The Elouise Cobell Land and Culture Institute at the University of Montana officially opened its doors Oct. 10. The institute is located in The Payne Family Native American Center. The institute provides flexible classroom designs, advanced distance-learning platforms and a multiscreen theater room that will emphasize storytelling traditions in Native American culture. It occupies the entire garden level of The Payne Family Native American Center. Read more about Cobell’s legacy at UM.
Kelly Conde, a 2013 graduate of the master’s program in Environmental and Natural Resource Journalism at UM, recently received a prestigious award for her story “The Damage Done.” The Society for Environmental Journalists awarded Conde second place for Outstanding Feature Story. Her in-depth article about the impact of oil drilling and the subsequent water contamination on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation was the capstone of her master’s work. Read more about her award. Read Conde’s article.
Annie Belcourt, a University of Montana College of Health Professions & Biomedical Sciences assistant professor, has accepted an invitation from Harvard University to be a JPB Environmental Health Fellow for the next three years. The fellowship will allow Belcourt, a faculty member in pharmacy practice and public health, to extend her work in environmental health while developing new collaborative research projects aimed at tribal populations in Montana. Read more about Belcourt’s fellowship.
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UM, known as MOLLI, has surpassed its all-time enrollment high this fall. There are 930 individuals registered for courses, and MOLLI membership grew to 737 members – an all-time high for the fall semester. MOLLI offers noncredit academic short courses to individuals who are age 50 and older. The courses are academic in nature and traditionally taught by UM faculty, emeritus faculty and professionals from the community. Read more about MOLLI.
Last spring UM Professor Laura Dybdal and Shawn Grove, director of UM VETS Office, partnered with Dan Libby, executive director of the national Veterans Yoga Project, to implement a Mindful Resilience Training for student veterans. Participants reported life improvements and now Dybdal and Grove are expanding it. On Oct. 7, Libby will deliver a lecture at UM and hold training sessions for local health care works and student veterans. Read more about the program and the upcoming lecture.
The Mansfield Global Leadership Podcast is a new series by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at UM that captures the wisdom of international thought leaders. In this episode, UM President Royce Engstrom talks about the process of becoming a leader, the Global Leadership Initiative and examples of leadership from his own life. Listen to the latest podcast here.
For the first time since 2002, the University of Montana Foundation awarded the Order of the Grizzly, its highest honor. Tom Cotter, who gave millions to support student scholarships at the University of Montana, is the 2014 recipient and was honored posthumously at the Foundation’s President’s Club and Heritage Society Dinner on Sept. 25. Cotter passed away July 16. His daughter, Mary Ann Cotter, accepted the award on his behalf. Read more about Cotter’s connection to UM and his philanthropy.
Just in time for Homecoming, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library at UM has placed all 72 UM yearbooks online. The Sentinel yearbooks range from 1904 to 1972 and 1987 to 1989. They are online in ScholarWorks, UM’s open-access repository service. The text of each yearbook is fully searchable, and they include photographs and stories that document all aspects of life at UM, providing a rich source for history and culture of the University. Local news station KPAX reports.
Founded in 1914 by Arthur L. Stone, the University of Montana Journalism School is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Since its start in a few Army surplus tents pitched near Main Hall, the school has been both a source of pride, and at times, a thorn in the side of the university. The Missoulian looks back at 100 years of journalism at UM with this timeline, and considers what lies ahead for the school in this article.
“Success” is a word that fits on entrepreneur and UM alumnus Hank Green as neatly as his black-rimmed glasses and the wide-eyed, gawky grin he beams around the world every week via YouTube. From his Internet platform, he has launched a fusillade of imaginative and popular multimedia ventures. They crackle with his ideas on the environment, technology, space exploration, sexual health, philanthropy and songs about Harry Potter. Read more about Green in the latest issue of the Montanan.
Bryn Hagfors was a rising star at UM, where he served on ASUM Senate as vice president while he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics. Now he’s back in his hometown of Great Falls, working as a business and marketing analyst for Davidson Investment Advisors. The Great Falls Tribune recently profiled him as a “Rising Star.” Read more about what Hagfors is up to these days.
