David J. Vandermeulen, J.D., Ph.D., is the grandson of William M. John, the donor of the Goree Scholarship at Princeton University. Through his familiarity with Mr. John’s correspondence about the Goree Scholarship at Princeton and his conversations with his mother, Mr. John’s daughter, he has a strong sense of the vision Mr. John had for the Goree Scholarship and is eager to carry forward that same vision in the new Mary John Goree Las Animas County Scholarship program. Since 1982, Mr. Vandermeulen has served on the Advisory Board of the Mary John Goree Scholarship for Las Animas County students at Princeton University. In that capacity, he has interviewed virtually all of Las Animas County students that have considered applying to Princeton in the past three decades and has assisted the Goree Scholars in navigating their way through Princeton. He took the lead in negotiating the restructuring of the Goree Scholarship at Princeton to permit the creation of the new Mary John Goree Las Animas County Scholarship program. He graduated from Princeton University in 1981 with a degree in history. He received his J.D. from the University of Chicago in 1985 and practiced tax law with the firm of Hogan & Hartson in Washington, DC for a number of years. After leaving the practice of law, he received his Ph.D. in American history from the University of Virginia and currently works as an independent scholar.
Trevor S. Brown graduated from Princeton University in 1970 with a degree in architecture. Since 1972, he has worked in commercial real estate and is currently a senior vice president with Cushman & Wakefield in Denver, CO. He has been chair of the Advisory Board for the Mary John Goree Scholarship for Las Animas County students at Princeton University since 1980. His duties as chair have included interviewing Las Animas County students thinking of applying to Princeton and monitoring the progress of the Goree Scholars in their years at Princeton. In addition, he has assisted Mr. Vandermeulen in negotiating the restructuring of the Goree Scholarship at Princeton to permit the creation of the new Mary John Goree Las Animas County Scholarship program.
Richard J. Compton was born and raised in Las Animas County. He received an AA in Education from Trinidad State Junior College (1967) and BA in Health, Physical Education and Recreation from Western State College (1969). He served as the Director of Student Financial Aid at Trinidad State Junior College for 25 years and then served as the Director of Student Financial Aid at Adams State College for 6 years before he retired. Mr. Compton is a member and the current Chair of the Trinidad State Junior College Advisory Council. He also serves as Secretary of the Trinidad State Junior College Educational Foundation and is a member of its scholarship committee.
John E. Garcia was born and raised in Las Animas County. He received degrees from Trinidad State Junior College in Law Enforcement (1970) and Business Administration (1985). He worked as Clerk of the Court and District Administrator for the Colorado Judicial Department for 33 years. He has served as Municipal Judge for the City of Trinidad since 1984 and Municipal Judge for the City of Aguilar since 2012. In addition, Mr. Garcia is a member of the Trinidad State Junior College Education Foundation and serves on its scholarship committee. He has also been involved with and served as an officer of a number of local community groups.
Kathleen Griego was born and raised in Las Animas County. She attended the University of Colorado, majoring in accounting. After returning to Las Animas County, she owned and operated a local fast food franchise for 15 years. She is currently a licensed insurance agent and works at her family-owned business, Griego Insurance Agency. Ms. Griego is a member of the Trinidad State Junior College Education Foundation where she currently serves as President of the board. She is also a member of the board of trustees of Mt. San Rafael Hospital. Ms. Griego has been and continues to be very involved in various other community organizations in Las Animas County.
Patricia (Pat) McFarland was raised in Boston, MA, and graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing in 1967. She has held several nursing positions in Massachusetts and has taught nursing in a hospital-based nursing program in Cambridge, MA. She received her Master of Science degree in public health from University of Massachusetts (Amherst) in 1980. After moving to Trinidad, CO in 1981, Pat has assisted her husband with his medical practice. She has been involved with and served as an officer in several local community groups and organizations.
Amy Newnam, J.D., was raised in Las Animas County. She was a recipient of the Mary John Goree Scholarship and graduated from Princeton University in 1994 with a degree in English. She received her J. D. from Rutgers University School of Law (Camden) in 1999. From 1999 until 2020, she practiced trusts and estates law with the firm of Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis in Philadelphia. Through that practice, she developed a focus on private foundations and began working with the Oberkotter Foundation. She is currently employed full-time as the Associate Executive Director of the Oberkotter Foundation and its subsidiary organization Hearing First. She brings that expertise, together with her first-hand experience of what it is like to go from Las Animas County to a world-class university, to her service on our board.
Conflicts of Interest
In its business dealings and its scholarship selection process, the Foundation maintains a strict policy of avoiding conflicts of interest, or the appearance thereof. Members of the Foundation’s board of directors are required to refer potential conflicts of interest to the other members of the board for a determination as to whether an actual conflict of interest exists.