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News from the Colorado Mountain College Foundation

CMC Board of Trustees 2023 group photo.

Greetings, here is your monthly CMC Foundation news update


CMC Trustees reduce mill levy, limit revenue growth to inflation

At their most recent meeting, the CMC Board of Trustees reviewed property value certifications and staff recommendations for tax year 2023. During the meeting the board approved a temporary mill levy reduction, providing tax relief and limiting revenue growth as promised while preserving vital services, education, and affordable access. CMC Chair Peg Portscheller credited financial management and legislative work for the ability to ease fiscal pressures.

During the previous May and June 2023 meetings, the Trustees discussed the impact of increased property assessments, expressing intent to reduce CMC’s mill levy temporarily. Senate Bill 23-108 enabled such reductions, leading to the recent mill levy reduction from 4.241 to 2.977, allowing over $25 million in property tax relief.

“Today’s decision illustrates that CMC is thoughtful and accountable regarding its property tax revenues and why local special taxing districts don’t need the state legislature or referred ballot measures to make those decisions on our behalf,” said CMC Eagle County Trustee Chris Romer. “Given the diverse mix of special taxing districts across Colorado, which are approved by local voters to provide critical services - particularly in rural areas - state solutions should not be one size fits all.”

Read more about the temporary mill levy reduction »

Book cover for The Bill of Obligations the ten habits of good citizens by Richard Haass.

Rediscovering Common Ground 

Colorado Mountain College, in collaboration with Aspen Public Radio and Colorado’s PBS 12, presents "Rediscovering Common Ground" – a non-partisan series of community conversations about civic engagement and civil discourse inspired by CMC’s Common Reader book for 2024 "The Bill of Obligations: The Ten Habits of Good Citizens" by American diplomat and former president of the Council on Foreign Relations Richard Haass.  

Join us for a very special live event kicking off the series on January 29 featuring a conversation with Richard Haass and Walter Isaacson, former CNN CEO, Time Magazine Editor and Aspen Institute CEO, moderated by Mary Louise Kelly, host of National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.


CMC will offer a free seminar series this spring about productive civic engagement and participation in our democracy open to anyone featuring a series of conversations with local community members and thought leaders. This fall, attendees will be invited to meet Richard Haass as he visits several CMC campuses around the region and discusses the principles behind his book. These author visits will be open to the public.  

Learn more and register for the kickoff event »

Black and white image of a avalanche path in the mountains of Colorado.

The Avalanche Accident Explorer

Colorado Mountain College and the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) have joined forces to launch the Avalanche Accident Explorer, a groundbreaking data visualization tool. Celebrated by Governor Polis, the interactive map, developed by CMC GIS students Lucy Kepner and Joe Tayabji under the guidance of Associate Professor Dara Seidl, provides crucial information about fatal avalanche accidents in Colorado since December 2009. Governor Polis emphasized the significance of the collaboration, stating that it exemplifies real-world learning opportunities for students while enhancing safety for Coloradans and visitors exploring the state's outdoors.

The Avalanche Accident Explorer enables users to filter accidents by various criteria such as travel mode, aspect, elevation, and avalanche type. CAIC Director Ethan Greene expressed gratitude for the collaboration, emphasizing that the interactive tool serves as a public safety resource, allowing individuals to explore avalanche accident data on a map and learn how to navigate this natural hazard. The tool is accessible on the CAIC website, providing valuable information for backcountry travelers to enhance their safety preparedness.

Learn more about the Avalanche Accident Explorer »

Leadville Fire Academy graduates walk in formation, with text that reads "photo by Matt Lit".

CMC graduates 16 Leadville Fire Academy cadets

The Colorado Mountain College Leadville Fire Academy celebrated the graduation of its fall cohort at the Old Church in Leadville on Dec. 8, marking the culmination of 16 weeks of intensive classes and hands-on training. Sixteen cadets underwent instruction from a dedicated team of seven Leadville Lake County Fire Rescue instructors, four from Eagle River Fire Protection District, two from Summit Fire & EMS, one from Canon City Fire, and one from Cripple Creek Fire Department. With a focus on fire science education, many of the graduating cadets are expected to either pursue further studies at the Leadville Fire Academy or embark on careers within local and regional fire departments and districts, contributing their skills to community safety.

The ceremony highlighted the collaborative effort between CMC faculty and active firefighters, emphasizing the academy's commitment to providing comprehensive training. These cadets, equipped with valuable knowledge and hands-on experience, move forward to make meaningful contributions to firefighting and emergency response efforts in their respective communities.

CMC celebrated its largest winter graduating class ever, awarding a total of 512 degrees, certificates, and diplomas!


For a full list of scholarships available at CMC please visit

CMC Alumni Scholarship

QUALIFIED STUDENTS CAN RECEIVE UP TO $2500 / The CMC Alumni Scholarship is funded by the generosity of CMC Alumni Association members to benefit one or two CMC students each academic year. Alumni know the financial burdens students can face pursuing an education in our mountain communities and look to support future alumni. Preference will be given to a student(s) pursuing an associate or bachelor’s degree at any CMC campus. Student(s) must plan to enroll in at least part-time courses and they must also demonstrate financial need as determined by their estimated family contribution.

