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News from the Colorado Mountain College Foundation

The Buen Ambiente panel speaking to attendees at the Leadville campus.

Greetings, here is your monthly CMC Foundation news update


Leadville hosts the second annual "Buen Ambiente" event

As part of CMC’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, the Leadville campus hosted "Buen Ambiente” on October 8th. The community-focused event was created for Lake County's Spanish-speaking residents. This immersive day-long gathering, conducted exclusively in Spanish, aimed to demystify the path to higher education and illuminate avenues for financial support through scholarships and grants. 

The event featured parents, students, and alumni who candidly shared their personal narratives showcasing the pivotal role CMC played in honing skills, nurturing dreams, and equipping them for the future. Their anecdotes and guidance resonated with attendees, reinforcing the value of pursuing academic goals. 

"Buen Ambiente" was designed to foster a sense of unity and belonging within the Spanish-speaking community of Lake County. Attendees forged meaningful connections with fellow community members and CMC representatives. By breaking down language barriers and creating an environment where everyone could participate comfortably, this event exemplified CMC's dedication to making education accessible and inclusive for all, regardless of linguistic or cultural background.

Fire fighters going into a burning building.

Chris Jackson, the new Grand Valley Fire Protection District chief

CMC Instructor Chris Jackson is set to become the new chief of the Grand Valley Fire Protection District. Jackson's new role comes with the challenge of managing a growing community and expanding emergency call volumes, but he is committed to providing exceptional service and adding more staff to meet the rising demands.

“I feel very privileged,” Jackson said. “I have very big shoes to fill. (Dave Blair) has been a great mentor, and he’s been an excellent chief. I feel I have the skills and the training and the experiences now to be an effective chief like he is and that’s going to be my intention.”

In addition to firefighting, Jackson teaches first-responder courses at Colorado Mountain College, and plans on maintaining his connection to our institution by continuing to teach part time. He is a great example of the impact that CMC Faculty have on the areas they serve. We are excited to watch Jackson's impact on the Western Slope grow in his new role.

John Fielder

Remembering the legacy of John Fielder

John Fielder, a renowned nature photographer who called Summit County home and was a member of the CMC President's Advisory Council, passed away at 73 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Throughout his 40-year career, Fielder dedicated himself to preserving Colorado's landscapes, and recently donated over 7,000 images from his extensive collection to the History Colorado project.

His influential work led to accolades such as the Sierra Club Ansel Adams Award in 1993, the Aldo Leopold Foundation's first Achievement Award for an individual in 2011, and an Honorary Degree in Sustainability Studies from Colorado Mountain College in 2017.

John Fielder's avid support of our collage is best stated in his own words “CMC is unique and epitomizes everything I stand for. Colorado’s economy and ecology are inextricably connected. CMC enhances both by connecting people to careers unique to Colorado.” We will continue to feel his impact for years to come. Thank you John!

Scenic landscape photo on Colorado wilderness.

It’s National Estate Planning Awareness Week!

National Estate Planning Awareness Week occurs annually from October 16th to 22nd. This week serves as a reminder to begin the vital process of securing your future legacy, while also making a lasting impact on your community.

If you haven't already had the chance to look into the invaluable resources offered through our collaborative partnership with FreeWill, which includes a user-friendly, comprehensive and complimentary estate planning tool, now is the perfect moment to take proactive steps.

FreeWill provides a well-structured estate plan that can provide you with a sense of security that will extend through the years, ultimately benefiting the beneficiaries you choose to include in your plan.

Don't let this opportunity pass you by; seize the week and create a future that is deeply meaningful.

Create your free estate plan today »


For a full list of scholarships available at CMC please visit

Doll Family Endowed Scholarship

QUALIFIED STUDENTS CAN RECEIVE UP TO $2250 / Sheryl and Ted Doll are 20+ year residents of the Roaring Fork Valley. As longtime members of the Glenwood chapter of the Kiwanis, they believe in volunteerism and giving back to their community. They admire and support students who work hard to become the first in their family to attend college. They believe everyone deserves the opportunity to better their lives through education.

