Aspiring teachers at Fort Lewis College and Western State Colorado University just received a huge boost, thanks to an amazing lady and FLC pioneer: Roberta Barr. The Fort Lewis College Foundation has announced that the Robert M. Barr & Roberta Armstrong Barr Foundation has given $1.4 million for student scholarships in the College’s Teacher Education program.
“This is a huge gift for the College; the largest cash gift from an individual we have ever received,” says Gene Bradley, former chair of the FLC Foundation Board of Directors. “Roberta knew how important education was, and she was willing to invest in making sure the next generation of teachers had the best opportunities to be great.”
In addition to the gift to FLC, the Barr Foundation is giving almost $500,000 to Western State Colorado University’s teacher education program, and another $100,000 to scholarships from the Colorado State Grange. Combined, the Barr Foundation is giving around $2 million away, which represents the entirety of the Barr estate.
“I cannot adequately express my gratitude to the Barr Foundation for their generosity,” says FLC President Dene Thomas. “Roberta was a remarkable person and educator. Her service to Fort Lewis College over the years has secured her a prominent place in the history of this institution.”
The Barr Foundation has been a strong supporter of teacher education at Fort Lewis College through the years. Since it was formed in 2001, the foundation has given hundreds of thousands of dollars for student scholarships to FLC.
“Fort Lewis College also owes a debt of gratitude to Rod Humble and Judy Michalski for their administration of the Barr Foundation,” adds Mark Jastorff, FLC vice president for Advancement. “They have held true to Roberta and Robert’s mission of providing opportunities for the next generation and giving back to their community."
Support from people like Mrs. Barr has helped Fort Lewis College teach teachers for the past century. Examine a course catalog from the early 1900s when Fort Lewis was an agricultural high school and listed will be the “Theory and Art of Teaching” alongside courses like “Crop Raising,” “Soils,” and “Dairying.”
A century later, the Master of Arts in Education became the first graduate degree that Fort Lewis College has ever offered. The first graduates of the program walked across the stage at the Spring 2015 Commencement ceremonies.
Learn more about the Fort Lewis College Teacher Education program by visiting www.fortlewis.edu/ted.