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.
Last Friday, Fort Lewis College inducted five individuals and one team to its sports Hall of Fame, including Bob Hofman, the 1984 FLC football team, Susan Sagle, Joe Moore, DeAndre Lansdowne, and Chris Aaland. Inductees were recognized for their contributions to FLC both on and off the field.
Indian Country Today journalist Jourdan Bennett-Begaye (Athletic Training, ‘13) worked with Johns Hopkins University to build a COVID-19 tracking map and data for tribal nations. Built in just 18 months, this map empowers Indigenous communities to make scientifically informed decisions in their fight against COVID-19.
Co-owners of Bison Star Naturals, Jaqueline McHorse (Agricultural Sciences, ‘11) and Angelo McHorse (Agricultural Sciences, ‘12), have opened an organic soaps factory in Taos. Beginning with a desire to incorporate natural products in their everyday lives, the husband and wife team has rapidly expanded the business since launching in 2018.
In a stunning display of sea-like light and color, Chad Colby, Professor of Art & Design, works with former Fort Lewis College students Lexis Loeb and Hayley Kirkman to produce a piece for Meow Wolf’s new galaxy space in Denver.
Fort Lewis College alumnus and Indigenous ultrarunner Christian Gering (Environmental Studies, ‘15) is collaborating with running outfitter Janji on the design of their new “American Southwest Collection.”
Since 2004, Andra Cirbo (Business Administration-Marketing, ‘92), has built an extensive career working at the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility. Now a Correctional Support Trades Supervisor III Captain, Cirbo manages massive kitchens in two correctional facilities that provide meals for offenders and vocational training for their re-entry.