Delaneys hailed for service to CMC, community |

Delaneys hailed for service to CMC, community

Renelle Lott
Special to the Post Independent

Glenwood Springs High School was condemned as unsafe in the 1950s, bitter controversy grew over consolidation of schools, and eventually the Re-1 and Re-2 school districts formed, shaping educational history in the Roaring Fork Valley.

These are just some of the recollections Robert Delaney has from his 57 years of living in Glenwood Springs. Delaney, and his wife, Connie, raised their children here, and were not content to sit back and watch the changes ” they got busy.

Delaney, a local attorney, served on the Roaring Fork School Board Re-1. That’s when he met Nick Massaro, who was a high school principal and later became superintendent of Re-1.

“The Delaneys are a very instrumental couple in our community, quietly helping others without fanfare,” said Massaro. “Recognition for their work is very well deserved.”

The Ninth Judicial District Bar association agrees. On Dec. 4, the association honored Robert Delaney, who also served as the 9th District Attorney, with their Most Distinguished Attorney award.

Colorado Mountain College will honor the Delaneys for their exceptional community service tonight at the Calaway Honor Series, which features a lively performance of the Santa Fe Dance Co.’s Fuego Flamenco.

For CMC, this is a moment of great gratitude for a couple that has been instrumental in the success of the college, and education as a whole in the Roaring Fork Valley.

The Delaneys have provided a literal roof over the head of the college administration. In 1987, Robert, and his partner Kenneth Balcomb, sold the office building at 831 Grand Ave. to the college. One sweet dollar was all that Delaney and Balcomb accepted for CMC’s first owned administrative office space, which it used to direct the campuses that were popping up all over the central mountains of Colorado.

“Before this generous gift we were operating out of rental facilities in town ranging from the basement of the Hotel Colorado to an old paint store,” says CMC Foundation CEO E. Alexandra Yajko.

Robert Delaney said he is pleased with the way the college has turned out.

“Many thought it was a great idea to start a college. Those college dreamers found a rocky start, with the student body made up of 1960s flower children and a location in an isolated place on a mountain. But the early founder’s judgment proved to be sound,” he said.

All the while, he was helping area students by serving as trustee of the L.S. Wood Trust, since its inception in 1965. Leighton S. Wood, owner of Mid-Continent Coal and Coke, died suddenly that year, leaving no heirs except the families of miners. Their children, and other deserving and needy local students, have received about $10 million in the last 38 years to attend college.

“The future of the nation depends on the nature of the institution and the education provided day-to-day. People that couldn’t afford to go away to college can go to CMC, and the most important resource we have is training young people,” Delaney said.

His dedication is further evident in a substantial gift he and his wife recently made to help fund CMC’s Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning. That gift will use new brain research to improve the resources CMC has for faculty to teach, and students to learn through professional development programs and a support-oriented Web site.

Connie Delaney has been busy in the community as well.

She served as historian for the Valley View Hospital Auxiliary for as long as anyone can remember. She not only volunteered to help around the hospital, but took photos and kept scrapbooks of the hospital and its auxiliary until her recent retirement.

She served as president of the auxiliary in 1983 and 1984.

“Connie is the most wonderful woman ” we just love her!” said Dee Warwick, VVH volunteer coordinator.

The Calaway Honor Series performance honoring the Delaneys is tonight.

Fuego Flamenco will also perform Thursday. Both performances start at 7 p.m. at CMC’s New Space Theatre at the Spring Valley Center.

Patron season subscriptions are $100, and season subscription packages are $40. Single tickets are $15. Student single tickets are $10.

Priority will be given to season ticket holders. Information: CMC Center for Excellence in the Arts, 947-8367, or

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