This year's Centennial celebration at Fort Lewis College commemorates the State of Colorado's establishment of the Fort Lewis School, an agricultural and mechanic arts high school in Hesperus, Colorado. The site, which had been the location of the original Fort Lewis army post and then the Fort Lewis Indian School, was deeded to the State of Colorado by the federal government.
Since its beginning in 1911, Fort Lewis has consistently responded to the changing needs for education in the area and in the state. Though Fort Lewis began as an agricultural high school, it evolved first into a two year junior college then into a four-year college. Another way Fort Lewis has been responsive was its move in 1956 from its remote location in Hesperus to its current location atop "Reservoir Hill" in Durango. Here, Fort Lewis has become the institution we know and love today: Colorado's designated public liberal arts college.
Yet whether it was called "Fort Lewis School of Agriculture, Mechanic and Household Arts" (1916-17), "Fort Lewis School of Agricultural, Pedagogical, Business and College Preparatory Courses" (1925-26), "Fort Lewis A&M College" (1949-50), or just "Fort Lewis College" (since 1964), Fort Lewis has remained distinctive for the constants that have defined it for 100 years: a deep connection with the region's amazing landscape, close and meaningful relationships between faculty and students, and a commitment to hands-on learning.
Fort Lewis College invites everyone to join in on the many events in 2011 that will commemorate, celebrate, remember, and reflect upon its first century. You can learn more about the Fort Lewis Centennial and watch for upcoming events at www.fortlewis.edu/centennial.
While this year's Centennial is about looking back, it also means looking ahead to the college's second century. To build a bridge to that future for today's and tomorrow's students who face the challenges of tough financial times, the Fort Lewis College Foundation has launched the Centennial Scholarship Campaign. The goal of the campaign is to raise $1 million to attract some of the best and brightest students in Colorado and the country to Fort Lewis College. Learn more and contribute at www.fortlewis.edu/centennialscholarship.
Photo caption: Nearly 200 Fort Lewis students showed their excitement for the Centennial by participating in the "100" picture.