One of the biggest supporters of the Colorado State University Rams will be honored with the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Athletic Award at the university’s Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner on April 29.
Lewis Nelson, who graduated from Colorado State in 1949 with a degree in civil engineering, has been a big supporter of the university and the Athletic department since his student days. He wholeheartedly supports Ram sports and, along with his late wife, Jean, created an endowed scholarship fund in athletics.
"Lew has been a dedicated and generous supporter of Colorado State University athletics for more than 30 years. Lew and his late wife Jean understood the important role intercollegiate athletics played in building pride for their alma mater," said Athletic Director Mark Driscoll. "It has always been Lew’s goal to instill the ‘Aggie Pride’ in our current students as well as our alumni and fans."
In 2002, the Nelsons created the Lewis J. and Jean Nelson Endowed Scholarship Fund in Athletics at Colorado State, combining their desire to help student-athletes reach their fullest potential while promoting the values that enabled the Nelsons to be successful in their lives. The scholarship recipients reflect the Nelsons’ ideals of character, a strong work ethic and a commitment to community service. The Nelsons also established the Lew and Jean Nelson University Greatest Need Fund that has provided the financial support for strategic initiatives such as the Bridges to the Future speaker series, which promotes American values through nationally renowned speakers visiting campus.
Recently, Lewis Nelson made significant financial contributions to the Hughes Stadium Renovation project in memory of his wife Jean, who passed away in 2003.
After graduating from Colorado State in 1949, Nelson began a 20-year career with the Bureau of Reclamation, a division of the U.S. Department of the Interior that manages water resources in the West. After his retirement, the Nelsons moved to Longmont where they continued to show their appreciation and support for the university and athletic program.
As season ticket holders for football, men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball, the Nelsons rarely missed a Colorado State athletic event. At the age of 87, Lewis Nelson still attends all home footballs games and is a member of the Ram Legacy Club and the 1870 Club.