The Fort Lewis College Foundation brought in a record $4.6 million in donations in the last fiscal year for scholarships, athletics, research, building construction and other projects.
“Every corner of campus was impacted,” said Mark Jastorff, FLC’s vice president for advancement.
The donations allowed the college to start 19 new scholarship funds and set up a microgrant program to help students with unexpected financial emergencies, such as car repairs and medical expenses, to help them stay in school.
Jastorff credited FLC’s new president, Tom Stritikus, and his team for the strong fundraising across many different departments.
“Tom’s vision and energy has really opened the doors to lots of conversations,” he said.
The foundation also received the largest donation in its history this year from the Busby family, which contributed to setting the record, Jastorff said. The Durango family’s donation set up a new scholarship fund and will help build the new Health Sciences Center, which will replace Whalen Gym. However, the amount of the donation was not released.
Fundraising for the Health Sciences Center is the priority for the foundation in the new fiscal year, which started in July, Jastorff said.
The center is expected to be 52,000 square feet and include classrooms, an auxiliary gym and athletic training and sports medicine facilities, among many other amenities.
The foundation is planning to finish raising $3.2 million for the new building over the next 18 months, Jastorff said. The school has raised $1.2 million for the building thus far.
The funding is needed to supplement the almost $28 million the school is requesting from the state to build the new center and having it raised will help the school make a strong case to the state, he said.
“We are confident we are going to get the approval,” he said.
The foundation does not set total annual fundraising goals, so Jastorff could not say how much the foundation is looking to raise in the next year. But the foundation could set a new record, he said.
“We are seeing some real traction. ... We are better now at telling our story and the work that our faculty and students do,” he said.