Two Fort Lewis College faculty members have been selected for the first professorship and award endowments in the institution’s history, thanks to generous donor funding and an elevated approach to faculty support from the FLC Foundation.
FLC Foundation Director Gene Bradley and his wife Sally created the Bradley Family Professorship in the School of Business Administration. FLC Foundation Director and alumnus Ray Boucher (Political Science and Business Administration, '80) created the Boucher Faculty Award in Political Science.
“Our faculty are at the heart of our students’ learning experiences, and our generous donors are thinking big and long-term about ways they can support them,” said Melissa Mount, CEO of the FLC Foundation and vice president of Advancement. “Having two of our Foundation directors create the very first named endowed faculty award and professorship in the College’s history demonstrates a deep commitment to the future of the College.”
Professor of Management Michael Valdez is appointed the inaugural holder of the Bradley Family Professorship, and Associate Professor of Political Science Paul DeBell is receiving the Boucher Faculty Award.
“I am honored to receive this award and grateful to the Boucher family for supporting our growing civic engagement work on campus,” DeBell said. “This is another important step towards fostering a culture in which every Skyhawk is empowered to positively impact the issues and problems they care about through effective and informed civic engagement.”
A unique approach
The donor-driven professorship and faculty award are part of the FLC Foundation's multi-faceted approach to supporting faculty. Following the Bradleys’ passion for business education and entrepreneurship and Boucher’s passion for political science, the endowments set faculty up to advance their respective disciplines and do what they do best—support student success.
"This is a uniquely FLC approach to supporting faculty. Faculty are the catalysts for students being able to put knowledge into action; these endowments will further our student-centered mission by acknowledging the faculty who have impacted students’ lives. We look forward to working with Advancement to develop more ways to recognize our faculty."
“This is a uniquely FLC approach to supporting faculty,” said Cheryl Nixon, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs. “Faculty are the catalysts for students being able to put knowledge into action; these endowments will further our student-centered mission by acknowledging the faculty who have impacted students’ lives. We look forward to working with Advancement to develop more ways to recognize our faculty."
Named professorships and faculty awards are two of the highest honors a college can bestow. The Bradley Family Professorship is a three-year, Dean-selected appointment and a $20,000 annual award. The Boucher Faculty Award is a two-year, Dean-selected appointment and a $1,000 annual award.
Funding can be applied to research and program expenses, professional development or travel expenses, grant proposals, and salary. Beyond expenses, the endowments recognize the incredible value and important work of FLC faculty. Both the Bradleys and Boucher wanted to support faculty with awards to cover whatever costs may emerge and help them take advantage of any opportunities to advance their own learning or enhance student engagement.
Donors think big and give back
“Fort Lewis gave so much to me. I can never say thank you enough to the faculty, the staff, and my fellow students,” Boucher said. “Through teaching, caring, and nurturing, my professors in the Political Science Department helped inspire me. I hope this small gift can bring the type of dedication and commitment from generations of professors that will inspire many students to come.”
“Sally and I have never been more excited about all the positive things going on at Fort Lewis College,” Gene Bradley said. “Most important to us is the strong foundation being built that will ensure strong viability in the years ahead. We believe what we are doing will be helpful to this process.”
The professorship and faculty award are supported through outright and annual gifts during the donors’ lifetimes to establish endowments and bequests to grow the endowments through the donors’ estates. These blended gifts represent the many different forms of funding the FLC Foundation is pursuing to support the faculty at the heart of students’ learning experiences and recognize them in meaningful ways.
“It is humbling and a privilege to receive Fort Lewis College’s first professorship. The enormous generosity and support Gene and Sally Bradley have provided over the decades to FLC is inspiring,” Valdez said. “Additionally, I am very thankful for all the hard work and support from the FLC Foundation, FLC administration, Dean Steve Elias, and the School of Business Administration faculty and staff to make this occasion a reality. I look forward to continuing to support FLC students and our community as well as grow FLC’s entrepreneurship program.”