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.
James Plate (Business Administration, '14) and Max Fields (Environmental Studies, '15) didn't expect to pursue careers as farmers and ranchers, but thanks in part to their education at Fort Lewis College—and their awesomely apt names—they're finding wild success in the local agriculture industry.
Cyclists know how to endure some good suffering and one of the toughest races may be a new quasi-informal competition in Colorado. The LeadBoat Challenge, a linkage of two well-known bike races, celebrated Sarah Sturm (Art, '12) and Payson McElveen (Exercise Science, ’16) with podium finishes last weekend.
Elise Boulanger (Studio Art & Design, '21) was featured in The Durango Herald for her curatorial work on the Center of Southwest Studies exhibit “Throughline: FLC Student Works Inspired by the Center’s Collections."
After graduating from Fort Lewis College, Darcy Peter (Environmental Biology, '17) returned to her home state of Alaska for a one-month Arctic research program. After a summer of field research on her homeland, Peter says she's found her dream job.
Aurum Labs, an alumni-owned cannabis testing facility in Durango, received a new certification through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to conduct hemp compliance testing for manufactured industrial hemp products. Fort Lewis College alumni account for nearly half of the employees at Aurum Labs, which is owned by Luke Mason (Chemistry, '05) and Liz Mason (Chemistry-Biochemistry, '05).
Ricardo Caté (Education, '06) received the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. The governor's awards celebrate the foundational role that artists, art, and supporters play in the state.