College foundation receives land, house donation


March 8, 2016

Special to QCS

The Mesalands Community College Foundation, Inc., has received 30 acres of land and a historic adobe home from the William H. and Lalla D. Landess Trust.

Dr. Ross Landess, trustee, on behalf of his parents' trust, conveyed the property which had been his maternal grandparents' long-time home. The property is at 1500 South Rock Island Street in Tucumcari.

“The reason my sister, brother and I decided to entrust this property to the Mesalands Foundation is because we believe strongly in education as the most effective community change-maker and have such great regard and profound hope for Mesalands Community College, as the leader for change and revitalization of prosperity to the area,” Landess said. “My family still owns land in Tucumcari, but this is the property that we cherish the most and has the greatest historical importance to us as a family. Giving custody over to the Foundation was not a light-hearted decision; however, we firmly believe that this was the very best thing that we could have done with this property.”

Landess, who is currently living in Rancho Mirage, California, said three generations of his family are from Tucumcari and Quay County. He said this is where they developed many lasting friendships. He stated that the Rock Island property was primarily used as a home for family and beloved horses.

Landess said the property also had beautiful gardens because his grandparents were avid gardeners. He said, "There is a fairly large adobe home, out-buildings, and a wonderful stone well-house located on the property." Tucumcari was good to his family, Landess added.

They are very appreciative and cherish their background there. He says he hopes by donating this land to the Mesalands Foundation, the college, and the entire Quay County community will benefit over time.

“The college, in my opinion, seems to have emerged as the most vital and promising enterprise in Tucumcari. The future of Tucumcari is going to depend on our young people, educating and equipping them with skills and experience can help them succeed in their careers and build towards their future progress. In turn, the community of Tucumcari and Quay County will prosper,” Landess said. “I have been extremely impressed with the college and with (Mesalands President Thomas) Newsom's vision and leadership. He is incredibly positive and his vision and commitment to Tucumcari's strength and future prosperity through solidarity is one of the most promising assets to Quay County.”

“The college truly appreciates the Landess family's understanding of the impact of this gift on helping not only the College, but the community,” Newsom said. “We are very excited that we have an instrument such as the foundation, which allows people to directly impact our institution and our community, through gifts such as this. The college is very appreciative of the Landess family for presenting the college with this incredible gift that will benefit the future of our community and our students.”

“The foundation has very big plans for that land and the home in the near future,” said Craig Currell, vice-chair of the Mesalands Foundation. “We are very appreciative of this gift because it will enhance the programs of the college.”


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