CMU names nursing school in honor of philanthropists

Phil Castle, The Business Times: 

Colorado Mesa University has named its nursing school after an entrepreneurial and philanthropic couple who’ve long supported the university. A new sign designating the Moss School of Nursing at the Maverick Center was unveiled at the conclusion of a brief ceremony on the Grand Junction campus.

CMU President Tim Foster, right, thanks John and Angie Moss and their family for their financial support of the university during a ceremony unveiling a sign for the Moss School of Nursing. (Business Times photo by Phil Castle)

The name honors John and Angie Moss, whose donation to the nursing program constitutes only their latest financial contribution to CMU.

“From the performing arts to scholarships to event sponsorships and now the health sciences, the Moss Family has made CMU a priority with their philanthropy, and we couldn’t be more grateful,” CMU President Tim Foster stated in a news release.

The Mosses also supported the renovation in 2002 of the performing arts center at CMU, a facility that subsequently was named in their honor. In addition, their contributions have supported performing arts faculty grants and student scholarships. At the request of the couple, the amount of their donation to the nursing program wasn’t disclosed.

John Moss said he was inspired to support the nursing program by his mother, who grew up on a tenant farm in Texas and rode a mule to school, but worked and studied hard to achieve a career in nursing. The nursing program at CMU, he said, is one of the best in Colorado.

CMU offers a range of instruction in nursing, from certificates for licensed practical nurses to associate’s and bachelor’s degrees for registered nurses to a master’s degree in nursing. Sixteen students are enrolled in a program that starts next spring offering a doctor of nursing practice degree for family nurse practitioners.

In addition to its nursing program, the Department of Health Sciences at CMU offers programs in radiologic technology, emergency medical services and medical lab technology.

A total of about 400 full- and part-time students are enrolled in 12 programs, said Debra Bailey, director of the department. “The quality here is incredible,” Bailey said, citing not only the diversity of instruction, but also the connections faculty make with students.

Financial support from the Moss family helps to make it all possible, Bailey added. “The gift of the Mosses is just phenomenal and will continue to help us develop quality programs.”

John Moss moved to Grand Junction in 1971 and opened a Taco Bell franchise on North Avenue a year later. Moss sold the restaurant franchise in Grand Junction earlier this year, but retains ownership of several of the Taco Bell properties. The Mosses also have interests in other businesses and real estate investing.