On Friday Fort Lewis College recognized Robert (Bob) Dolphin Jr.’s long and distinguished service to FLC by naming the Presidential Suite in his honor. Dolphin served as a passionate leader and educator, deeply involved in both the College and Durango community. He was unable to attend the reception, but was watching via a family member's social media livestream, and his wife Nancy Dolphin accepted the honor on his behalf.
Dolphin first arrived at FLC in 1984 as dean of the School of Business Administration and a professor of finance. Just two years later, he became vice president for business and finance and led the school through troubled financial times. In 2002, he took the helm of FLC as president. One of his first major responsibilities was to guide FLC into independence from the Colorado State University system. During his tenure as vice president and president, the campus infrastructure expanded with the completion of new buildings and renovation of others. One of his most significant achievements in terms of infrastructure was the complete rewiring of campus for high-speed Internet. Dolphin retired as president in 2004.
“I heard a great story from Shirena Trujillo Long, that even after Bob retired and after all he’d done for the College in the various roles he served, he came back and tutored students,” said President Tom Stritikus. “If there’s anything that could make me prouder to name the suite and have it hold his name, it’s that. There’s no story more emblematic of what Fort Lewis College is about.”
The ceremony honoring Dolphin and unveiling the newly named Presidential Suite was attended by family, friends, and FLC colleagues.
“It’s my distinct honor to be a small part of dedicating this space to Bob Dolphin who’s been my boss, a mentor, and my friend,” said Steve Schwartz, vice president of Finance & Administration. “It’s a really special thing that we’re doing here and it’s a really special thing that Bob did for the College. And not just how he built the College up but also what he did for the people here. Tom mentioned he mentored students, and he also mentored so many of us, and he mentored me.”
As a surprise, Schwartz presented a proclamation to Dolphin’s family from Fort Lewis College, stating October 11 is to be recognized as Dr. Bob Dolphin Jr. Day.