Fort Lewis College
is a small public liberal arts college
and is a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges
nestled between the San Juan Mountains
and canyon country in Durango
. The college is famous for its outdoor activities as well as a relatively notable academic program.
Of the almost 4,000 students attending Fort Lewis College, almost 20% are Native American
. The college's creation was part of a treaty agreement in 1911 when the region's Indian tribes ceded land to the federal government. In exchange for the land, the government promised that Fort Lewis College would offer qualified Native Americans tuition-free education in perpetuity.
Fort Lewis College strives to offer academic, cultural, and service programs. Students can choose from 86 academic specialties in creating an individualized educational experience.
In addition to academics, Fort Lewis College offers cultural, athletic, and professional programs:
- An AACSB International Accreditation signifies a business program as being among the “Best Business Schools in the World.” The Fort Lewis College School of Business Administration was the first undergraduate public liberal arts-based business institution to received AACSB accreditation, and today is one of only four public liberal arts business schools in the world to be accredited.
- The Fort Lewis College Center of Southwest Studies serves as a museum and research facility. The Center has been honored by the Colorado Commission of Higher Education as a program of excellence in state-funded higher education.
- The Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College is the premier performing arts venue for Southwestern Colorado and the entire Four Corners area, bringing diverse performers from all over the world to Durango.
- Receiving the Colorado State Small Business Development Center Star Award in 2004, the Fort Lewis College Small Business Development Center provides business start-up and growth assistance, plus courses on how to start a business.
- At the 2007 USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships, Fort Lewis College won both the men's and women's Division I team time trial events.
College and community
Durango serves the Four Corners as the economic and cultural hub of region and the college offers a number of programs that reach out to this community:
- The Fort Lewis College Office of Community Services assists local communities, students, and faculty to improve academic, social, economic, and the ecological well-being of the Four Corners region.
- With Community Business Partnerships, Fort Lewis College offers the community an opportunity to enrich the academic lives of our students. Among our partners are First National Bank of Durango, sponsors of the New Business Venturing Program, and the Durango Herald, sponsors of the Family Business Forums.
- KDUR-FM Community Radio provides a bridge between the college and La Plata County with music, public affairs, and alternative news programming. The station provides educational and training opportunities for students and community members alike.
- In 2006 the Ft. Lewis Mens's soccer team won the Div. II national title with a stunning 32 wins and just one tie.
Fort Lewis originated when the U.S. Army
post of the same name was abandoned and a school for Native Americans established on the site. In 1911 courses in agriculture were added with some college courses in 1925. In 1933 the curriculum was limited to college level courses and in 1948 Fort Lewis became a junior college. It moved to Durango in 1956 first granting baccalaureate degrees in 1964. Fort Lewis was part of the Colorado State University System under the governance of the State Board of Agriculture. An independent board of trustees currently governs Fort Lewis College.