The University of Montana received a $1.5 million boost Friday, making UM’s College of Education and Human Sciences the gifted education hub of Montana and the Northern Rockies. Missoula residents and UM graduates Suzanne and Dave Peterson pledged $1.5 million to the school, funding a professorship that will specialize in gifted education and advanced learning in the classroom. The donation will also fund research into how best to motivate gifted children to succeed. Read more about the Petersons' generous gift.
The Mansfield Global Leadership Podcast is a new series by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at UM that captures the wisdom of international thought leaders and industry experts on various aspects of U.S.-Asia relations. In the first episode, Mansfield Center Director Abraham Kim discusses the importance of Montana-Asia relations, and participants take part in a roundtable discussion highlighting leadership lessons learned from Mike Mansfield’s life and legacy. Listen to the first podcast here.
University of Montana President Royce Engstrom delivered the annual State of the University Address on Aug. 22, 2014, in which he outlined institutional priorities for the coming year and introduced new faculty members and administrators. Watch the address and see other UM videos on UM's YouTube channel.
Fall semester began Aug. 25 with a flurry of activity on campus and all over Missoula. The Peers Connection Network in the Office for Student Success captured some of excitement this week and the many adventures that lie ahead for UM students in this video.
UM is committed to helping students find a career that fulfills their personal and professional goals. Career Services can help students select majors, review and revise resumes and learn the art of interviewing well. This week, Career Services hosts the Student Employment and Academic Enrichment Fair, where students seeking part-time work can connect with employers. Visit the Career Services website to learn more about the fair and the other assistance the office offers UM students.
Meet Jordan Sullivan, former Lady Griz standout who graduated from UM this past May. Sullivan closed out her four-year Lady Griz career averaging 11.6 points and a team-high 7.8 rebounds per game, but her accomplishments didn't end on the court. She was named Most Inspirational Player and received the Outstanding Senior Award and the 2014 Athlete in Service Award.
With the right connections in place and the power of a good idea, a new business can move fast. Just ask Matt Gangloff and Andrew Burrington, who have seen an influx of funding and interest since the duo won the School of Business Administration’s Fall 2013 Business Plan Competition and founded New Leaf Environmental Monitoring. Read more about their product, which provides a low-cost way to monitor how natural gas from fracking operations impacts human health.
Bill Moore said his father, Bud Moore, taught him lessons of the wild he didn’t even know he’d learned until later. By making the late conservationist’s journals and letters, reports and notes, speeches and photos and even his voice available to the public through the University of Montana archives, his son said he hoped others will glean some things too. Read more about the Bud Moore collection at the Mansfield Library.
A semitrailer carrying the legacy papers of former U.S. Sen. Max Baucus arrived at the University of Montana on Monday, bolstering the school’s already robust legislative collection. Crews spent Monday transferring 21 pallets containing more than 900 boxes of Baucus’ papers to the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, where the files will be sorted, archived and eventually made available for research. Read more about the Baucus papers at UM.
Summer theater season is in full swing and more than 50 UM students, alumni and faculty from the School of Music and School of Theatre & Dance are working in theaters around Montana and Idaho as actors, designers, musical directors, writers and technicians. Many of these companies have productions running through Labor Day. Find out where you can catch the talented members of the UMArts family in action this season.
A delegation of high-level Chinese ambassadors will stop this week in Missoula, one of just three U.S. cities listed on their North American tour. Organized by the Mansfield Center at UM, the stop in Missoula includes talks with university officials, Gov. Steve Bullock and state business leaders, among others. The exchange will focus in part on economic trade, energy, internet technology and academic exchanges. Read more about the delegation’s visit.
UM received unprecedented private support in fiscal year 2014, with donations totaling $53.7 million. This is a $16.3 million increase over the previous record, set in 2008. In July 2013, the UM Foundation set out to raise an extra $45 million for students over a three-year period. After one year, the “Investing in Student Success” initiative has received $22 million. Read more about how alumni and friends and joining the UM Foundation to invest in student success.
The official title of the seminar was “Recent Advances in Applying Genetics and Genomics to Conservation,” but it was really about family. Dozens of scientists who started their careers under the wing of UM geneticist Fred Allendorf came to celebrate his influence at the North American Congress for Conservation Biology in Missoula on Monday. Read more about how Allendorf and his former students have made vast contributions to conservation management.
