Funded ProjectsStudents Build Friendships, Explore Colorado

December 30, 2018

One of the core goals of the Chris Mikesell Foundation is to support Western State University students. Chris attended the University and participated in Wilderness Based Orientation and Wilderness Pursuits. The experiences in those programs helped Chris build friendships and experience the outdoors that he loved. The Foundation’s support of these programs allows other students to have the same life-changing experiences.

The Foundation has been providing grants to Western annually since its inception. The 2018 grant is in the amount of $7,000, to be split between the Wilderness Pursuits and Wilderness Based Orientation programs.

Wilderness Pursuits

According to Western State University, Wilderness Pursuits (WP) provides fun, affordable and professional co-curricular outdoor expeditions and resources for students. WP’s trips are student-led and are designed to meet the needs of a broad range of abilities and interests while developing outdoor skills and fostering community, citizenry, environmental stewardship and healthy living.

Students can choose from excursions featuring activities like whitewater rafting, rock climbing, multi-sport adventure, mountaineering, whitewater kayaking, sea kayaking and backpacking.

The Chris Mikesell Foundation’s grant allows for additional equipment purchases to provide a safe and fun experience for participants.

Wilderness Based Orientation

WBO is an opportunity for students to meet other new students, make meaningful connections, build friendships and get to know the incredible recreational opportunities that Gunnison has to offer before beginning the first semester.

With WBO, students are part of a group discovering what the great outdoors and the Colorado backcountry have to offer. Each WBO course is led by qualified student instructors who will provide instruction on both the adventurous activities and the upcoming college experience.

This Chris Mikesell Foundation provides a grant that allows students to receive a scholarship to participate in Wilderness Based Orientation.


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Help change lives and preserve the environment while honoring Chris’ memory.

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