CSU-Pueblo Foundation receives $3 million from Mathis Trust


PUEBLO – The Colorado State University-Pueblo Foundation earned an early holiday gift as Foundation President Todd Kelly announced the receipt of an endowed gift worth more than $3 million from the Lois W. Mathis and J. Roland Mathis Trust.

The estate of former University of Southern Colorado Foundation board member Lois W. Mathis made the gift possible. Mathis was a member of the Foundation Board of Trustees from 1974 until her death at the age of 89 in October, 2001. She served as vice president from 1979-1983, and over the previous 18 years had contributed $1.9 million to a variety of University programs. 

A graduate of Colorado College, Lois Mathis was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority and an active volunteer for the Service League, McClelland Center, Colorado State Hospital, Parkview Hospital and the YWCA.

The estate of Lois Mathis directed that the funds be used  ”to provide educational opportunities for the young men and women of the Pueblo community and the advancement and improvement of the graduate and faculty members of the University” through scholarships, fellowships, assistance in establishing and funding for chairs, and awards for teaching excellence. 

The gift also provided flexibility “to meet changing times and needs,” allowing University officials to fund projects based on need or where the University and community could receive the greatest benefit or a lasting benefit.   

“What a blessing we have received from the Mathis family,” said President Lesley Di Mare. “This gift will have both immediate and long-lasting impacts on our students, faculty, and staff. CSU-Pueblo and the Pueblo community will be much improved due to the Mathis’ generosity.”

Her husband, Roland, who died in 1971, was a partner and vice president of D&S Paint Center as well as a partner in Silver State Trailer Sales in Pueblo and Colorado Springs. He graduated from Pueblo Central and Colorado College. He served as an elder and former chairman of the Board of the Westminster United Presbyterians Church, and as a member of the Silver State Lodge 95, AF&AM, Al Kaly Shrine, the Pueblo Country Club, Rotary Club of Pueblo, and President of Colorado Motor Finance Co. 

“We are fortunate to have known both J. Roland and Lois, not only because of their donations, but because of the people they were,” said Foundation President/CEO Todd Kelly. “Both were generous to the CSU-Pueblo Foundation while they were living, and this gift will be a legacy of generosity to future generations of CSU-Pueblo students. This gift shows how individuals, with a little financial and estate planning, can make an impactful gift even after they’re gone.” 

In 2001, the University announced a $1.4 million gift from the Trust, which endowed the Lois W. Mathis and J. Roland Mathis Education Fund. According to then interim President Dr. Robert Glennen, the gift would be used to support scholarships for students in Pueblo’s two local school districts and to facilitate automatic admission for Gold Cord seniors wishing to attend the University. 

The current Colorado State University-Pueblo Foundation’s “On the Move” campaign challenges University fans and supporters to fuel the momentum with an ambitious $25 million, three-year fund raising goal that includes $15 million for academic programs and scholarships, $5 million for the Occhiato University Center renovation, and $5 million for athletic expansion and enhancement. Every gift matters!​

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.