Fort Lewis College News

News at Fort Lewis College

557 students fulfill their dreams

The Centennial medallion looms large by the Charles Dale Rea Clock Tower pictured on its front.

College transforms lives. Just listen to what these Fort Lewis students have to say:

  • "The small, tight community that FLC offers is clearly the reason I was transformed during my college years," says Geology major Trevor Ycas, from Boulder, Colorado. "The Fort Lewis Geosciences faculty prepared me to work in the wider world and transformed me into a communicative, outgoing professional. I used to doubt my abilities until FLC faculty reaffirmed them."
  • "Since coming to college I have traveled to three different countries, where I learned more about life than I ever expected -- and more about myself," says Shanti Johnson, a Political Science major from Pagosa Springs, Colorado. "I have had phenomenal professors who have inspired me, who have pushed me beyond what I thought were my limits, and who have shown me that I can do amazing work if I set my mind to it."
  • "Fort Lewis College helped me learn about myself as a student and what I would like to accomplish for my teaching career," explains Elisa Yazzie, an Interdisciplinary Studies major with a Teacher Education option from Tonalea, Arizona. "My professors helped and guided me to become an excellent elementary teacher, and I honestly feel fully prepared and ready to teach at any school."
  • "My college experience has allowed me to slip into my dreams," says Tarra Wixom, an Anthropology major from Canon City, Colorado. "My dreams have evolved since attending Fort Lewis because of the awe-inspiring environment found on campus. From the teachers to the mountains, I wake up every day excited to be living my dream and to continue on down life's path."

Ycas, Johnson, Yazzie, and Wixom are among the more than 500 students in the 48th baccalaureate class of Fort Lewis College will fulfill their dreams of an undergraduate degree when they receive their diplomas in the 2011 April Commencement on Saturday, April 30, in Whalen Gymnasium. Ceremonies will be held at 8:30 and 11:30 a.m.

Immediately following each graduation, the President's Office will host a reception in the Student Life Center lobby. All are welcome, free of charge.

This year's graduation event will also pay tribute to the College's Centennial, marking the 1911 transfer of Fort Lewis from the U. S. government to the state of Colorado to establish an agricultural school. To mark the anniversary, students in the 2011 graduation class will each receive a keepsake Centennial program, a commemorative medallion, and a unique diploma.

This year's Commencement address will be delivered by alumna Ann Brown. Brown is a fourth generation native of southwest Colorado, born and raised on the family farm near Cortez, Colorado, and she was among the first students to attend Fort Lewis College after the institution’s move to Durango in 1956. She graduated in 1958, with an Associate's degree in Education. She went on to found the Head Start program in Ignacio, Colorado, and oversee teacher training for Native American Head Start programs in Arizona and New Mexico. She also was elected to the Durango City Council, and served as Mayor of Durango from 1985-1986.

Graduation festivities kick off on Friday, April 29, with Junior/Senior Honors Convocations, which recognize outstanding students in each of the College's schools:

  • School of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences: Ballroom, Student Union
    Reception: 4 - 4:30 p.m., Ceremony 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
  • School of Natural and Behavioral Sciences: Room 130, Noble Hall
    Ceremony 3 - 4 p.m., Reception 4 - 4:30 p.m.
  • School of Business Administration: Vallecito Room, Student Union
    Reception 4 - 4:30 p.m., Ceremony 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
  • Teacher Education: Roshong Recital Hall, Jones Hall
    Ceremony 3 - 4 p.m., Reception 4 - 4:30 p.m.

Commencement ceremonies on Saturday begin at 8:30 a.m. for students graduating with majors in Accounting, Adventure Education, Athletic Training, Business Administration, Computer Science, Economics, Exercise Science, Interdisciplinary Studies, Marketing, and Psychology.

The 11:30 a.m. ceremony will include students graduating with majors in Agricultural Science, Anthropology, Art, Biology, Chemistry, English, Environmental Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, Geosciences, History, Humanities, Mathematics, Modern Languages, Music, Native American & Indigenous Studies, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Sociology, Southwest Studies, Spanish, Student Constructed Majors, and Theatre.

For more Commencement information, visit

Learn more about how Fort Lewis transformed this year's graduates in the Reflections viewbook.

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