CSU–Pueblo staff commemorate 75th anniversary with quilt project

The thread in a quilt binds together the material just as the memories included on a 75th Anniversary quilt by two Colorado State University-Pueblo employees will bring together the history of higher education in Pueblo while raising funds for student scholarships.

The Classified Staff Council is selling raffle tickets for a 75th Anniversary quilt that was designed by CSU-Pueblo staff members Vicki Pfeiffer (financial services) and Shirley Duran (institutional research). Duran and Pfeiffer combined their talents to create the commemorative quilt as a fundraiser for the Classified Staff Student Scholarship Fund at CSU-Pueblo. The two admit that although they made a quilt, what resulted was both a lasting friendship between them and a lasting memory of 75 years of higher education in Pueblo.

“I wanted to think of something that would reflect those 75 years and also what would generate some money for the Classified Staff Student Scholarship Fund,” Duran said. “A quilt came to mind, but with my very, very limited amount of experience in making quilts, I asked Vicki if she would be willing to help me with the project.”

Pfeiffer and Duran brainstormed the possibilities of what might be possible to include on the limited space of a 73” X 88” full size quilt, including photographs, previous names, presidents, campus monuments, etc. Pfeiffer suggested appliqué, and proceeded to teach Duran the process.

“We thought of the various parts of the campus and what would people think about when they remembered the university,” Duran said.

The pair then made a grid and decided to fill it with the many names the University has had over the years and the associated years, the names of the presidents, campus monuments like the fountain plaza, the library, mascots, and the Walking Stick cactus. The artists also placed lightning bolts to represent Thunderwolves and a mortar board and scroll to represent the University’s purpose – to provide educational opportunities toward a variety of college degrees.

Pfeiffer said she enjoyed the six months of planning and sewing, the material buying expeditions on lunch hours, and the trading of fabrics to create the desired effect.

“We had fun bringing in our squares each week and comparing our progress,” Pfeiffer said. “I hope the quilt appropriately represents the changes and innovations of CSU-Pueblo and will serve as a lasting memory of the University’s 75 years.”

The project was the work of many hands. Duran said a parent of an alumnus, Brenda LaCombe, embroidered the names of the 13 presidents and W.A.R.M. Quilting did the machine quilting. The ladies at W.A.R.M. Quilting are relatives of campus employee Jeanne Stewart, and they worked with budget constraints to complete the project. Duran’s brother, Leroy Gutierrez, made the label, in calligraphy, for the back of quilt that includes the date and project creators.

“We hope the quilt will bring back fond memories to our community as well as raise money for our scholarship fund so that deserving students can receive a quality education and become a part of our wonderful history,” Duran said.

Ticket sales began at the University’s Staff Recognition Luncheon in April and will continue until a drawing at the University’s Diamond Jubilee celebration on Saturday, Oct. 4. Tickets are available at $1 each or six for $5.00. Upcoming sales locations include the July 3 fireworks and concert event on campus and the July 13 75th Anniversary Community Celebration at the Pueblo Community College campus. During the first weekend of the Colorado State Fair, a raffle table will be set up at the Southside Little Caesars. For tickets or more information, contact Duran at 719-549-2110 or shirley.duran@colostate-pueblo.edu 

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.