Our Donors

Tilman "Tillie " and Pat Bishop

Long-time Western Slope residents, Tilman and Pat Bishop have dedicated most of their lives to public service. Better known as "Tillie," Bishop served 28 years in the Colorado General Assembly as both a senator and representative.

A complete list of the Bishops' extraordinary contributions could take an entire publication of its own. The short list—which isn't all that short—includes a focus on education, water, energy, natural resource development, highways and transportation, legislative reform, youth corrections and the state personnel system. In the early 1990s, the Bishops established their first endowment at Colorado Mesa University.

The Bishops' son, Barry, obtained both an associate's and bachelor's degree at Mesa, as well as a second bachelor's degree at the University of Utah. Unfortunately, Barry passed away from cancer in 2008. "Barry requested his mom and dad establish an endowment in his name," Tillie said. "He wanted the scholarship[s] to be awarded to students with average high school grades."

"We have chosen to establish an endowment and scholarship program at CMU because we believe in, and want to support, education beyond high school," Tillie said.

Western Slope Vietnam War Memorial Scholarship

Jared Ricks

CMU senior Jared Ricks, a 35-year-old U.S. Air Force veteran, feels quite fortunate to have been the recipient of a scholarship through CMU. Like many others wounded in military service, Ricks sustained a serious leg injury that left him permanently disabled. He is majoring in biology and ultimately wants to be involved with orthopedics so he can help others with similar challenges. This year, Ricks received a scholarship from the Western Slope Vietnam War Memorial Scholarship.

"I met one guy who flew helicopters in Vietnam, and others with serious head injuries from wars. I am honored to receive funding from guys like that, guys who have been through hell."

Ricks said being successful in school while making ends meet is a serious balancing act. "I didn't get injured as badly as some of the guys I've met. I smashed my leg pretty good though, and I can't do the young-man construction jobs and all that anymore, so I appreciate the help a lot. I feel very lucky!" Ricks will graduate in May, 2014.

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Grand Junction, CO 81501

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