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Local family honored for gift to Health Sciences Center and scholarship fund

Local family honored for gift to Health Sciences Center and scholarship fund

A local family’s donation has established the Joseph & Clela Busby Scholarship Endowment, providing a scholarship fund and a significant boost to the construction of the Health Sciences Center on campus. On Friday, the family was recognized at the unveiling of a newly named amphitheater in their honor, the Joe & Clela Busby Amphitheater.

"It’s impossible to put into words what you made happen, so we celebrate you and toast you. Such an unassuming family and friends of the institution," said Mark Jastorff, vice president for Advancement.

The Busby's gift went in part toward the Health Sciences Center expansion and construction project. The HSC will be home to FLC’s largest academic program, Health Sciences. The program is comprised of exercise and health promotion, exercise and health promotion with teacher licensure, exercise physiology, sport administration, and public health majors. The HSC will provide much-needed teaching and undergraduate research facilities including new teaching spaces, classrooms, labs, as well as student study and social spaces. Additionally, the women’s athletic locker rooms will be upgraded, and the Whalen Gymnasium entrance and lobby area will be refreshed.

The gift brings the FLC Foundation closer to realizing their fundraising goal for the construction of the HSC. The Foundation and FLC are appealing to the State of Colorado for Capital Construction funding, about $27.9 million, and are fundraising the remaining cost through donations, grants, and partnerships, about $3.2 million. Pending legislative approval, construction would begin Summer 2020 and take an estimated 24 months to complete. 

“The donation from the Busby family plays a significant part in the Foundation realizing a goal decades in the making,” says Keith Newbold, FLC Foundation chair. "The contributions toward funding of the Complex and the student scholarships are real game-changers for Fort Lewis College, and the resultant benefits will be realized for generations to come.”

Part of the Busby's gift has also gone toward an unrestricted scholarship, allowing FLC flexibility in meeting student needs and enrollment trends as they arise. Distribution began in Fall 2019.

Joseph Busby, proprietor of Durango-based company Subsurface Machine and Manufacturing, was an international businessman and world-renowned inventor. Among his patents and successes is the creation of the drill bits used in tunneling, including those used for the ‘Chunnel’ that links England and France under the English Channel.

“My father was an innovator who understood the power of ideas and how they meshed with practicality. As a local entrepreneur who believed in opportunity and who conducted business around the world, he knew the value of Fort Lewis College to Durango, the Four Corners and beyond,” said Joseph & Clela’s daughter, Judi D'Aleo. “Our family is proud to play a role in the College’s future, and finds joy in knowing that generations of students will benefit from our commitment.”

Give Now to the Health Sciences Center

The FLC Foundation, Inc. exists solely to encourage, receive, invest and administer private funds in support of Fort Lewis College mission, projects, and initiatives as approved by the FLC Board of Trustees. Founded in 1969, the Foundation Board of Directors manages nearly $27 million in assets. The Foundation offers nearly $1 million annually in scholarships to deserving students, has provided philanthropic funding for capital construction and improvements, and provides funds that develop and enhance the FLC experience for students, faculty, staff, and the region.

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