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Adventurous alumni celebrate three milestones: Bill and Jaci Dvorak
Bill and Jaci Dvorak planned a “40/50/70 x 2” party in September to celebrate 40 years of running rivers, 50 years of marriage and that they both turn 70 this year.

The couple is also celebrating that their business, Dvorak Expeditions, has more than 70,000 river miles of whitewater rafting and kayak trips led on the Arkansas, Green, Colorado, Dolores, San Miguel, Rio Grande and North Platte rivers.

Along with guided whitewater rafting trips, Dvorak Expeditions also teaches swift water and technical rope rescue courses.

Before founding Dvorak Expeditions in 1984, Bill worked as an intern with Partners, a diversion program for adjudicated youth. He was the outfitter and coordinator of a river rafting program for adult mentors and their junior partners all while he worked on a master’s degree in experiential and alternative education from the University of Colorado Boulder. Jaci also worked for Partners and became a river guide, until the birth of their daughter in 1981.

Before founding their outfitting business, the couple spent 13 years traveling the world, which included a five-and-a-half-year stint in Australia where they both taught at a school and created an outdoor program. The Dvoraks then bought a boat and led scuba diving expeditions around the Great Barrier Reef. From there they traveled to New Zealand, hiked and climbed in Nepal and traveled throughout Asia before returning home to Colorado, where their two children were born.

The family’s love of the outdoors led to conservation work. Bill was instrumental in getting Browns Canyon designated as a National Monument in 2015 — earning him an invitation to the White House for the official signing by then President Barack Obama. Additionally, the Conservation Lands Foundation named Bill “Conservation Advocate of the Year.”

Bill fondly remembers the beginning of his college career and the foundation of his future at Mesa.

“It was a great place. I had good teachers at Mesa,” Bill said. “I grew up in a small town in northern Wyoming, Grand Junction was the biggest town I’d ever lived in.”

Attending Mesa was just the beginning of a lifetime of adventure for this intrepid couple.


Written by Sharon Sullivan