Five outstanding UM graduates will receive 2014 Distinguished Alumni Awards during Homecoming weekend festivities on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 26-27. The awards are the highest honor presented by UM’s Alumni Association. This year’s distinguished alumni are Eric Sprunk ’86 of Beaverton, Ore.; Elizabeth Vinson Kohlstaedt, Ph.D. ’89, of Helena; Charles Hood ’61, M.A. ’69 (posthumously awarded); Denise Juneau, J.D. ’04, of Helena; and James Murray ’76 of Washington, D.C. Read more about the distinguished alumni.
Longtime UM law professor “Duke” William Crowley passed away recently at age 91, but while he’s gone from this world, his legacy as a friend, a professor and the principal draftsman of the Montana Criminal Code will linger. The school estimates that more than 3,000 law students attended his classes over the years. He left them rich with knowledge and stories they wouldn’t soon forget. Read more about Crowley’s legacy.
It’s the centerpiece of campus, commanding the Oval at UM. It appears in historic black-and-white photographs, and on today’s postcards of Missoula. Of the city’s many icons, Main Hall is surely high on the list. UM was established in 1893 and Main Hall is the oldest building on campus. It was designed by the well-known Missoula architect A.J. Gibson in the Richardsonian-Romanesque style and opened in 1899. Read more about Main Hall’s history in the Missoulian’s 100 Missoula Icons series.
UM alumna and Assistant Professor Annie Belcourt (Otter Woman) is approaching health disparities among Native American populations from many angles. She’s working to improve indoor air quality in Nez Perce and Navajo communities. She helps community members promote health by telling their own stories through digital media, and she’s actively involved in bringing more Native Americans into academia. This article explores Belcourt’s interdisciplinary work.
Great Falls sits right in the heart of Montana. The Missouri River snakes through one of the windiest cities in the United States. The Lewis and Clark Expedition had to portage around the area's five waterfalls in 1805. It was also home to former Montana Grizzly quarterback Dave Dickenson, who was voted as the No. 1 male athlete in the first 50 years of the Big Sky Conference. Read more about Dickenson’s latest honor.
A current exhibit at the Mansfield Library titled “Women in Montana Politics” features photographs and documents from well-known early 20th century suffragists along with information on contemporary activists and politicians. Archives specialist Carlie Magill and fellow Archives Specialist Kellyn Younggren spent nearly three months curating the exhibit, which is featured in display cases on the fourth floor of the library, as well as online. Read more about the exhibit in the Montanan magazine.
The UM School of Journalism has created a second visiting professorship that will allow the school to bring a high-profile journalist to campus each spring semester to teach a course to advanced journalism students and to mentor students at the Montana Kaimin newspaper. Since 2001 the school has had the T. Anthony Pollner Distinguished Professorship. The school recently announced a second endowment that will expand the program to spring semester. Read more about the Pollner professorship.
Travis DeCuire has always had a passion for basketball. That was apparent way back in 1990 when Blaine Taylor visited DeCuire on a recruiting trip to Seattle. Even today, Taylor and DeCuire have differing versions of what occurred that day, but DeCuire’s enthusiasm was unmistakable. That passion led Athletic Director Kent Haslam to introduce UM's new basketball coach with the pronouncement: “We got our guy.” Read more about UM newest basketball coach.
UM School of Journalism students and recent graduates are cleaning up at regional and national competitions. In early June, Christoper Allen and Ruth Eddy won first and second place, respectively, in the radio news category at the Hearst Intercollegiate Journalism Awards competition in Washington, D.C. And just a few days later, five UM journalism projects received student Emmy Awards for excellence in broadcast journalism. Read more about UM’s talented journalism students.
The Missoulian newspaper recently released its annual 20 Under 40 publication, a special section recognizing the top young business professionals in western Montana who excel in leadership, innovation and dedication to community. Several of the professionals who made the list have ties to UM, either as alumni, faculty or staff. UM congratulates all those who made this year’s list. Read more about these rising stars.
