CMC Board of Trustees selected for national John W. Nason leadership award

The CMC Board of Trustees has been named one of five higher education boards nationally to receive the Nason Award. Trustees are, from left, Chris Romer (Eagle County), Patty Theobald (Summit County), Peg Portscheller (West Garfield County), Marianne Virgili (East Garfield County), Bob Hartzell (Lake County), Marky Butler (Pitkin County), Bob Kuusinen (Routt County) and David Armstrong (Salida liaison).

The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges has selected the Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees as one of five boards — one public college, two private universities and two public college or university foundations — nationally to receive its John W. Nason Award for Board Leadership

According to a news release, the AGB and presenting sponsor TIAA partner to present the Nason Award, established in 1992, to higher education governing boards across the country that demonstrate exceptional leadership and initiative.

“The nation is home to some 4,000 colleges and universities and nearly as many governing boards, and yet, there are few boards that deserve special recognition more for their courage, wisdom and foresight,” CMC president and CEO Carrie Besnette Hauser said in the release. “CMC is more relevant to and celebrated by its communities than ever before, in large part because the courageous and thoughtful individuals that comprise its elected governing board.”

Each recipient was recognized for its justice, diversity, equity and inclusion-related programs and initiatives as well as its efforts to enhance student success, the release states.

According to its nomination materials, the publicly elected CMC Board of Trustees received the award because of its significant commitment to actively address the needs of students and the region the college serves through multiple institutional initiatives. These include investing $45 million for affordable housing and leveraging this funding to expand four critical projects in high-cost mountain towns; expanding academic programming and technology for high-demand fields like nursing; and growing concurrent enrollment opportunities for high school students throughout CMC’s region.

The CMC board in recent years has also advocated for public policy changes, including modifications to the state’s constitution to strengthen CMC’s financial health and its support for underserved students.

The CMC Board of Trustees is one of five boards receiving this year’s Nason Award. Other recipients include the Holyoke Community College Foundation Board of Directors, the Texas Christian University Board of Trustees, the Utah State University Foundation Board of Directors and the Xavier University of Louisiana Board of Trustees.

The Nason Award is named for higher education leader John W. Nason, who served as the chair of the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council and helped nearly 4,000 interned students continue their college studies across the nation during World War II.

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