations that benefit, promote, and preserve individual rights and equality for the LGBTQIA+ community.  

At Westminster’s 2012 commencement ceremony, Bruce Bastian delivered the commencement address and received an honorary doctorate in humanities. In his speech, he counseled graduates to be themselves. 

“I hope you’ll remember these simple thoughts: Be yourself. Don’t try to be anyone else. Trust in yourself to find your own happiness. No one else will find it for you. The happier you are, the more successful you’ll be, and the happier you will make those whom you love. Most of all, follow your heart. Never, ever, stop dreaming.” 

About Bruce Bastian 

Born in Twin Falls, Idaho, Bruce Wayne Bastian was a computer programmer, businessman, philanthropist and social activist. Bastian received a BA in music education and an MA in computer science from Brigham Young University. 

In 1978, Bastian co-founded the WordPerfect Corporation with Dr. Alan Ashton. Until the merger of WordPerfect and NOVELL in 1994, Bastian served as chairman of WordPerfect Corporation. He also led all international operations of the company as WordPerfect became the best-selling program of its kind in the U.S. and other countries around the globe. 

Bastian held a strong belief that people are inspired by the arts. Because of this, he was a long-time supporter of many performing arts organizations, including Ballet West, the Utah Symphony, and the Utah Opera. 

Bruce BastianBruce Bastian