Hedge fund founder Renée Haugerud works in a corner office of the landmarked Beaux Arts Scribner Building on New York City’s busy Fifth Avenue. But the ideas that brought her here are rooted in a tiny log cabin near Montana’s Blackfoot River, surrounded by groves of larches, Douglas firs, lodgepoles and ponderosa pines. The 1980 graduate of the UM School of Forestry is now the chief investment officer of Galtere, Ltd. Read more about Haugerud in the Montanan magazine.
Learn more about the Flathead Lake Biological Station, UM's unique ecological research and education center located in Yellow Bay on Flathead Lake. For over 100 years, FLBS scientists have conducted research focused on the Crown of the Continent ecosystem while educating college students and the public through academic programs and community outreach.
On June 2, UM hosted its annual Retirees Luncheon, where former UM faculty and staff members come together to socialize and recognize the newest crop of retirees. More than 65 people retired from UM this year, including Dan Pletscher, who led the UM Wildlife Biology Program for nearly 20 years. Dan built one of the nation’s most prestigious research and teaching programs in wildlife biology and management. Read more about this year’s retirees.
On June 2, UM hosted its annual Retirees Luncheon, where former UM faculty and staff members come together to socialize and recognize the newest crop of retirees. More than 65 people retired from UM this year, including Annette Rocheleau who served as assistant basketball coach for the Lady Griz for 32 years. During her tenure the Lady Griz won numerous conference championships and played in 20 NCAA tournaments. Annette was instrumental in the growth and popularity of Lady Griz basketball. Read more about this year’s retirees.
The spring semester was just coming to a close when Patrick O’Connor received the news: UM Department of History doctoral candidate will be the first George M. and Jane I. Dennison Doctoral Fellow. O’Connor’s research focuses primarily on the social, political and intellectual histories of 19th-century America. The fellowship honors former UM President George Dennison and his wife, Jane, for the many contributions they made to the University. Read more about the first Dennison Doctoral Fellow.
Travis DeCuire has been selected to be the UM’s 27th head men's basketball coach, announced UM Director of Athletics Kent Haslam announced May 31. DeCuire, who set and still holds the Grizzly career and single-season assists records during his three-year (1992-94) career at Montana, replaces Wayne Tinkle, who accepted a coaching position at Oregon State last month. Read more about UM’s newest coach at www.gogriz.com.
After more than three decades as Montana Public Radio News Director, Sally Mauk retires on May 30. She's logged hundreds of hours of interviews, on-the-scene fire coverage, long, frantic election nights and news-poor holidays. She sat down with MTPR General Manager William Marcus to reflect on her career. And even though the tables were turned, she still asked the first question. Listen to the interview here.
UM student Mariah Williams will serve as the next student regent on the state Board of Regents. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock appointed Williams to the post earlier this month. Williams served as a senator on the Associated Students of UM and as its vice president. She earned her undergraduate degree this spring and will attend UM as a graduate student in the fall. Learn more about Williams and the other regents that govern the Montana University System.
The 2014 summer season starts with a celebration for Flathead Lake as UM’s Flathead Lake Biological Station has exceeded its $1 million goal to match a lake monitoring challenge grant. In late 2011, FLBS began a three-year campaign to raise a $1 million endowment to match a pledge for its Flathead Lake Research and Monitoring Program. Hundreds of families, foundations and businesses came through with gifts large and small. Read more about the successful campaign.
When Jim Hilleboe traces the steps that led to his success as a businessman in Billings back to their genesis, he finds the four years he spent at UM in the mid-60s. To give back to the school that gave him his business foundation and befitting someone who worked in construction, Hilleboe, 69, has signed a $1.5 million bequest to UM that will be earmarked for facility improvements for Grizzly Athletics. Read more about Hilleboe's generous gift.
Almost three years after he first wrote the script, Mathew Miller and his filmmaking partner Brandon Woodard have the finish line in sight for their first feature film, “Subterranea.” “Subterranea” is a film adaptation a 1997 concept album of the same name from the British progressive rock band I.Q. The pre-production work for the film was also the basis of Miller and Woodard’s MFA thesis project in the Media Arts program at UM. Read more about the UM grads’ film.
