"It all started
with an empty file folder," recalled David Delaplane. In 1962, Delaplane was settling in to his new office as manager of the Glenwood Springs Chamber of Commerce.
He came across a folder
titled "Education Committee" that had nothing in it, except for some names. He thought to himself, "There really ought to be a college here." He contacted the people listed and resurrected the committee.
A property valuation of $60 million
was required by the state of Colorado to set up a junior college taxing district. It took five counties to meet that requirement: Garfield, Pitkin, Eagle, Lake and Summit.
The plan had to go to the voters.
So the committee had to promote it. "Night after night for a year," Delaplane explained, "we traveled miles to meet with every service group in every community to show everyone how important it was to have a junior college."
Their late nights paid off.
In November 1965, by a margin of more than 2 to 1, voters in the five counties approved the formation of the junior college district that would become home to Colorado Mountain College. Delaplane was elected to the first Governing Committee of the college in January 1966.
The college opened in 1967
after simultaneously building two original campuses:
at Spring Valley south of Glenwood and in Leadville. Today, Colorado Mountain College serves over 20,000 students per year in 11 locations, and offers bachelor's degrees.
There really ought to be a college here. David Delaplane
Left: In 1965, voters approved the new college district by a 2 to 1 margin. Governing Committee member Harold Koonce of Eagle proposed the name "Colorado Mountain College."
Right: David Delaplane had the vision to bring a college to the mountains of Western Colorado.