Foltz Family Establishes Scholarship Earmarked for Local Students

It's hundreds and hundreds of miles from western Colorado to eastern Pennsylvania.

But it's eastern Pennsylvania that Howard Foltz and his family call home, and western Colorado, and Mesa County in particular, that they think of with great fondness.

It was pure happenstance that led the family here many years ago. It was a hunting expedition near Meeker where they met a banker who was looking at investment opportunities in Mesa County.

He suggested the Foltz look too. Look they did. It didn't take long for them to become owners of the Valley Plaza shopping center on the I-70 Business Loop. Nor did it take long after that for them to realize that they had purchased a part of the world that they would soon come to love.

"Grand Junction has been very good to us," Foltz said.

Foltz, a part-time ski instructor in eastern Pennsylvania, likes to tell a story about how one knows if there is a ski instructor in the crowd. The answer, he said, is "Nothing. They'll quickly tell you."

He is much the same way about Grand Junction and Colorado Mesa University. One need not be around him long before he will tell you that he may live in Pennsylvania, but he dearly loves Mesa County, Colorado and CMU. And yes, he's a ski instructor too.

He doesn't just love the area because his commercial real estate venture has been good to him. He also is fond of the opportunities it affords people who live here. Since those people are the driving force behind his success, his family feels an obligation to help them.

"My family and I are big believers in education," he said. "We like to help local students get the education they need."

Enter CMU.

The family established a scholarship earmarked for Mesa County students. "The Foltz family is just the kind of donor CMU needs at this point in time," said CMU Foundation CEO Liz Meyer. "They understand the importance of postsecondary education and they understand the concept of community. We're delighted that they have become a part of the CMU family."

The feeling is mutual. "We looked at what CMU was doing," Foltz said, and he and his brothers Jonathon, Bob and David "were very impressed. It's a good fit for us... We love the Grand Valley."