Wayne Tinkle won more basketball games as head coach of the Montana Grizzlies than anyone except the man Dahlberg Arena is named after. He won more Big Sky Conference games than any previous Griz coach and took his team to three NCAA tournaments, another superlative. But those are not the things of which Tinkle is most proud in his eight-year tenure as Montana’s head man. Read Missoulian sports editor Bob Meseroll’s interview with Tinkle, who was named Oregon State basketball coach earlier this week.
James R. Silkenat, president of the American Bar Association, will deliver remarks during the UM School of Law Commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 24, in the George and Jane Dennison Theatre. Eighty students will graduate from the school. Silkenat is a partner in the New York office of the national law firm Sullivan & Worcester and is a member of its corporate department. Read more about the School of Law Commencement.
The UM School of Business Administration and the Montana Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs have announced the winners of the 25th annual John Ruffatto Business Plan Competition. UM business school undergraduate students Matthew Gangloff and Andrew Burrington and MBA student Kyle Marshall won the top award of $10,000 for their business plan, New Leaf Environmental. Read more about the teams that competed in the competition.
UM tennis player Maddy Murray was recently named the recipient of the ITA’s Arthur Ashe Jr. Sportsmanship and Leadership Award for the organization’s Mountain Region, a territory that covers eight states. The award is based not only on leadership and sportsmanship, but scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements as well. Murray graduated May 17 with a GPA of 3.9 as a mathematics major in the Davidson Honors College. Read more about Murray’s accomplishments on and off the court.
Saturday, May 17, was a beautiful day for Commencement ceremonies at UM. Thousands of students received their degrees while their families and supporters watched on from inside Washington-Grizzly Stadium and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock offered some solid advice in his Commencement address. View a photo album of graduation photos on UM’s official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/umontana.
The Bitterroot College UM held its first formal graduation on Friday afternoon. “Education is its own reward,” director Victoria Clark told the graduates. The degree candidates wore their caps and gowns, while faculty and school administration wore their full regalia: doctoral and master’s degree hoods, caps and fancy sleeves. Twenty-six students earned their Associate of Arts and Associate of Applied Science degrees. Read more about Bitterroot College’s ceremony.
Recent UM grad Christina Bloemen leaves for Ukraine in September to teach English and serve as a cultural ambassador on behalf of the U.S. on a Fulbright Scholarship. Making the cut as a Fulbright scholar is no easy task, but Bloemen never took the easy route through college. At 21, her academic vitae already reads like a professional twice her age, starting with leadership roles in her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma. Read more about Bloeman’s accomplishments.
A unique perspective and five long days of work are paying off for a UM graduate student and three alumni. The filmmaking team Wheelhouse Missoula – comprising current and former UM School of Media Arts students – recently won the prestigious PBS P.O.V. Award and the Best Experimental Film Award at the Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto for their short documentary “20/Nothing.” Read more about the film and the award.
About 3,600 graduates and degree candidates are invited to participate in the University of Montana’s 117th Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 17, in Washington-Grizzly Stadium. The general ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. in Washington-Grizzly Stadium. The stadium opens at 8 a.m., and guests should be seated in the westside seating area by 9:30 a.m. No tickets are required. Read more about this year's Commencement events.
This will go down as a record-breaking year for fundraising at UM. The UM Foundation has received $37.4 million in donations and pledges this fiscal year, which began July 1. This breaks a record set in 2008, when fundraising totaled $36.7 million. This year’s total comes from 10,000 individual gifts. “We are tremendously grateful to all who have contributed this year,” said UM President Royce Engstrom. Read more about the recent donations to UM.
A vocal scholarship brought Neal Lewing to the UM School of Music in 1970. But as he entered his junior year, Lewing interrupted his education before he had a chance to perform his senior recital, a rite of passage for UM music students. Now, roughly 40 years later, the prolific musician, producer and arts educator will return to UM to perform his senior recital as a benefit concert. Read more about Lewing’s upcoming performance.
When Joel Henry stepped away from his job teaching computer science at UM to attend law school, he couldn’t know that his interest in searching piles of electronic legal data would spin into a new company. But with the support of the Technology Transfer Office at UM, and backed with the school’s support, Henry’s new business has won high reviews. Read more about how Agile Legal Technology.
