Skip to main content
The official hub for news and stories from Colorado Mesa University
Geosciences program receives nearly $600,000 anonymous donation for scholarships and field research

September 7, 2018, was an ordinary day at the CMU Foundation until an anonymous donor announced CMU’s geosciences program would receive the largest gift in its history — nearly $600,000. 

“Some people asked if I was surprised by the gift. When I think about how hard our faculty and staff work to provide quality instruction and programs, I’m not the least bit surprised people continue to invest in the university,” said Liz Meyer, CEO of the CMU Foundation. “The faculty of the geosciences program are some of the most humble and hardworking people on campus, and their students are hugely deserving of this tremendous altruism and generosity.” 

The donor referenced a previous geosciences newsletter as inspiration for the gift. The generous individual had received the newsletter from the geosciences program, which publishes the document each semester. Rex Cole, PhD, a long-standing geology professor and contributor to the publication, was pleased by the donor’s recognition of the geoscience program’s quality.

“We didn’t fully appreciate the value of the program newsletter at the time, but we sure do now,” said Cole. “I believe the endowment is a reminder for all departments that our good work for students can easily go unnoticed if we don’t communicate with our alumni and community." 

“The smallest newsletter resulted in one of the biggest days in our program’s history,” noted Instructor of Geology Larry Jones, PhD, the faculty member who initiated the newsletter and serves as its editor. 

The gift came with few directions aside from requesting the money be used for scholarships, field trips and field research — a request the faculty and foundation are taking to heart.

Professor of Geology Aslan Andres, PhD, noted, “we have already begun discussing how to create a lasting legacy for the endowment that benefits students in perpetuity. The ideas are flowing and the common thread amongst all proposals so far is a universal belief that the initiative should maximize the long-term benefits to students and the mission of CMU.”

News of the donation moved around campus quickly including the desk of university President Tim Foster. 

“I have the privilege of being involved in many exciting projects and initiatives for students, but generosity like this inspires me the most. So many donors give so much and ask for so little in return. It’s what makes my job rewarding and special,” said Foster. 

To learn more about the future of the geology endowment initiative interested donors and supporters are encouraged to contact Liz Meyer at the Colorado Mesa University Foundation at 970.248.1410.