To Whom It May Concern:
On Wednesday, April 3, the college that I love insulted me. I attended Fort Lewis College in the late 1990s and until two days ago, had embraced it as my home.
My love for the Fort began when I was an 18-year old kid who had no idea what to do with her life. I was accepted at six different colleges and universities and chose Fort Lewis because of the small, family-like environment the college sold itself as. I tried out many different paths while at Fort Lewis, until I found my purpose and I found that purpose with the help of Chris Aaland. Chris was my boss in the Sports Information department, and under his tutelage, I was able to find my direction into sports journalism and public relations. Chris took me under his wing and I went from a green sports reporter, to editor-in-chief of The Independent and then on to a career in sports television.
Chris encompassed everything that FLC sold itself as – and I truly believe I would not be the person I am today without his guidance, dedication and selflessness. He was not just an employee in the Athletics' office - he was my teacher. When I heard that FLC fired him without cause, I was beside myself. He was what Fort Lewis had promised me back when I was a potential student – and he proved better than the Fort in the end.
Since I’ve graduated, I have held this institution in the highest regard. When they fired its greatest supporter, its champion for the last 20 years, a man who supported and loved thousands of students, FLC lost my trust and admiration. Shame on you both, President Thomas and Athletic Director Hunter. How dare you deny thousands of potential FLC students the guidance of such a man.
The tactics displayed on that day has tarnished the image of Fort Lewis College and I ask the community to band together and ask for the resignations of Thomas and Hunter, to restore some semblance of honor and respect that we should all expect from this college.