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Carrie and John Morgridge at CMC Aspen

Cynthia Heelan, center, then-president of Colorado Mountain College, and Carrie and John Morgridge celebrated the opening of the Morgridge Family Academic Center at Colorado Mountain College’s Aspen campus in 2001. The Morgridge Family Foundation recently donated $1.25 million toward the collaborative space adjacent to CMC’s central administrative offices in downtown Glenwood Springs.

Over $2.2 million raised to complete flexible community space in Glenwood Springs

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Finding space for people and groups to gather can be very challenging in the Roaring Fork Valley. With this in mind, Colorado Mountain College and the Garfield County Public Library joined forces in 2016 to turn 13,000 square feet of shared vacant office space in historic downtown Glenwood Springs into a flexible, state-of-the-art venue for educational, nonprofit and public-sector groups to meet, think and collaborate. Recently inspired by this initiative, the Morgridge Family Foundation generously contributed $1.25 million to finish this first-of-its-kind space in the region.

Formerly known as Cooper Commons, the space’s new name will be Morgridge Commons. Colorado Mountain College and the CMC Foundation announced the naming-rights gift this week.

“Along with the Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees, the CMC Foundation Board of Directors and the Garfield County Public Library District, we are so grateful for the generosity of the Morgridge family, whose support joins that of the Garfield County Federal Mineral Lease District, the Boettcher Foundation, the Gates Family Foundation and many community partners that helped create this truly unique community asset,” said Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser, Colorado Mountain College president and CEO.

Photo of Morgridge Commons

A $1.25 million grant from the Morgridge Family Foundation means that the space formerly known as Cooper Commons will now be called Morgridge Commons. The space is being constructed based on input from numerous educational, nonprofit and community groups from throughout the Roaring Fork Valley, and will be available for public use in the fall of 2017.

The Morgridge family has supported the college for many years. The Morgridge Family Academic Center at Colorado Mountain College Aspen was named as a result of one of the first seven-figure grants ever made to the CMC Foundation, in 1999, when Carrie and John Morgridge were living in Aspen. Carrie Morgridge, author of “Every Gift Matters” and vice president of the Morgridge Family Foundation, also serves on the college’s board of overseers, a group of distinguished voluntary advisors founded by Roaring Fork Valley philanthropist Jim Calaway. Morgridge will serve as one of the college’s 50th anniversary commencement speakers this May.

“We are delighted to renew our support for Colorado Mountain College and invest in this exciting project,” said Carrie Morgridge. “The Morgridge Family Foundation focuses on transformative gifts that spark innovation, collaboration and leading practices in teaching, learning and community impact. The partnership between CMC and the Garfield County Public Library to activate this unique space for the benefit of western Colorado also put this project at the top of our list and we’re proud to join the other funders that made it possible.”

The space is located at 8th and Cooper Street, and was built with input from numerous educational, nonprofit and community groups from throughout the valley. The project also received a $750,000 grant from the Garfield County Federal Mineral Lease District, the largest grant in that organization’s history. The Boettcher Foundation and Gates Family Foundation also supported the project with gifts to the CMC Foundation of $175,000 and $40,000, respectively.

“Morgridge Commons is an opportunity unlike any other in the Roaring Fork Valley. It is a major project that is for the benefit of our entire region,” said Kristin Heath Colon, CEO of the CMC Foundation. “I know the library joins us in being eternally grateful to the Morgridge family for its transformative investment in western Colorado. This gift will have lasting impact for our community for decades to come.”

With a focus on training, collaboration and community engagement as well as hosting the college’s ArtShare program and related exhibitions, the space will be tailored to meet the needs of nonprofit and public organizations of all sizes, hosting events from small meetings to large conferences. The entire facility will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology to accommodate presentations, distance learning and public meetings, as well as a small kitchen for catering. The space will be available for public use in the fall of 2017.