CMC Steamboat Springs benefits from new endowments in honor of student
Stephan W. Kaczynski Memorial Professorship first of its kind at CMC
April 4, 2023 – Colorado Mountain College Steamboat Springs student Stephan Walter Kaczynski was only 27 when he passed away on Jan. 15, 2022. Now his parents, Walter and Cindy Kaczynski and their daughter Donna Kaczynski, all of Sammamish, Washington, have established three generous endowments with the CMC Foundation that will enable Stephan’s memory to live on in perpetuity at CMC Steamboat Springs.
The Stephan W. Kaczynski Memorial Professorship in nursing is the first donation of its kind at the college. With the gift, Stephan’s parents have provided funding for Colorado Mountain College to establish a named professorship in nursing. The professorship will be supported by earnings from this newly established endowment, which will help the college attract and retain experienced nurse educators to the CMC Steamboat Springs campus.
An additional gift from the Kaczynskis will create two Stephan W. Kaczynski Memorial Endowed Scholarships for students in nursing and resort management in tribute to their desire to help fill the growing need for nurses in CMC’s mountain region, as well as support the resort management program at CMC Steamboat Springs that Stephan was enrolled in and loved. Together, these endowed scholarships will provide funding support for two nursing students and one resort management student every year, in perpetuity.
“It was immediately clear when we first had the chance to talk with Walter and Cindy how much Stephan’s time at CMC meant to him and their family,” said Kristin Heath Colon, CMC vice president for advancement and foundation CEO. “We are deeply honored to have these three endowed funds in Stephan’s memory. Furthermore, the establishment of the college’s first named professorship will have a lasting and significant impact for CMC’s nursing program and the Steamboat Springs campus. We are incredibly appreciative for the Kaczynskis’ generosity. It’s a privilege for Colorado Mountain College to be part of Stephan’s lasting legacy.”
“Stephan’s lifelong dream was to live and work in the Colorado Rockies,” the Kaczynskis wrote in a statement. “We are humbled and grateful for the opportunity to give back in a meaningful way to the community that embraced him so warmly.”
The first awards of the Stephan W. Kaczynski Memorial scholarships will be made this spring by the CMC Foundation for nursing and resort management students for the 2023-24 academic year. The Stephan W. Kaczynski Memorial Professorship will be awarded to a CMC Steamboat Springs nursing faculty member beginning with the 2024-25 academic year.
“It is bittersweet of course, but that kind of funding will help many others achieve their dreams of success and keep Stephan's memory and legacy alive through them,” said Terry Hunter, CMC Steamboat Springs professor of resort management, who had the honor of teaching Stephan. “Stephan was a good guy, a good student and someone we should all admire and respect in his outlook and efforts to enjoy what was sadly an all too brief, but well-lived life.”