Welcome to life after graduating FLC

We are the Fort Lewis College Alumni Engagement Office, your hub for staying connected and engaged with our vibrant alumni community. Regardless of when you graduated, our goal is to support and enhance your relationship with Fort Lewis College.

We foster lifelong connections, celebrate your achievements, and provide valuable opportunities for networking, professional development, and personal growth through events, career services, mentorship programs, and community initiatives.

This is a dynamic and inclusive space where alumni thrive, contribute, and make a lasting impact. Join us as we build upon the legacy of Fort Lewis College and celebrate the journeys of our alumni.

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Alumni stories

Alumni-owned marketing agency sets the bar at least 6,582 feet high
Brewer, Ben

Alumni-owned marketing agency sets the bar at least 6,582 feet high

Like many former Front Rangers, Ben Sorensen (Marketing, ’13) moved from Denver to Durango to play.

“I came for football and stayed for everything else,” Sorensen said.

When he wasn’t defending the Skyhawks as a cornerback for the Fort Lewis College football team, Sorensen studied Marketing in FLC’s School of Business Administration. The major was a natural fit for him considering he was a Business Marketing State Champion in high school. He said the practical coursework in his FLC business classes prepared him to work with local businesses long before graduation. During his sophomore year, Sorensen tackled an assignment to build a Facebook page for a nonprofit in Cortez.

“That project allowed me to apply what I learned in the classroom and then prepared me to talk knowledgeably with business owners,” Sorensen said. “After graduating from FLC, I didn’t just have a degree; I had real-life experience. There were many measurable moments like that.”

Sorensen got a job selling advertising for Ballantine Communications Industry, a Durango-based newspaper corporation. He worked at BCI for nine years, and in 2021, stepped away from his corner office and position as the director of sales to start his own business, Ascent Digital Agency.

“I’m chasing the dream,” Sorensen said. “I figure the worst-case scenario is that I go all in on something I believe in. I think my entrepreneurial spirit helps when working with small business owners. They’ve got it all on the line, too.”

With clients scattered from the East to West coasts and three offices located in Durango, Billings, Montana, and Charlotte, North Carolina, Ascent offers a range of digital marketing services geared toward small businesses. Sorensen and his team recently celebrated their 100th client.

“Our secret to success is our overwhelming commitment to customer service,” Sorensen said. “We have two philosophies: go above and beyond, and givers gain. We believe the best way to grow our business is to grow other businesses.”

Ascent soars on Skyhawk wings

As Ascent continues to flourish, Sorensen and his business partner Brittany See (Psychology, ’15) seek out opportunities to partner with FLC, serving as a banner sponsor for the 2022-23 Skyhawk Athletics season. Sorensen is also a mentor in the newly launched Springboard Fellowship program, supporting underserved, hard-working students who are excited about their future careers.

"We started with the intention of finding how we could take marketing to the next level by offering high-quality services that make real impacts on real, local businesses. We wanted to fill in the gaps."

Ben Sorensen

The startup also taps into up-and-coming talent from FLC. Sorensen and See hired Peyton Rutkowski (Journalism & Multimedia Studies, ’21) as Ascent’s photographer and videographer and David Jimenez (ATT 2018-20) as a project manager.

In 2021, Kuriko Stoddard, a senior majoring in communication design, came on board as Ascent’s dynamic intern. Stoddard has been busy creating ad designs, writing blogs, running social media, and more. Sharing a Skyhawk tale as old as time, Stoddard said she moved to Durango to attend FLC for its small class sizes and connections to professors. She earned her Digital Marketing Certificate through SOBA and blends that knowledge with her passion for graphic design to deliver the “non-cookie-cutter, customizable solutions” that Ascent is known for.

“I love having the chance to help people's businesses succeed,” Stoddard said. “Being able to work directly with clients and help them build an online presence and online success is one of the most fulfilling things I do.”

There’s no business like a Skyhawk business

When hiring, Sorensen said that Skyhawks stand out thanks to FLC’s hands-on learning environment.

“Once budgets are on the line, you quickly see how what you learned in class applies to actual people and their businesses,” Sorensen said. “You can get a marketing education anywhere, but we want to hire people who share our values.”

Sorensen added that it’s important to him and the community that these students do not have to flee Durango to the Front Range to launch their careers.

“In a world where consumers are spending their time online, what we’re doing is in high demand,” he said. “And the talent here is huge. It’s been so fulfilling, knowing that we’re creating jobs in Durango for FLC graduates. We’re making a real impact on several people who call Durango home.”

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Alumni in the Media

FLC Summits

An alumni story video series

FLC Summits S2 E3 | Reed Clément FLC Summits S2 E3 | Reed Clément

FLC Summits S2 E3 | Reed Clément

Reed Clément, English Communications ’05, created his own degree emphasis in videography while at FLC. After graduating, Reed headed for the locus of all things cinematic, Los Angeles, California. He now heads up Netflix’s CREATIVE LABS division at their Hollywood branch headquarters. Reed discusses his time at FLC, how it changed him, and how what he learned at the school informs his work today.
Justin Beals (English-Theatre, '95) Justin Beals (English-Theatre, '95)

Justin Beals (English-Theatre, '95)

In the fall of 2022, entrepreneur Justin Beals stopped by the school to have a look at his old haunts. Beals has built a career in cybersecurity and credits his success to time spent pacing the boards of the FLC Mainstage, where he learned to tell stories.
Jacquelene & Angelo McHorse Jacquelene & Angelo McHorse

Jacquelene & Angelo McHorse

In 2012, FLC alums Jacquelene and Angelo McHorse started Bison Star Naturals, a small family business whose products are made with organically, naturally and locally sourced ingredients. FLC caught up with the McHorses to chat about their time at FLC, their approach to entrepreneurialism and community, and their plans for the future!
Ray Boucher Ray Boucher

Ray Boucher

1980 Class President Ray Boucher talks about life at the Fort in the Seventies, bed racing, his professors and the importance of conviction.
P.T. Wood (Business Administration, '90) P.T. Wood (Business Administration, '90)

P.T. Wood (Business Administration, '90)

P. T. Wood isn’t the first person to have his life changed on a river trip. Nor is he the first to imbibe some liquid spirits on said trip. But for Wood, the convergence of the two has led to a life and occupation in one of those unique mountain-lifestyle ways: as a distiller and mayor of a thriving Colorado mountain town.
Joshua Been (Art '99) Joshua Been (Art '99)

Joshua Been (Art '99)

For Joshua Been, a career in art has been an art unto itself. As a working artist, change, adaptability, and growth – as well as the U.S. Army and the wildlands of the American West -- have been essential to his success. And that eclectic, self-crafted path was enabled by his ability to carve his own academic vision – both personally and professionally – at FLC.
Ricardo Caté (Education, '06) Ricardo Caté (Education, '06)

Ricardo Caté (Education, '06)

The most prominent Native American cartoonist working today, Marine veteran, speaker, and standup comedian Ricardo Caté was employed by the Santa Fe New Mexican immediately after his graduation from FLC in 2006 to publish a daily single-panel cartoon called “Without Reservation,” which he had created while working for FLC’s student newspaper, The Independent.
Chris Schauble (Broadcast Journalism, '91) Chris Schauble (Broadcast Journalism, '91)

Chris Schauble (Broadcast Journalism, '91)

Every kid has their favorite TV show. For Chris Schauble it was the evening news. That early obsession led to a career in broadcast journalism that has spanned thirty years, five daytime Emmy Awards, and six Golden Mikes. These days Chris is the morning news anchor for Los Angeles’ KTLA, serving the second-largest media market in the United States.