Colorado Mesa University

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Colorado Mesa University
Former names
Mesa State College
Motto Rumble Mavs!
Type Public
Established 1925 (1925)
Endowment $19.2 million
President Tim Foster
Students 11,000
Location Grand Junction, Colorado, U.S.
39°04′50″N 108°33′16″W / 39.08061°N 108.55456°W / 39.08061; -108.55456Coordinates: 39°04′50″N 108°33′16″W / 39.08061°N 108.55456°W / 39.08061; -108.55456
Campus Urban, 86 acres (0.34 km²)
Colors Maroon, White & Gold
Athletics NCAA Division IIRocky Mountain
Nickname Mavericks
Sports 27 varsity teams
Colorado Mesa Univ. logo.png

Colorado Mesa University (CMU), formerly known as Mesa State College, is a public comprehensive university in Grand Junction, Colorado. The university's primary campus is in central Grand Junction. The university also has other campuses as well: Bishop Campus, which houses Western Colorado Community College in northwestern Grand Junction; and a regional campus in Montrose, Colorado. Colorado Mesa University grants two-year associate degrees, four-year bachelor's degrees, and master's degrees.

Previously called Mesa State College (MSC), the school attained university status in August 2011, changing its name to Colorado Mesa University.


  • 1925 - Founded as Grand Junction Junior College with 39 students enrolled
  • 1932 - Name changed to Grand Junction State Junior College
  • 1933 - Enrollment exceeds 200 for the first time
  • 1937 - Name changed to Mesa College
  • 1957 - Mesa College accredited by North Central Association
  • 1961 - Enrollment exceeds 1,000
  • 1974 - Mesa College authorized to offer baccalaureate degree programs
  • 1988 - Name changed to Mesa State College
  • 1994 - Mesa State authorized to offer graduate degree programs
  • 2003 - Independent Board of Trustees created by H.B. 1093
  • 2005 - Formally created two-year, open admission division Western Colorado Community College
  • 2010 - Enrollment exceeds 8,000 for the first time
  • 2011 - Governor John Hickenlooper signed the bill to approve name change to Colorado Mesa University on June 6. Mesa State College becomes Colorado Mesa University on August 10
  • 2015 - CMU awards its first doctorate degree on December 11

Board of Trustees[edit]

The Board of Trustees consists of 13 trustees (11 voting and two non-voting members). The voting members are appointed by the Colorado Governor, confirmed by the Colorado State Senate and serve staggered terms. The Colorado Mesa University Student Trustee is elected by the Student-body and is considered to be one of the most influential positions in the University and College System. The Senatus Academicus names a member from their ranks to serve as the eleventh member. The Board meets regularly throughout the year and is charged with the task of hiring the President, guiding the mission, and overseeing the budget.[1]


Colorado Mesa University offers programs leading to awards in four levels: technical certificates, associate degrees, baccalaureate degrees, and master's degrees.

Colorado Mesa University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association. Accreditation by this agency places credits earned at the university on par with those earned at other similarly accredited institutions throughout the United States. In 2010, Forbes magazine listed Mesa State College at No. 555 on their 610 "Best Colleges" list.[2] In 2015, U.S. News & World Report listed Colorado Mesa University as tied for 6th place with Lewis-Clark State College, Lewiston, ID, for their Top Public Schools - Regional Colleges (West)[3]

Financial aid[edit]

During the 2010-2011 school year, Colorado Mesa University distributed over $48 million in financial aid to 75% of the student body population through scholarships, grants, loans and student employment. In addition to funding from the college, the Mesa State Foundation awarded more than $300,000 in private scholarships to over 300 students.

Residence life[edit]

Colorado Mesa University offers options for students to live on campus. There are currently over 2,000 students living on campus in eleven residential buildings consisting of traditional rooms, suites and pods, and apartments.

Residence halls and apartments are governed by the Residence Hall Association (RHA). The Residence Hall Council (RHC) is an extension of RHA and acts as the governing body for each residence hall. The RHC of each building is composed of an elected executive board and an RHA representative.

