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FLC's School of Business Administration receives  $10.4M gift, the largest in the College’s history

FLC's School of Business Administration receives $10.4M gift, the largest in the College’s history

The school will be renamed the Katz School of Business to recognize the gift, the largest for a business program at a college this size in Colorado

DURANGO – Local entrepreneurs and philanthropists Marc and Jane Katz are donating $10.4 million dollars to Fort Lewis College's School of Business Administration, the single largest gift in the College’s history.

The transformational gift will fund a wide range of initiatives, including a student-run marketing agency, a faculty and student development fund, and three endowed professorships, with the goal of providing robust student support and exceptional leadership in business education. 

In recognition of this unparalleled contribution, FLC is renaming SOBA to the Katz School of Business. This will be the first time the College names an entire academic school in honor of a family.

“I am deeply appreciative of the Katz family for their generous support of the School of Business,” said Katz School of Business Dean Steve Elias. “We have some of the most committed students, faculty, and staff, and this investment in them reinforces, and expands, the impact they have on the FLC community and beyond. I am exceptionally proud and honored to be part of Fort Lewis College and the Katz School of Business.”

While the gift is specific to the School of Business, it will help the College as a whole, said Melissa Mount, vice president of FLC Advancement and CEO of the FLC Foundation.

“We are very happy to support the business school at Fort Lewis College through the newly created Katz School of Business. The school will foster and encourage hands-on entrepreneurial experiences, while promoting connections made between the Katz School and the broader community. Our overarching goal is to strengthen programs that provide real-world and pragmatic business education to create business leaders for our future,”

- Marc and Jane Katz

“The Katz family has profoundly impacted Durango, enhancing economic opportunities and fostering collaborations that leverage our region’s unique strengths,” she added. “This transformative gift to FLC builds on their legacy of generosity with community at the heart. Beyond supporting our business school programs, this gift will catalyze life-changing impacts on our students and the communities they will go on to serve after their time at FLC and the Katz School of Business. We’re honored to be the Katz family’s philanthropic partner.”

Marc Katz is the co-founder of Mercury Payment Systems. He and his wife Jane have been focused on ways to effect positive changes in Durango and beyond.

The Katz family donation will provide:

  • Scholarships to help recruit and support students enrolled in the Katz School.
  • Dollar-for-dollar matching support for a scholarship program that provides financial support for Indigenous business students.
  • Business Learning-in-Action Fund to support extracurricular activities for students to be career-ready with highly marketable skills through existing programming (such as the NASA Tech Transfer program, the Lockheed Martin Capture Management course, and the annual Hawk Tank Business Plan Competition) and support for student-run clubs like American Indigenous Business Leaders and Beta Alpha Psi.
  • A student-marketing agency to provide technical assistance for Durango-based businesses and non-profits.
  • An endowed deanship to help fund the dean’s priorities and to address emerging opportunities and challenges.
  • Up to three endowed professorships, one of the highest honors bestowed on faculty members. Funds will provide stipends to help recruit and retain the best and brightest faculty members in support of the Katz School and provide recipients with funding to innovate their teaching, research, and community engagement.
  • Faculty & Student Development Fund that provides funding for professional conferences, certificates, and exams desired by employers. 
  • Community Engagement Fund to support entrepreneurial, innovative, and small business development programming in the Durango community and Four Corners region. This funding is expected to optimize partnerships with community groups dedicated to economic development.

“Through the Katz School of Business, students can earn degrees in entrepreneurship, accounting, economics, marketing, business administration, and computer information systems,” Elias said. “The Katz family’s donation ensures these students can build the necessary skills to step into careers that support their personal economic mobility and that will improve their home communities.”

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