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1949 Fort Lewis Hall of Famer gives to help tomorrow’s Skyhawks

1949 Fort Lewis Hall of Famer gives to help tomorrow’s Skyhawks

Monday, November 21, 2016

Doug Kullerstrand
Doug Kullerstrand

The Fort Lewis College (FLC) Foundation has announced a donation of $11,000 from the estate of Doug Kullerstrand. The donation will go toward the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI), which benefits students from the Four Corners area. COSI comes with a dollar-for-dollar match from the state, meaning this $11,000 gift will add up to $22,000.

Mr. Kullerstrand’s connection to FLC goes back to when the school was a junior college named Fort Lewis A&M operating in Hesperus, CO. He played for Fort Lewis on the 1949 Aggies football team. Today the team holds a place in the FLC Athletic Hall of Fame as the first Fort Lewis football team to make the postseason. Every year the 1949 team players gather for a reunion. Click here for video of a recent gathering.

Mr. Kullerstrand passed away in early 2016, but his legacy will live on at Fort Lewis College, and for more than just what he accomplished on the field. His scholarship donation will go to help area students pursue their college goals. The COSI funds are available for any student, not just student-athletes.

Jordan Gillen
Jordan Gillen

Although his scholarship came from FLC Athletics, Skyhawk football player, Jordan Gillen, is a fitting example of how scholarships, regardless of where they come from, benefit students and their families.

Jordan grew up with strong connections to Fort Lewis College. His mother, Jill, attended FLC. “I remember her taking me with her to her summer classes when I was five or six,” he recalls, “so Fort Lewis has had a big influence in my life.”

He graduated from Durango High School and joined the Skyhawk Football team as a wide receiver. He’s currently a senior working toward an accounting degree.

“I chose to play football here because I am a local and I liked the idea of having a place to play that was close to home where my family could come to all the games,” Jordan explains.

When he first made the team, he did not receive a scholarship. Former FLC head coach, John L. Smith, saw Jordan put in the work and contribute to the team, and it paid off.

“After working hard and having a successful season Coach Smith said he was going to give me a scholarship, but I would have to earn it every season to be able to keep it,” Jordan says.

And earn it he did. This past season, Jordan caught 40 passes for over 500 yards and six touchdowns. He was also named to the 2016 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Football All-Academic team.

He will forever be remembered for the trick play that saw him throw the touchdown pass that gave the Skyhawks the upset win over the second-ranked team in the country, Colorado State University-Pueblo, in 2014.

“The scholarship I have been able to earn and keep through playing football has made it so I will not have school debt after college, which will really help me and my family moving forward.”

For more information on giving to Fort Lewis College, visit www.fortlewis.edu/giving.

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