Stephen Alan Roderick, a pillar of Fort Lewis College leadership for more than 30 years, died July 4, 2020, at age 75.
Roderick spent more than 30 years at FLC, starting as a Teacher Education professor in 1980 and then as department chair. From 1995 to 2011, he would serve as provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, in between two stints as interim president. He was known and loved in the FLC community, recognizable in the baseball cap he wore around campus often.
Roderick’s colleagues remembered him for his kindness, humor, and joy for Fort Lewis College.
"It's a sad day for Fort Lewis College and for me personally," says Steve Schwartz, chief operating officer and vice president of Finance & Administration. "Steve meant so much to so many of us. He challenged us to think deeply, to care about each other, and to laugh. Steve loved Fort Lewis College and his colleagues, and he wasn't afraid to show it. Knowing Steve made us better. He will be missed."
“I will miss Steve, as will many others,” says Greg Bell, FLC professor emeritus of Mathematics and former associate vice president of Academic Affairs. “He has been a great friend, a great colleague, and a very effective leader.”
“Steve was my lighthouse for over thirty years, professionally and personally,” says Peggy Sharp, former executive assistant to the president and secretary to the Board of Trustees. “He cared about students, colleagues, and family, whether it was his own or someone else's. Steve had a way of connecting with people and I always remember how, at any gathering at the College, he would circulate and talk with everyone. He was so intelligent, yet down to earth in how he interacted. He had an unmatched sense of humor, too. We laughed a lot!”
“I’ll always be grateful to Steve Roderick as he was so instrumental in my opportunity to work at Fort Lewis College, and was a colleague and supervisor who taught me to be a better professional person,” says Glenna Sexton, former vice president of Student Affairs. “Working with Steve was a joy. I loved his warm smile and quick laugh.”
As someone well-known and appreciated for making others feel special, FLC colleagues returned the favor when he retired in 2011 by writing, producing, and acting in “PROVOST: The Musical” in celebration of their friend. In his retirement he would return to campus regularly for Skyhawks Athletics events and stayed connected to the Teacher Education Department through his Stephen A. Roderick Endowed Scholarship Fund. Roderick donated to the scholarship fund throughout his time teaching, which he finished endowing in October 2016. The fund focuses on students working toward licensure as a teacher at the elementary, secondary, or K-12 level, with preference given to student-athletes with GPAs of 3.0 or higher.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Stephen A. Roderick Endowed Scholarship at Fort Lewis College. The family is planning a virtual memorial service and encourages submissions in the form of pictures or videos. Please share by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.