Walter Isaacson announces Fullerton pledge

[ASPEN] – Today Walter Isaacson, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, announced the first $1 million pledge to the Isaacson School for New Media at Colorado Mountain College.

Aspen Institute, CMC, Issacson School for New Media, Aug. 4, 2014.

John Fullerton and his wife, Jessica, explain why they are supporting the Isaacson School for New Media with a $1 million dollar leadership gift. Walter Isaacson, right, thanked the couple for their generous donation which will help the Isaacson School grow to become a leader in New Media education. Photo: ©2014 Steve Mundinger

The donation is from Aspen residents John and Jessica Fullerton, who have previously demonstrated their support of the program by creating the Isaacson School’s first full-ride scholarships for out-of-state students, to draw them to the digital journalism, marketing, media production, graphic design and photography programs offered at the Isaacson School.

“Jessica and I are pleased to make this leadership gift to the Isaacson School,” said John Fullerton. “This program is assisting local students to enter this exciting new career field, and we believe it will also attract students from across the county to our region and will help increase the profile of new media in the Roaring Fork Valley.”

The announcement was made during the biannual meeting of the Colorado Mountain College Board of Overseers, a volunteer board of advisors to the college’s president.

“In the same way that community members on our campus advisory boards offer advice and perspective to their local campus vice president,” said Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser, who joined CMC as its president and CEO in December, “the board of overseers offers valuable advice to the college president and is a source of key strategic connections. I look forward to working with this thoughtful group of supporters, whose perspective will help us in our aspiration to become the most innovative, inclusive and student-centered college in the nation.”

The board of overseers was founded and inspired by Jim Calaway, a Carbondale philanthropist, longtime supporter of CMC and lifetime trustee of the Aspen Institute. Current members include Calaway; Amy Margerum Berg, executive vice president, development and operations, Aspen Institute; Mark Gould, president and CEO, Gould Construction; Aspen entrepreneur Bob Howard; Don McClure, vice president, government and stakeholder relations and legal, Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc.; Fred Menzer, vice president, Colorado operations, Climax Molybdenum Co.; Carrie Morgridge, vice president, Morgridge Family Foundation; Dr. Steven Phillips, physician, part of the first heart transplant team in the U.S.; Jon Warnick, former chair of the CMC Foundation Board; and Bob Young, founder and chairman of Alpine Bank.

Recently named to the CMC Board of Overseers is Ann Korologos. Korologos is former U.S. secretary of labor and under secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, and currently owner of the Ann Korologos Gallery in Basalt, chairman emeritus of the board of trustees of the Aspen Institute and the RAND Corporation, and chairman of the board of directors for the Anderson Ranch Arts Center.

Calaway says he hopes to grow the group’s selective membership so that it is reflective of the college’s 12,000-square-mile service area “and also includes national thought leaders who will ensure the institution stays at the cutting edge of education. The board of overseers has and seeks no formal authority; we are simply volunteers wanting to serve the students and bring distinction to the college,” he said.

The Isaacson School for New Media is named for Walter Isaacson, to acknowledge and thank him for his lifelong experience in media. It also recognizes the partnership between the Aspen Institute and Colorado Mountain College and their mutual presence in the Roaring Fork Valley.

This year he also donated funds to provide CMC students with access to world-class events at the Aspen Institute year-round, including the Aspen Ideas Festival, McCloskey Speaker Series, the Hurst Lecture Series and the Murdock Mind, Body, Spirit Series.

Media contact: Debbie Crawford, Colorado Mountain College’s public information officer, 384-8535,