Data impacts all of our lives, from how businesses cater to our demands to how governments allocate resources. Missoula is home to several companies and organizations that work with big data, including UM. That’s why a group of forward-looking folks have organized the first-ever Big Data Week in Missoula, set for May 5-9, with the Montana Cyber Triathlon at UM kicking things off on Saturday, May 3. Read more about Big Data Week.
A California couple with a love for Montana and art has committed a significant portion of their estate to the Montana Museum of Art & Culture at UM. The gift will come from alumna Suzanne Moore Crocker ’64 and her husband, Bruce, of Palo Alto, Calif. Their bequest will establish the Suzanne and Bruce Crocker Distinguished Director Fund. Read more about the Crockers’ generous gift.
The power to hunt down a terrorist like Osama bin Laden may not be enough to protect the United States from the folly of its own spending problems, former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told a Missoula audience Thursday. Panetta gave UM’s annual Jones-Tamm Judicial Lecture on April 24. Read more about Panetta’s lecture in the Missoulian.
It’s been a banner year for the UM Foundation’s phonathon, an annual fundraising drive that supports UM’s academics, students and activities. Alumni and friends of UMhave pledged almost $315,000 since July 1, 2013. Over 3,000 donors from across the country have made pledges to support all academic units and areas of campus life, including scholarships, study abroad travel stipends, speaker funds and athletics. Read more about the phonathon’s success.
UM has received $5 million to endow a scholarship fund for Montana students with financial need. The gift came from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous. The gift includes $144,000 for scholarships to be awarded to next fall’s freshmen. Twelve students will receive $3,000 scholarships that are renewable for four years. The remainder of the gift will be placed in an endowment. Read more about this latest’s gift for student scholarships.
Two Missoula scientists have patented an innovative new way to combat infections from a common and potentially dangerous bacteria, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, often called MRSA. Their company, Wintermute Biomedical, is one of the only biomedical research facilities in Missoula and they’ve been using a $60,000 grant from the Montana Board of Research and Commercialization Technology to fund their testing. Read more about two UM alums are developing.
UM Professor Carl Seielstad recently earned the 2013 Paul Gleason Lead by Example Award from a national interagency wildfire committee. The award is given to firefighters who are exceptional mentors and leaders. In selecting him for the honor, the National Wildfire Coordinating Group leadership subcommittee noted Seielstad’s visionary leadership. He is the first UM faculty member to receive the honor. Read more about Seielstad’s award.
A few years down the road, if you find your wine glasses coming out of the dishwasher spotless, you might have Missoula scientists to thank. And you might thank them if your car is immune to rust from road deicers while you’re at it. Rivertop Renewables, a local company that produces chemicals from natural plant sugars, announced this week it had raised $26 million in capital from several major investors. Read more about Rivertop.
Max Baucus, Montana’s longest-serving U.S. senator, has departed to become ambassador to China, but a significant portion of his legacy will remain with UM. On April 10, Baucus announced he would donate his official papers to UM’s Archives and Special Collections. In addition, the Baucus Institute for Public Policy and Service will be established at the UM School of Law if approved by the state Board of Regents. Read more about Baucus’ donation.
Spring came warmly to the UM campus Tuesday when Barbara Ballas made her way into the belfry rising over Main Hall. Ballas is the latest musician serving as carilloneur – roughly translated as “the player of the bells.” She is filling in for Nancy Cooper, whose tenure reaches back to 1992, or 21 graduating classes. Read more about UM’s carilloneur.
UM alumna Maggie Carey writes and directs comedies, and her work has shown on movie screens around the world. Her work features some of the world’s best young comedians giving their twisted takes on scenes that Carey created from the perspective she developed growing up in Idaho. The former Griz soccer player talks about her time at UM, her successful career and what’s next.
Are you ready to pursue your passion? Blackstone LaunchPad and the experienced entrepreneurs of Missoula are ready to help make your dreams come true.
Community and connections are an intentional mission to foster successful startups at Montana Enterprise Technology Center. Now that the center’s office space is full with nine promising companies, it is continuing to explore how it can expand to serve more startups, said Joe Fanguy, director of technology transfer for UM who also heads up MonTEC. Read more about the local businesses that have taken up residence at MonTEC.
Blackstone LaunchPad at UM is here to help students with an entrepreneurial dream seize opportunity. "If we can empower people to try, then great things will happen," says UM Director of Technology Transfer Joe Fanguy.
