Growing up in Devils Lake, Dr. Louise Fawcett learned that supporting one’s community is important.
“Community always was top of mind to my family,” Louise Fawcett said.
She also discovered the importance of having a college in the community and noticed the need it served for the region and state.
“The College is a cornerstone to the economy and vitality of Devils Lake and the Lake Region from two dimensions. It is an important employer as well as it educates a labor force that meets local, regional and state needs,” she says.
That love of the Devils Lake community and its college continued throughout Louise’s life and inspired her decision to support the Robert Fawcett Auditorium at Lake Region State College with a generous endowment.
A reception was held to celebrate this magnificent gift Dec. 11 during the Medora Christmas production in the auditorium. Born and raised in Devils Lake and daughter of Robert & Margaret Fawcett, she desires to see the Robert Fawcett Auditorium continue to thrive and be a gathering place for the region.
“I want to give and continue my family’s legacy.”
The multi-year gift will support technical upgrades, maintenance needs beyond routine repairs, and other auditorium priorities identified by administration. Additionally, the endowment will enhance hands-on learning for students in theater-related courses and productions.
“The college is more than an academic setting. It supports culture and arts of the Lake Region and serves as a gathering space. I enjoy seeing how often the auditorium is used for a wide range of community and college activities.”
This endowment enhances the legacy started by her family. The Robert Fawcett Auditorium is nearing its 20th anniversary. Although an auditorium was part of the college since its current site construction in the 1960s, a complete renovation took place in 2000. The upgraded auditorium created a facility for the community with enhancements to accommodate dance, theater, music, and more. Seating was enhanced and functionality improved. The auditorium was named for Robert Fawcett during the capital campaign after Margaret Fawcett presented the college with a significant gift for the project. The auditorium continues to be a hub for the community. Throughout the years, the Robert Fawcett Auditorium plays host to college theatrical performances and concerts, high school productions, community concert events, dance recitals, and so much more.
“The auditorium always was meant to help meet the community’s needs,” she added.
After graduating from Devils Lake, Fawcett earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Dakota, a master’s degree at the University of Florida and a PhD from the University of Minnesota. She worked as an occupational therapist and went on to become a faculty member and higher education administrator at University of St. Catherine in St. Paul. She has served on many state and national associations including the American Occupational Therapy Association and the National Board for Certification in Occupational therapy. She ended her career in market research at Thrivent Financial. She and her husband, Dr. Varick Olson, live in St. Paul.
Through classmates, friends, and visits, Fawcett has been able to tune in to the continued need the auditorium and college serves.
That’s what makes giving back to her hometown so special.
“My high school classmates have bene wonderful leaders in Devils Lake and it’s great to see what they’ve accomplished. One of my friends said do what gives you joy. This community has done so much for our family. I am so pleased to give back. It’s an honor to be able to do this.”