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Colorado Mesa University alumni activity began with 21 founding association members. Louis Grasso, Mary Henderson, and their group of dedicated alumni wanted to keep school tradition alive through the new association. The CMU Alumni Association was founded in 1977. At the time what we now know as CMU, was known as Mesa College. In 1989 Mesa College became Mesa State College, and in 2012 Colorado Mesa University. Throughout the years and name changes the alumni association has helped create tradition and connect Mavericks of all generations. The legacy students leave behind creates a lasting impact on the University. With many distinguished alumni, rich history and tradition, the CMU Alumni Association will continue to engage Maverick alumni as CMU grows.

Even before the Alumni Association was founded, Mesa recognized highly achieving Mavericks. Each year the Alumni Association recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves in their professional career or community. The Distinguished Alumni Award continues to be the highest honor given to CMU alumni.