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.
Born and raised in Ignacio, Colorado, Chris deKay (American History, '93) is now the new superintendent of Ignacio School District. deKay has been with the district in various roles for the last 25 years.
Emily Johnson (Biology, '19) looks to traditional values of Indigenous peoples for lessons on how humanity should band together and reconnect with the planet for a sustainable future.
Natalie Benally (Theatre, '10) has been named a Cultural Capital Fellow by the First Peoples Fund, an organization whose mission is to honor and support First Peoples artists and culture-bearers through grants, awards, and fellowships.
Alumna Violette Cloud (Philosophy, '13) has joined the Policy Research Associates criminal justice team as a project associate. PRA is a national leader in behavioral health and research that works to create positive social change for people and communities through technical assistance, research, and training.
Alumna Kelly Koskie (Accounting, '96) has returned to the Four Corners after 15 years in the Midwest to serve as the new finance director of the City of Cortez, Colorado.
Illustrator Michaela Goade (Art, '14) became the first Native American to win the prestigious Randolph Caldecott Medal for best children’s picture story, cited for “We Are Water Protectors,” a celebration of nature and condemnation of the “black snake” Dakota Access Pipeline.