The Fort Lewis College Native American Center has received a $1.6 million donation from the John and Sophie Ottens Foundation to cover the center’s annual costs and to support student needs.
The donation is the largest single cash gift in FLC history.
After 20 years of service and more than $5.2 million in grants to FLC, the John and Sophie Ottens Foundation, FLC’s largest benefactor in terms of total gifts, is winding down operations, FLC spokeswoman Lauren Savage said in a news release.
The Ottens Foundation’s embraced funding of the Native American Center in 2000.
“The recent gift from the John and Sophie Ottens Foundation to our Native American Center is timely and greatly appreciated as our Indigenous students need our support more than ever,” said Lee Bitsóí, FLC’s diversity collaborative director and special adviser to the president for Native American Affairs.
As of fall 2019, 41% of FLC’s diverse student body is represented by Native American and Alaska Native students from 177 tribes and villages around the country.