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Colorado Mesa University Foundation Endowment hits all-time high

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 10:28 PM MST|Updated: Nov. 30, 2021 at 11:53 PM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - The Colorado Mesa University Foundation Endowment program just hit an all-time high. This year, donations surpassed $50 million, which is a huge milestone for the University. These scholarships allow CMU to reach more students and make higher education more attainable for those who need it the most.

Establishing endowed funds with the foundation means less debt for students after they graduate. It also means more people in Western Colorado can afford to go to college who might not have been able to otherwise. Khurshid Khonturaev immigrated with his family from Uzbekistan at age 13.

“Getting these scholarships allowed me to lift the burden of having my parents struggle to pay for their rent, mortgage, etc. and helping me with school,” said CMU Senior Khurshid Khonturaev. “So this endowment actually helped me ease my financial obligations from my parents and allow me to pay for school myself.”

CMU Foundation CEO Robin Brown says these endowed scholarships are the backbone to increase the number of students and amount of assistance provided to students at CMU and Western Colorado Community College.

“It keeps CMU very affordable for students and it helps students go through who otherwise wouldn’t be able to go through,” said CMU Foundation VP of Development Robin Brown. “It helps with enrollment, over half of our kids are first generation college kids which is a really big deal. So they need a lot of assistance usually financially to go through school, so we’re changing lives here at CMU.”

Last year 1,111 students received over $3.3 million in scholarships, which is the highest amount in the foundation’s history. These scholarships come from donors who set specific parameters for certain students to fall into. Such as hardship from Covid or immigrating from another country.

“Most people don’t realize we have an endowment,” said Robin Brown. “It helps stabilize our operations and keep kids in school. It’s a huge economic driver for the community and CMU. It also shows people have a lot of trust in our University and the growth that’s happened in the last 15 years. So its exciting that that many people have been willing to donate to our endowment.”

For Khurshid, the CMU endowment is a family affair.

“I’m grateful for these scholarship opportunities,” said Khurshid Khonturaev. “My family is especially very grateful because I have two other brothers and my younger brother is attending CMU as well. He’s a Freshman this year, and we decided for him to attend here because of the scholarship opportunities as well.”

In 2020, CMU gave out the most scholarships in history to allow students to stay in school who were going through Covid related hardships. Which really goes to show the generosity of donors, both businesses and individuals throughout the community investing in education.

For those interested in learning more about, or establishing an endowed fund at the CMU Foundation, please contact Robin Brown at robinbrown@coloradomesa.edu, call (970) 248-1902, or email foundation@coloradomesa.edu

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