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$1 million contribution from Hotel Maverick expands local scholarship availability

The Hotel Maverick at Colorado Mesa University provides an obvious benefit to parents, guests, and regional travelers looking to explore western Colorado; however, many visitors may not be aware of the hotel's incredible benefits for local high school students.  

Earlier this year the Hotel Maverick announced a new contribution commitment of $1 million to the CMU Becoming Mavericks Fund. Formerly known as the Mesa County Scholarship Initiative (MSI), the fund provides scholarships to high school students in Mesa County.  

To encourage donor participation throughout the community, beginning November 1, 2023, supporters of higher education will be able to double their contributions to local scholarships thanks to a new Hotel Maverick Match fundraising campaign that will match contributions dollar-for-dollar up to $1 million. The matching funds will be provided by the Hotel Maverick with a goal of raising $2 million for local scholarships. 

Established in 2019, previous funds raised through the hotel have cultivated $4.1 million through the joint efforts of small and large donors, many of whom are alumni, as well as municipalities and private foundations. The fund is crucial in providing access to higher education for local students, particularly considering that nearly 60% of local high school graduates do not pursue a college education or obtain a technical or vocational certificate.  

With a goal of $10 million, this new $1 million contribution from the hotel to the Becoming Mavericks Fund marked the surpassing of the halfway mark towards the overall goal and a celebration at the hotel was held to mark the occasion. Many of the original fund investors were on hand to commemorate the milestone. 

Quint Shear, one of the original investors in the Becoming Mavericks Fund, is a long-time CMU supporter who attended the event. 

“Our financial commitment to this fund helps ensure that local students have a clear pathway to their future educational and career goals,” said Shear, who is a fifth-generation Grand Junction High School graduate.  

The Shear Family was also honored for their support of CMU as CMU Hall of Honor inductees during the Homecoming Victory Dinner – a time that saw high levels of occupancy for the hotel, and as a result, generated additional monies for scholarships.  A portion of all hotel bookings, restaurant tickets and other hotel purchases are also invested in the local scholarship fund. 

CMU President John Marshall attended the celebration and expressed his gratitude for all the support the university has received to date through this partnership. 

“Thanks to the generous support of local donors and the Hotel Maverick, the Becoming Mavericks Fund has helped CMU achieve significant milestones when it comes to increasing the number of local students who can attend CMU on scholarship. Reducing the financial burden on local families is part of our values-driven mission at CMU and we are glad to welcome Hotel Maverick to the family of Becoming Mavericks Fund investors,” said Marshall. 

The founder of the Becoming Mavericks Fund, Joe Higgins, was also at the event and shared, "I am deeply proud of our community’s commitment to ensuring all local students can acquire an accessible and affordable education at CMU." 

“This year the Hotel Maverick Match will provide people from across western Colorado the opportunity to double their investment in scholarships and increase the visibility for their contributions with the dollar-for-dollar match. The $1 million available to double your money makes investment in local scholarships an easy end-of-year charitable contribution decision,” Higgins added.  

With lofty financial goals, strong partnerships in place with District 51 and the unwavering support from the community and donors, CMU is looking forward to enabling more local students to pursue their educational aspirations which in turn will help to fortify the workforce and community of Mesa County. 

Donors interested in taking advantage of the Hotel Maverick Match should contact the CMU Foundation.  


Written by David Ludlam