This scholarship is available to students of any age attending a Roaring Fork campus and pursuing an associate or bachelor degree. Preference will be given to first-generation students. Learn more about the Doll Family Endowed Scholarship »

For a full list of events at CMC please visit

October 21-22

CMC Spring Valley

HIGHSCHOOL STATE CHAMPIONSHIP MOUNTAIN BIKE RACE / Explore the beautiful Spring Valley campus while watching and cheering on the hundreds of high school athletes who will be competing on the CMC Spring Valley trails. Last year's state championships saw over 2,400 people come to town to participate in the event. Learn more about the state championship race »

October 23-27

CMC All Campuses

COMMON READER AUTHOR VISITS / This year, CMC’s Common Reader Program is "Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe" which invites us into the world of “Ari” and “Dante” in a coming-of-age story dotted with funny episodes, tragic accidents and unconditional love. Award-winning and critically acclaimed author Benjamin Alire Saenz will be in person at eight of our CMC campuses to discuss the book with community members. View the Common Reader schedule to see when you can meet the author in a location convenient for you, or on live stream »

November 1 - 15

CMC Breckenridge

COLORADO'S ORIGINAL STEM / Learn how the Ute people, Colorado’s longest-continuous residents, have used their traditional knowledge of the Colorado landscape to survive and thrive. Explore hands-on activities about shelter, beadwork, plants, and baskets. Watch videos of contemporary Ute elders, Ute youth, and archaeologists discussing the connections between Ute knowledge and science, technology, engineering and math. Learn more about the Colorado STEM event »

November 15

Morgridge Commons

WOMEN PHOTOJOURNALISTS OF WASHINGTON EXHIBIT OPENING / This artshare event will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Morgridge Commons in Glenwood Springs, followed by a presentation from photojournalist Leigh Vogel beginning at 6:30 pm. The 16th Annual Photography Exhibition features standout photography by members of the Women Photojournalists of Washington (WPOW) from the past year. Learn more about the WPOW Artshare event »

November 18

CMC Steamboat Springs

BALL OBSERVATORY STAR PARTY / Join the Colorado Mountain College Sky Club and Engineering Club from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. for an exciting evening (weather permitting) of exploring the universe at CMC’s Ball Observatory on campus here in Steamboat Springs. All are welcome, including kids. No previous knowledge necessary. Learn more about the ball observatory star party here »

November 24 - December 3

CMC Spring Valley

SOPRIS THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS "THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME" / Join the Spring Valley's Sopris Theater company for their presentation of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" based on the novel by Mark Haddon, adapted by Simon Stephens. Learn more about The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time »

UPCOMING STUDY ABROAD TRIPS, Open to community members For a full list of available trips visit

March 2024


Study human rights, Mayan cultural resilience, and strategies for sustainability in the context of Guatemala’s complex and tumultuous history. In this 11-day seminar, we’ll discover the roles that politics, history, culture, migration, and sustainability play in a society that recently came out of nearly four decades of civil war. Learn about the Guatemala study abroad opportunity »

May 2024


Immerse yourself in and on the land, sea, and culture of Baja, Mexico while refining your sea kayaking/outdoor leadership skills and learning the natural history of one of the world’s most unique ecosystems! The coastline and islands of the Baja peninsula provide an unparalleled ‘classroom’ to be trained in kayaking guidance on the open water and explore the marine life and natural history of the region’s ecology. Learn about the Baja Mexico study abroad opportunity »

January 2026


Our 2024 trip is now full! The next Japan trip is scheduled for 2026. Japan is the hub of action-sport winter media. With the effect of global warming, the ability to capture high-quality action in perfect conditions has become a difficult reality for the snowsport industry for their promotional media needs. In turn, this makes Japan the natural choice to study action-sport media and distribution. Learn about the Japan study abroad experience »


Photo of the CMC Foundation's 2021-2022 Impact Report.

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Gifts to the CMC Foundation can be made in honor of, in memory of, or to thank a loved one. For more information call 970.947.8378.