Between the 1950s and the 1970s, the FLC Student Senate transformed a two-day fundraiser into a weeklong, raucous community affair sponsored by local businesses and individuals. The fun and games drew Durango residents to campus to help raise money for students who couldn’t afford medical care. Events over the years included cake auctions, sock hops, bowling tournaments, motorcycle rallies, tug-o-wars, “raunchiest shoes on campus” contests, and the legendary bed races, which were resurrected in 2019 by Durango’s renowned Snowdown Winter Carnival.
Residence halls hosted Heart Fund Week events, like sock hops.
Residence halls hosted Heart Fund Week events, like "raunchiest shoes on campus" contests.
Left to right: Heart Fund Week 1966: Ned Wallace, dean of students; John Black, student body president; John F. Reed, FLC president; J.A. Browning, local physician.
On February 12, 1971, the Fort Lewis Independent newspaper declared “Heart Fund Week Successful,” after they raised $2,393.54 (roughly $15,675 in today’s dollars!). The event that year kicked off with a Student Senate-Faculty basketball game organized in part by Duane Smith, professor emeritus of History; the faculty team won 66-61.
While the Heart Fund no longer exists, its collaborative essence carries on through Durango’s Snowdown celebration each February.
Live from Durango, it’s KIUP! In 1935, Durango’s first local radio station, KIUP, launched in the Four Corners. FLC staff and students often partnered with the station to present music shows, dramatic readings replete with sound effects, and informational programs on a range of topics from “post-war business opportunities” to “dairying.” Legendary dorm mother and professor at the Old Fort, Margaret Good (pictured far right), often oversaw the collaborations. KIUP still broadcasts today on 930 AM, featuring programs from ESPN Radio.
Back in the day, FLC students and staff shared music, campus news, dramatic readings, and more on Radio KIUP.
Legendary dorm mother and professor at the Old Fort, Margaret Good (pictured far right), often oversaw Radio KIUP collaborations with FLC students.
FLC cycling alumnae Kira Payer (ATT '17-20) and Sarah Sturm (Art, ‘12) went one-two in the women's pro road race at the 50th Annual Iron Horse Bicycle Classic.
Dale Garland (Psychology, '82), a teacher at Durango High School, will retire after 31 years of teaching social studies and, according to students, life lessons about mindset and positivity.
The Steamworks Half Marathon returned to Durango after a two-year hiatus, with Makiah Salzano (Business Administration, '22) winning the women’s race and finishing sixth overall in 1:28:09.
Charine Pilar Gonzales (English-Communication, '18) received the Native American Writers Accelerator Grant, a $10,000 award from the Native American Media Alliance that comes with professional support to help recipients develop their television writing craft, pitch their projects, and bolster their careers.
The Native American Media Alliance also announced Joshua Emerson (Economics, '19) as a fellow for the 2nd Annual Native American Writers Seminar, a month-long intensive program that develops emerging writers who are new to writing for film and television.
Since graduating from FLC, water rights activist and snowboarder Teal Lehto (Environmental Studies, '20) has worked to preserve waterways in the Southwest with Indigenous teachings in mind. She was recently featured in the REI film "Spirit of the Peaks."