Two Fort Lewis College alumni have left theater and business administration students one of the largest donations in the school’s history.
Myrtle and Warren Nord gave the school $506,000 and property that will be sold, for scholarships.
“It’s gratifying to see Fort Lewis College alumni give back to their alma mater in such an important way,” said Keith Newbold, vice chairman of the FLC Foundation in a statement. “With this gift, the Nords are investing in the lives of the future FLC students who will walk in their footsteps.”
The Nords’ donation will be invested and the interest awarded as renewable scholarships in perpetuity, said Mark Jastorff, vice president for advancement at FLC.
Students in the FLC Theatre Department and School of Business Administration will receive the first round of scholarships this year, Newbold said. Jastorff expects at least two students will receive scholarships in the fall.
The Nords attended FLC later in their lives and earned degrees in English in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They lived in the Four Corners for years and were active in the community.
Myrtle Nord wrote a student theater production as an FLC student and went on to become a prolific writer who won awards as a playwright, poet, feature and fiction writer. She moved to Tucson, Arizona, later in life.
Warren Nord worked for Farmers Insurance Co. and later taught business classes at Durango High School from 1968 to 1976. He died in 1999.
Newbold was one of Nord’s high school students and remembered him as formal gentleman.
“He always came in a coat and tie carrying a briefcase, which was a little atypical,” Newbold said.
After Myrtle died in 2015, FLC was informed of the couple’s donation.
“This took us a little bit by surprise because the Nords hadn’t had any recent involvement with the college,” Newbold said.
It took a little while for the college for to receive the donation because part of the estate had to be liquidated, Jastorff said. The college received the first $250,000 last spring and the rest recently.
The couple did not pass along any specific plan to the school about their donation for business and theater students.
“We just don’t know what fueled that passion and that decision,” Jastorff said.
Donations of this size are rare, but they are becoming more common, he said.
The college has a little more than $1 million to give away in scholarships each year, Jastorff said. However, not all of the money is given away each year because some scholarships have specific requirements.