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Summer 2006 Issue
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Preserving History and Community at NOLS Through the Base Camp Initiative
By Joanne Kuntz

Time is ticking. The finish line is in sight. The next six months is the homestretch of the NOLS International Base Camp Initiative, the five-year, $10 million campaign to build NOLS’ International Headquarters and to renovate the beloved Noble Hotel. Currently, it is the finishing touches on the Noble that need our final sprint effort to reach our campaign goal. Will you be with us at the finish line?

Hotel Renovation Update

Part of Lander’s rich history, and important to the NOLS heritage as well, the Noble Hotel demands a balance of functionality and aesthetics as it receives its facelift. Noble Renovations Manager, John Stoddard, explains the importance of both aspects to the renovation.

“During the time that I managed the Noble, enough things were problematic that most folks wanted to see some changes,” says Stoddard. “Not so much in the structure of the building, but the functionality. Better plumbing, better heat control. I’m most invested now in creating a facility that meets the needs of our guests.”

But Stoddard doesn’t underestimate the importance of preserving the historical feel of the hotel either. “I think in general, it’s just respect for the historical nature of the building,” he says, commenting on the special attention given to restoring and preserving certain features of the Noble.

Counted among the restoration projects are creating a replica of the stained glass skylight that has been missing since the ‘80’s, preserving the historical look of the building’s exterior including bringing the front windows back to their original size, cleaning and rewiring existing electrical fixtures so they will look historic but function to modern safety codes, and conserving as much of the intricately-tiled flooring on the first floor as possible. In addition to these restorations, the new Tap Tapley Archive Gallery will be constructed just inside the Main Street entrance on the first floor in order to highlight four decades of NOLS history.

Campaign Update

With the construction of Headquarters finished in 2002, support has been outstanding for the base camp initiative. And with just under one million dollars left to raise, NOLS is well on its way to successfully completing this campaign. Our challenge now is to reach the $9.5 million mark. The final $500,000 of our ultimate $10 million goal is guaranteed by the Kresge Foundation Challenge Grant — if the NOLS community raises $9.5 million by December 2006.

The Kresge Foundation supports a range of national and international non-profit organizations. According to the January 2006 report in our donors’ newsletter, Friends, Kresge grants are “‘bricks and mortar’ funds that go toward building program facilities,” just like the Noble and NOLS HQ. Specifically, the Kresge Challenge Grant is “designed to inspire private, corporate and foundation giving with the incentive to reach a campaign’s end goal.”

“Receiving the Kresge grant is a huge vote of confidence in our organization and in this campaign,” said NOLS Executive Director John Gans in Friends. “We know The Kresge Foundation does one of the most thorough checks of an organization’s integrity and stability, and we are very pleased to have the opportunity to challenge our donors with this incentive.”

Give simply, give to community

In the past, the Noble has housed both instructors and students and drawn in-town staff for meals and events. Since the renovation began, there hasn’t been the same sense of community in Lander or at NOLS Rocky Mountain. Restoring that community will be the most important preservation of all, and now is your chance to be a part of that effort.

To really leave your mark, take advantage of the naming opportunities at various giving levels. In the Noble Hotel specifically, $10,000 will allow you to name a dormitory room on the second or third floor after your unique experience with NOLS. And if $10,000 isn’t burning a hole in your pocket, remember that every little bit helps as we make our way to our $10 million goal. Thanks for being a part of our international community!

To give to the NOLS International Base Camp Initiative please contact our Development Office at 1-800-332-4280. Or you can give online at indicate specifically that the donation be used towards the NOLS Base Camp.

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