Learn more about the CMC Alumni Scholarship »

For a full list of events at CMC please visit

January 19 - February 7

CMC Breckenridge

NON-CREDIT COOKING CLASSES / Enjoy a fun night of cooking with our professional culinary chefs, learn new skills, and enjoy delicious food.

Chef's Dinner Party, January 19 »

Sushi, January 21 »

Breads of Italy, January 22 »

Bavarian Cuisine, January 23 »

Caribbean Adventure, January 24 »

Chef's Dinner Party, January 26 »

Latin American Adventure, January 30 »

Artisan Breads, February 1 »

Exploring Portugal, February 7 »

January 24

CMC All Campuses

FINANCIAL AID AND SCHOLARSHIP WORKSHOP / Financial Aid support and Scholarships for 2024-2025 are available! CMC Financial Aid is hosting a Virtual Financial Aid and Scholarship Information session from 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM. Want to have a better understanding of financial aid? Have questions? Find answers at this session. Guidance will also be offered in Spanish for the workshop portion. Register to attend!

Learn more and register for the Financial Aid and Scholarship Workshop »

January 26

CMC Aspen

SOPRIS THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS "THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME" / Join the Spring Valley's Sopris Theater company at the Wheeler Opera House 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 »

January 27

CMC Breckenridge

CARMEN - LIVE MET PERFORMANCE BROADCAST FROM NEW YORK / Join the CMC Breckenridge campus to watch a live broadcast of the Met performance of Carmen. The production starts at 10:55 am and will run until 2:40 pm with an intermission where we will be serving desserts put together by our own Chef, Travis Smith. We will also be hosting a pre-event brunch reception thanks to our local sponsors Barbara Strauss and Paul Finkel from 9:30-10:45 am. We hope you will join us for this amazing event!

Learn more about the Met performance of Carmen »

February 2

CMC Glenwood Springs

ALUMNI HAPPY HOUR AT THE STONEYARD DISTILLERY IN GLENWOOD SPRINGS / Let’s get happy! We’ll be hosting a happy hour at The Stoneyard Distillery in Glenwood Springs, from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Check out this amazing venue and plan on joining your fellow alum for some fun, networking, sugar beet cocktails, and light fare. Stoneyard is owned by CMC Alumnus, Max Vogelman, who is also the master distiller. Space is limited so please sign up using the link below by Friday, January 25.

RSVP for the Stoneyard Distillery Event »

February 14

CMC Roaring Fork

MORGRIDGE COMMONS IN BASALT RIBBON CUTTING / Please join Colorado Mountain College President & CEO Carrie Besnette Hauser and Carrie & John Morgridge for the Ribbon Cutting of the CMC Morgridge Commons in Basalt. A new community venue in the heart of Old Town Basalt, designed to foster collaboration creativity, and connection. 10:30 am - 12:00 pm. A short program starts at 11:00 am

Learn more about the Morgridge Commons in Basalt ribbon cutting »

February 14

CMC Aspen

MORGRIDGE TEACHING KITCHEN AT CMC ASPEN RIBBON CUTTING / Join the unveiling of CMC Aspen’s new Morgridge Teaching Kitchen, designed to inspire and nurture the chef in all of us. The ribbon cutting celebration will feature an exclusive preview of this state-of-the-art kitchen which will offer a variety of community cooking classes and culinary training programs for CMC students. 3:00 – Program, 3:15-4:30 – Culinary Classes Sneak Peek

Learn more about the Morgridge Teaching Kitchen at CMC Aspen ribbon cutting»

March 1

CMC Glenwood Springs

ALUMNI SKI DAY AT SUNLIGHT MOUNTAIN RESORT / Get those skis and boards waxed for a fun day at Sunlight Mountain Resort! Discounted lift tickets and rental gear will be available and we’ll be providing coffee/doughnuts in the morning and lunch for all CMC Alumni participants. Just 10 minutes from Glenwood Springs, this resort promises beautiful vistas of Mount Sopris and excellent skiing/riding on a variety of terrain at one of Colorado’s oldest ski resorts. Please sign up by Friday, February 16 if you plan to attend. Learn more about the Alumni Ski Day & view RSVP options »

April 5

CMC Summit County

ALUMNI SKI DAY AT ARAPAHOE BASIN / We’ll host a repeat day of last year’s “Beachin’ at the Basin,” complete with coffee/doughnuts in the morning, lunch, and après ski sunbathing. Please sign up by Friday, March 22.

RSVP for the Arapahoe Basin Ski Day »

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

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 »

December 2024


Through the 21-day experience, students will not only learn about the unique physical geography and environmental science of the Kathmandu and Khumbu Valleys, but they will adjust to the local lifestyles by living with host families. Student will experience language, cooking, farming, and community cultural events in the Kathmandu Valley and the Khumbu Valley culminating in an exploration of villages below the highest mountain on earth: Mount Everest, and a possible visit to Everest Basecamp.

Learn about the Nepal study abroad opportunity »

The 22-23 Impact Report is now ready to read!


the CMC Foundation's 2022-2023 Impact Report.

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CMC Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

Our tax exempt ID # is: 74-2393418.

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.