Notable buildings[edit]

The Academic Classroom Building in 2011

Houston Hall[edit]

Houston Hall has the reputation of being the first building on campus. Built in 1940, it is named for the college's first president, Dr. Clifford G. Houston. Prior to its construction, the college had occupied an abandoned school building (the old Lowell School) in the city's downtown area. During the 2011 expansion and renovation project, delicate care was taken to seamlessly match the ornamental brick facade of the new wing with that of the original building.

Lowell Heiny Hall[edit]

Originally built in 1967 to house the college library, previously located in Houston Hall, Lowell Heiny Hall now houses faculty offices.

The University Center[edit]

The current University Center building was built in 2010 to replace the aging W.W. Campbell College Center. The new University Center houses the main campus dining facilities including: Dining Hall, Bookcliff Cafe, Starbucks Coffee, and a small convenience store. The center also houses the Associated Student Government, The Criterion campus newspaper, KMSA 91.3FM, Bookstore, Ballroom, student lounges, MAV Card Office, and the Student Life office which contains some club offices.

The Maverick Center[edit]

Formerly known as Saunders Field House, The Maverick Center houses all athletic facilities under one roof, except for football and baseball. Facilities include: Brownson Arena, El Pomar Natatorium, Hamilton Recreation Center, Health Sciences Center, and Monfort Family Human Performance Lab. Adjacent to The Maverick Center are Walker Field soccer & lacrosse stadium, Elliot Tennis Complex, Bergman Softball Field, and the Maverick Pavilion.

Moss Performing Arts Center[edit]

The Moss Performing Arts Center, named for local Colorado Mesa University supporters John and Angie Moss, provides music, dance and theatre students with the facilities needed to let their creativity shine. The Center, which recently underwent a $5.1 million renovation and expansion, is home to the 600-seat William S. Robinson Theatre, a 300-seat recital hall, the Walter Walker Reception Area, the Mesa Experimental Theatre, a design studio, numerous music practice rooms, smart technology classrooms, faculty offices and a dance studio with panoramic views of the Grand Valley.

Moss is the home to the Theatre and Music Departments which offer a variety of entertainment for the campus and local community throughout the year.

Tomlinson Library[edit]

By 1984 the library's collection had outgrown Lowell Heiny Library and plans were made to build the collection a new home. The new library was dedicated in 1986. Recognized as an architectural gem in American School and University magazine, the library was named for outgoing college president John U. Tomlinson in 1988 to honor his commitment to improved library services at the college. Tomlinson Library now contains over 190,000 volumes, including a large government documents collection, and a world class geology library. It is equipped with state-of-the-art computer technology and is considered one of the finest small college libraries in the state.

Other major buildings[edit]

  • Dominguez Hall
  • Escalante Hall
  • Little Mavericks Learning Center
  • Wubben Hall and Science Center


CMU's athletic teams are known as the Mavericks, their mascot is symbolized by a rearing bull's head with flaring nostrils. Official colors are maroon, white, and gold. Student body fans are known as The Herd.

The Colorado Mesa Mavericks have 21 varsity teams that compete in NCAA Division II athletics, as part of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. CMU fields teams in men's football, men's baseball, men's and women's basketball, women's volleyball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's indoor and outdoor track and field, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's lacrosee, women's softball, men's and women's swimming, men's and women's tennis, and men's wrestling.

Student media[edit]

  • KMSA 91.3 FM
  • The Criterion, student newspaper
  • CMU-TV, student run television station
  • Horizon Magazine, Student run magazine

Domestic relationships[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ 2010. Board of Trustees. Retrieved 2010.09.14
  2. ^ Harden, Mark (2010-08-12). "11 Colorado schools on Forbes' 2010 'America's Best Colleges' list". Denver Business Journal. Retrieved 2010-08-16. 
  3. ^ "Top Public Schools Regional Colleges (West)". US News and World Report. Retrieved 2017-05-25. 

External links[edit]