• Legislature authorized 2-year college work at Fort Lewis. It was to be known as a branch of Colorado State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (the former CSU). Twenty-seven students attended the fall session.
  • From 1927 until 1933, Fort Lewis was both a high school and a two-year college under the guide of Colorado A&M (later changed to Colorado State University).


  • Volunteer Fire department organized to protect campus buildings. All male students were expected to be members.


  • Lory Hall completed as girls dormitory on Southwest corner of parade grounds.


  • 112 college students and 47 high school students enrolled.


  • Fort Lewis High School closed.
  • Ninety students were enrolled in college courses.
  • Football team organized.


  • Dean Snyder died from an injury suffered in a fall.
  • Ernest Bader assumes Dean responsibilities.
  • Football field built south of campus.


  • Publication of Fort Lewis Collegian began.


  • A Fort Lewis Cadet, the student yearbook, first published.
  • A museum containing a large private collection of archaeological material, consisting of fine specimens of Basket-maker III, and Pueblo II and III pottery and artifacts were loaned to the institution.
  • Western Colorado Power Company lines reached Fort Lewis to replace generators in Power House.


  • Construction of Library under the direction of the Public Works Administration. A grant from the Carnegie Foundation and money from the coal and gas royalties were used to buy books. By 1940, over 6000 titles were in the Fort Lewis library.
  • Fort Lewis joined a junior college league and became known as the Fort Lewis A&M Beavers (later changed to Aggies).
  • Vocation Agriculture curriculum for boys between 18 and 25 that had not finished high school.

1941-1945 (World War II)

  • No football team during war and gas rationing restricted the basketball team's travels.
  • Class days were shortened to allow students and faculty members to work in fields because of a shortage of labor.
  • Defense classes for vocational students in metal working, auto mechanics, woodworking and elementary electricity are conducted under the National Defense Plans.
  • Poultry houses were built by vocational students and old horse barn was rebuilt in 1941.
  • Only 9 men and 45 women were on campus in 1945.


  • 266 students attended Fort Lewis. This was more than twice the peak enrollment.
  • Apartment barracks were brought in from Fort Sumner, NM to house married GI's.
  • Veterans Institutional On-the Farm Program began. Instructors made home visits and taught men and women about farm management, livestock, agronomy and record-keeping. This government program paid all expenses and assisted 357 men and 4 women in the first year.


  • Dean Bader forced to resign. One of his last pleas was for Fort Lewis to separate from Colorado A&M.
  • College officially becomes Fort Lewis A&M under the control of the State Board of Agriculture.
  • Charles McLain , longtime assistant dean, was appointed acting dean.
  • Fort Lewis Newspaper renamed "Smoke Signals" to signify their independence from Colorado A&M.


  • Charles Dale Rea chosen as first President of Fort Lewis A&M


  • Because of its high per student cost and distance from the Front Range, there were several attempts to close Fort Lewis A&M during this time. Dr. Rea concluded that the costs would not be so high if the farm and the research were not figured in the college expenses. Dan Thornton, a Gunnison ranger, was elected governor and helped to defeat the bill designed to close Fort Lewis A&M.
  • Daily bus service from Durango to the campus began.


  • Governor Thornton signs bill authorizing a Fort Lewis "branch" on Reservoir Hill located on east side of Durango.


  • Fort Lewis A&M moved to Durango.