Leaving a Legacy: Lisa and Michael Woods


Lisa Woods is hopeful that her grandson, Case, will one day give the Woods a fourth generation of Colorado State alumni.

When Lisa Woods was considering a college education, her mother insisted on one stipulation - Lisa could not attend the University of Colorado.

"I was forbidden," Lisa laughs.

She didn't mind though. She had no problem choosing Colorado State University, her mother's alma mater.

"I just loved it," Lisa recalls, "especially the Greek experience."

While at CSU, Lisa was a member of the Delta Zeta sorority and majored in modern languages with an emphasis on Spanish education, a field in which her high school principal told her she'd never find a job. That didn't stop Lisa. She pursued her goal, and it paid off. After a career of teaching Spanish in the Douglas County schools and creating the first advanced placement Spanish curriculum in Douglas County, she finds amusement in that advice from years ago.

With a fulfilling career behind her, Lisa reflects on her time at CSU and how it shaped her life.

"I just loved going to college," she says. "I loved my professors."

Lisa lived in a "cute little house," across from campus, that she remembers fondly. She also enjoyed studying abroad in Valencia, Spain, while at CSU. She made many lifelong friends with whom she reunites year after year at Homecoming events. When she visits campus, she feels right at home.

"I would take classes forever if I could," Lisa says.

Lisa has found many ways to stay connected to CSU. She met her husband, Michael, who studied civil engineering, at CSU. Her son, Levi, and his wife, Nicole, graduated from CSU, as did her niece, Diana. Levi is an engineer, and many of his coworkers are fellow CSU alumni. CSU is a fundamental part of the Woods family.

"Our family is three generations deep," Lisa says. "CSU is dear to my heart."

Lisa hopes there will be four generations of Rams in her family someday. While Lisa's new grandson, Case, will be free to choose any university when the time comes, with a family like the Woodses, one thing is certain; he will not be attending CU!

"We'll be lobbying for that hard, at least," she says.

Even in retirement, filled with afternoon golf outings, horseback riding, and South American vacations, Lisa has still found time to give back to the CSU community. She has become a Master Gardener - certified through the CSU Extension program - speaking to the public on horticultural issues, creating exhibit gardens, and solving gardening problems since 2005.

Lisa's lifelong connection with CSU and the College of Liberal Arts led to her decision to include CSU in her will.

"My hope is for my contribution to help support the College of Liberal Arts and its students," Lisa says.

By including CSU in her estate plans, Lisa is helping to ensure that the CSU experience that shaped her life is accessible to future generations of Rams.