Since Fort Lewis College moved its campus to Durango, the two entities’ futures and fortunes have been intimately intertwined -- as have their personalities, their households, their activities, and even some of their property. You could say, it’s been a 60-year-long happy marriage.
Durango in a very real sense is two places interlaced, two personalities interacting, two micro-cultures intermingling. However you describe it, after six decades the mesa and the valley, the campus and the town, are interwoven, needing each other, shaping each other, and evolving together. And they teach and learn from each other.
It’s a powerful symbiosis, and like in a successful marriage the result of that coupling is greater than just the sum of the parts. And both partners benefit.
Today, we can no longer imagine Fort Lewis College without Durango as its source of collaborators and mentors, and its connection to the larger world.
Of course, this couple wasn’t always together -- at first they were just neighbors. From its inception as a military fort in 1880 to the establishment of a two-year agricultural college in the Colorado State A&M system in the 1940s, the various incarnations of the school bearing the name “Fort Lewis” were located at the site of the original military fort in Hesperus, 25 miles west of Durango.
Since moving to Durango in 1956 when the College took up residence on top of Reservoir Hill, overlooking the city, FLC has continued to grow, change, and mature hand-in-hand with its partner, the city of Durango.
Those shared prosperous fortunes are no accident. Because at the heart of both FLC and Durango lies a deep love for and connection to the western slope of the Rocky Mountains and the high-desert Southwest -- and all the history, culture, landscapes, experiences, adventures, challenges, learning opportunities, and diversity that this magical place implies and offers.
And it’s that setting that binds all of us, whether we’re here for four years or a lifetime.
Today, we can no longer imagine Fort Lewis College without Durango as its anchor, hometown, collaborator, mentor, and connection to the larger world.
And you couldn't have Durango as we know it without Fort Lewis College: With students from 46 states, 23 countries, and more than 160 American Indian tribes and Alaskan Native villages, FLC infuses Durango with a youthful energy that keeps this historic town cutting fresh tracks.
Fort Lewis College and Durango: Six decades later, still bettering each other, like good partners should.