There is something about Colorado State University’s beautiful campus and rich history that causes alumni to get sentimental. Nancy Benes – one of the “LSC 7” – is greeted with wonderful memories upon every visit to CSU.
Benes attended CSU in 1950s and 1960s and was highly involved on campus. She was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, Associated Women Students, Aggie Angels, and a professional group for occupation therapists. Aggie Angels was an Air Force support group that hosted parades and other events for Air Force cadets. She also was senior class secretary, a writer for the Rocky Mountain Collegian, and in her final year at CSU, Benes became a part of the Lory Student Center’s history.
A recognized student leader on campus, Benes became a part of a group of students pictured in front of the Lory Student Center ground-breaking in 1960 called the “LSC 7.” Those students since have become a vital part of LSC history and have been featured in several campaigns for CSU and the Lory Student Center over the years.
Student leadership also served a second important purpose during Benes’ time at CSU: positive growth. Benes utilized clubs and organizations as a way to connect with students in her own major of occupational therapy and from different walks of life. She also attributes her social growth as a young adult to her active participation.
“I really feel that [involvement] was a wonderful way for me to grow and gain confidence,” said Benes. She went on to say that much of her comfort in joining different organizations was because of CSU’s friendly atmosphere and Fort Collins’ small-town feel.
After graduating from CSU, Benes decided to spend time traveling. Following time spent in Ohio, she eventually achieved her dream of moving East, living in New York and Connecticut. For 42 years, Benes practiced occupational therapy, even contributing to a book related to occupational therapy.
Benes moved back to Ohio and currently resides in Cleveland. In her retirement, she has become an avid supporter of the arts, traveling to art exhibits, craft shows, and museums to soak up Ohio’s diverse culture. She also spends time volunteering with her church, supporting disabled seniors in the community who have fallen through the cracks, and raising money for women’s scholarships.
She does find time to relax in her retirement, as well. “I enjoy myself: I volunteer and go to the beach,” chuckled Benes, who lives just 15 minutes away from a lake.
Because of her education at CSU, Benes was able to work and provide for her children as they went through school. With a fantastic faculty and a great program, CSU gave Benes a great education, one that invokes pride. Though Benes permanently resides in Cleveland, she finds time for regular visits to Colorado. She enjoys reuniting with college and high school friends, including another “LSC 7” member, Nancy Williams York. When Benes comes to town, they take tours of campus together.
CSU is hugely positive, and influential, in the lives of students, faculty, staff, and alumni. In the celebration of the Lory Student Center’s 50th anniversary and revitalization project, CSU hopes to bring these sentimental feelings to the forefront.
While the Lory Student Center will be experiencing big changes, the integrity of memories stored within its walls will remain; when the project reaches its conclusion in 2014, doors will open for 50 more years of excellent experiences.