Foundation: $7.4 million given to CMU in fiscal year

Clara Brown Shaffer
Clara Brown Shaffer

Giving to Colorado Mesa University based in Grand Junction reached a three-year high of $7.4 million during the 2017 and 2018 fiscal year, officials announced.

“The financial resources given by the community are significant investments in our students. The money not only improves the lives of students, but is critical when it comes to planning for additional exciting programs and projects in the future,” said Clara Brown Shaffer, president of the CMU Foundation board of directors.

With $1.4 million of the 2018 gifts directed to its permanent endowment, the foundation reported its resources topped $30 million for the first time.

The latest gifts bring total contributions to CMU over the past three fiscal years to $18.5 million.

Liz Meyer, chief executive officer of the CMU Foundation, said more than 5,000 donors gave a total of more than 7,400 gifts during the 2017 and 2018 fiscal year. The donor base includes more than 200 CMU employees.

“I work at CMU and I give to CMU because I believe in our mission and what we’re all collectively doing for our community and society,” said Barbara Borst, who works in the Tomlinson Library.

More than $350,000 was raised for scholarships, including $250,000 earmarked by the City of Grand Junction for the 2018-2019 school year to help local high school graduates attend CMU.

Grand Junction Mayor Barbara Traylor Smith said the program constitutes one of the larger government contributions. “Our investment in the future through the CMU Foundation scholarships shows that our community values what a higher education can bring to our valley in the years to come.”

Efforts also have bolstered scholarships for students interested in studying science, technology, engineering and math. The Colorado Energy Scholar Award Series has raised more than $150,000 in permanent scholarships since 2016. Contributions have fully endowed six program scholarships.