from Colorado Mountain College’s Rifle Campus. |

from Colorado Mountain College’s Rifle Campus.

At 80 years old, Marge Lowderback earned her associate’s degree from Colorado Mountain College’s Rifle Campus. As if classes didn’t keep her busy enough, Marge also wrote “Hi Neighbor,” a weekly column for the Rifle Citizen Telegram. Sadly, shortly after graduating this spring, Marge passed away due to a sudden illness.

To celebrate Marge’s energy for learning and encourage seniors and lifelong learners to pursue their educational dreams, CMC and local citizens are developing the Marge Lowderback Memorial Scholarship.

Mark Webster, CMC’s Foundation director of development, feels strongly about raising the money for this cause, “We need to raise $10,000 to endow this scholarship. The endowment will generate enough interest to allow us to award this scholarship every year forever. We’re hoping to be able to give financial help to a nontraditional learners in the Rifle area, so that they may be able to take CMC’s courses.”

Local residents have already responded positively to this idea. Webster adds, “Many of the CMC faculty and staff at the Rifle campus have agreed to contribute, and Crossroads Assisted Living, where Marge lived, wants to help out as well.”

The idea of honoring Marge with a scholarship in her name came from her friends and former co-workers at the newspaper, Theresa Hamilton and Sandy Hansen. Hamilton recalls, “When I heard the news about Marge’s passing, I was shocked. It was just a month ago that I sat in her room and talked with her about her pending graduation, her dollhouses, and life in general.”

Hansen was always inspired by Marge’s enthusiasm for learning, “She was an advocate for continuing education. She wanted to inspire everyone, no matter what their age, to go after their dream and to never quit learning.”

Hamilton says they decided to approach the college. “We thought about donating money to CMC in Marge’s name since that was one of her passions … and wouldn’t it be nice if senior citizens, living on fixed incomes, could get help funding college classes?”

It’s going to take a lot of help from the community to make this scholarship work. However, Marge has touched the lives of many.

Hamilton recalls, “I know many, many community people who ended up in her column and I’m continually impressed at how many lives she touched through that vehicle.” CMC hopes that the public will step up and help raise the funds to make this scholarship work. Hamilton adds, “I always admired her drive to earn her college diploma, but the more I got to speak with her, the more I came to admire Marge the person. She had a long life filled with amazing adventures.”

Anyone interested in helping with the scholarship fund can contact Carol Brown at 947-8355. Donations can be made to the CMC Foundation, and sent to the attention of the Marge Lowderback Memorial Scholarship Fund, Colorado Mountain College Foundation, P.O. Box 1763, Glenwood Springs, CO 81602.

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