Community Gives Back to a Couple who have Given so Much: WSC effort recognizes John and Lois Roberts
Dec. 10, 2009 -- The classic holiday question is, “What do you give the person who has everything?” A spin on that question is, “What do you give a couple who has given everything?” Local friends and Western State College of Colorado (WSC) leaders recently asked that question in regards to how to honor John and Lois Roberts for their lifetime of generosity to the college and Gunnison Valley community. Their answer was to name a meeting room in their honor in Western’s new College Center.
WSC Foundation Board member Malte vonMatthiessen and Dr. Pam vonMatthiessen led the way in making that possible. They pledged $100,000 as a dollar-for-dollar match of gifts to raise the funds needed to name the meeting room in honor of the Roberts.
“A state-of-the-art College Center is a benefit to both the college and to the community,” Malte remarked. “I asked Tom [Burggraf, executive director of the WSC Foundation], ‘What’s the target for a meeting room in the new College Center?’ ‘$200K,’ he said. ‘OK, let’s do it and recognize John and Lois at the same time. Pam and I are delighted to help make it happen.’”
So far, more than $70,000 more has been pledged and given by alumni, friends and community members, including $25,000 from local friends Jim and Sue Oates. A recent grant from Gunnison County, which has preliminary approval to fund the John and Lois Roberts Meeting Room, brought the project within $30,000 of the goal.
“The new $28-million College Center will be a focal point of community and college interaction and collaboration; it is the ideal site to celebrate John and Lois’ lives of service,” Burggraf said. “It will be used and enjoyed by a large cross-section of the community, including the President’s Advisory Council, which John has chaired since its inception 10 years ago. This is one of the most meaningful efforts related to the College Center campaign.”
According to Burggraf, John and Lois Roberts, who recently retired to Grand Junction, have supported nearly every nonprofit organization, school, club, sports team and need in the Valley. And they have enhanced the lives of their countless friends with support and encouragement.
“John and Lois have blessed the college and Gunnison Valley in countless ways, through philanthropy, volunteering and advocacy. This is our chance as a community to recognize a couple who have given so much to so many,” Malte said.
To help close the $30,000 gap for the John and Lois Roberts Community Meeting Room, contact Deborah Hoskins at the WSC Foundation at (970) 641-2237 or firstname.lastname@example.org by Dec. 31, 2009. All gifts of $100 or more will be recognized on a plaque in the room.
John and Lois will be “presented” with their room during the community dedication celebration for the College Center on Feb. 12, 2010.