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Spring 2007 Issue
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Summit Reached!

NOLS International Base Initiative: A Strong Finish to an Ambitious Campaign

Five years ago, NOLS undertook the International Base Camp Initiative, an ambitious campaign to raise funds that would create a strong foundation for the school’s future and a platform for its growth and continued distinction as the leader in wilderness education.

NOLS Alumni and Development staff (L-R: David Cowles, Pip Coe, Gary Wilmot and Michael Cheek) celebrate the success of the campaign.
Photo: Brad Chirstensen

Today, having exceeded our $10 million goal, we are proud to reach out and thank all of our alumni and friends who made this campaign so overwhelmingly successful.

NOLS is committed to providing the unique wilderness experience that gives our students the opportunity to learn practical leadership skills in remote and beautiful locations across the globe. Our 40-year legacy of excellence coupled with the newly laid groundwork for the future provided by the International Base Camp Initiative lets us look with keen anticipation to the bright opportunities ahead. Thank you for making this success possible!

Through the Base Camp campaign, we:

  • Provided a centralized operation center for NOLS courses worldwide through construction of the NOLS International Headquarters in Lander, Wyoming.
  • Created a home away from home for students and staff by renovating and restoring the historic Noble Hotel in downtown Lander.
  • Engaged a broad portion of our alumni and friends who reached out to support this initiative.
  • Dramatically increased our ability to provide top-quality student services through improved facilities.
  • Created a platform for the continued success of NOLS well into the future.
The reconstructed skylight in the Noble Hotel lobby.
Photo: Brad Christensen

In addition to strengthening the NOLS community through the Base Camp campaign, we also kept in the forefront of the construction process our wilderness and conservation ethic. The following are some examples of the environmentally sustainable aspects of the NOLS International Base Camp:

  • Energy efficiency at NOLS Headquarters is incorporated through a passive solar gain model by way of large windows and thoughtful shading. Insulation with such large windows is maintained through low e-rated glass and a closed HVAC system, and the building’s orientation captures the greatest amount of sunlight to help light and warm the building.
  • The ceiling tiles, carpet and conference tables at NOLS Headquarters are all made from recycled materials. The staff kitchen and mailroom flooring is made from recycled tires, while the conference tables are made with an environmentally friendly biocomposite of cornstalks and newspapers.
  • Local contractor installs for both Headquarters and the Noble Hotel not only provided support for the local economy, but also reduced the need for excess transportation of materials and services.
  • The Lander community was involved in the design workshops for both NOLS Headquarters and the Noble renovation: Headquarters was built at a site where Lander wanted the greatest economic impact, the design of the building avoided urban sprawl, and we added green space to the area as well.
  • The renovation of the Noble meant maintaining and reusing an existing building, which used far less resources than new construction. Furthermore, it kept our Base Camp footprint downtown, within walking distance to many services for both students and staff.

“The International Headquarters and the Noble Hotel speak volumes about NOLS and our values,” says Bruce Palmer, NOLS Admission and Marketing Director. “Solid leadership, community involvement and environmental ethics can be seen in every nook and cranny of these buildings.” We encourage the NOLS community to stop by Lander when you can and visit us at your Base Camp!

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