A 1953 UM alumnus has committed $11 million of his estate for academic scholarships at his alma mater, the largest pledge for scholarships in the history of the University. Tom Cotter, of Palo Alto, Calif., is retired from a successful career in the investment field. The gift is a big show of support for UM’s Investing in Student Success Initiative, launched by UM President Engstrom last summer. Read more about Cotter’s generous gift here.
When Tom Stergios opened Advanced Technology Group’s Missoula Solution Center, he did so with a handful of employees, banking on the quality of University of Montana School of Business Administration graduates. Three years later, the IT consulting firm office has expanded to nearly 60 employees, including new hires at an emerging affiliate, Ingenium, which launched this winter. Read more about the exciting work UM grads are doing at ATG.
A UM alumnus has committed $1.5 million of his estate to the College of Forestry and Conservation. The gift from Earle Layser and his late wife, Pattie, of Alta, Wyo., will endow a professorship in conservation biology and policy. The position will be called the Earle and Pattie Layser Endowed Distinguished Professorship in Conservation Biology and Policy. Read more about the Laysers’ generous gift.
The Class of 2014 will join in the tradition of giving a gift back to UM this spring. This year’s seniors will again partner with the UM Farm to College Program to provide a lasting gift to the University and future students. The Senior Class Gift Committee is raising funds from graduating seniors to purchase a garden wash station for the FTC Program. Learn more about the Senior Class Gift.
Mandy Morales finished her Lady Griz basketball career as the fourth-highest scorer in Big Sky Conference history and second at Montana to the legendary Shannon (Cate) Schweyen. Now she’s trying to pass her knowledge on to a new generation of players. After a year of pro ball in Greece following graduation, he two-time Big Sky MVP now heads the Missoula Sentinel Spartans junior varsity team. Read a Q-and-A with Morales here.
The UM School of Law has announced the largest outright gift in its history from Alexander “Zander” Blewett III and his wife, Andy, of Great Falls. The $800,000 gift will create the Blewett Scholars Fund, providing three scholarships to incoming students who have first earned bachelor’s degrees from Montana State University in Bozeman. Read more about the Blewetts’ generous donation.
Back in 2002, in an attempt to build a bridge between UM students and neighboring homeowners, a small group of locals pulled together an informal ice cream social. The gathering proved effective, likely due to the dedication of a couple fondly referred to as Missoula’s grandparents: Pat and Don Simmons. Missoula mourned Don Simmons’ death in July 2012. Earlier this month Pat also passed away, marking an end to a local era. Read more about their legacy.
On Nov. 3, 1914, women won the right to vote in Montana. Over the past 100 years women in Montana have continued to fight for reform and equality. A new online exhibit hosted by UM’s Mansfield Library features photographs and documents from well-known early 20th century suffragists Jeannette Rankin and Ella J. Knowles Haskell, along with information on contemporary activists and politicians. Visit the online exhibit.
He’s been on Conan. He’s opened for Daniel Tosh. On Wednesday night, he’ll perform in front of a hometown crowd at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival at Missoula’s historic Wilma Theatre. He’s Chris Fairbanks, an up-and-coming comedian and artist who is also a 1998 graduate of UM. In advance of his Missoula show, Fairbanks discusses appearing on Conan, his favorite UM class and skateboarding. Read the Montanan Web exclusive with Fairbanks.
Business is booming at the Market on Front, a new restaurant in downtown Missoula. Owner Ben Sokoloski created the market with the help of UM’s Office of Technology Transfer, which aims to support students who have entrepreneurial ambitions. The office has teamed with students to help them craft business models, gain hands-on experience and receive the appropriate guidance to bring their dreams to fruition. Read Ben’s success story here.
In her first interview as Montana’s 31st lieutenant governor, UM alumna Angela McLean stopped by the Montanan office to talk about her new gig, her teaching career, and meeting former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, among other topics. McLean earned her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from UM in 2000. Read the story on the Montanan's new website, montanan.umt.edu.
Set to a space-age countdown from 10 to one, the Blackstone LaunchPad program took flight at UM on Thursday, opening its doors to the “21st Century Montana Entrepreneur.” Held before a crowd estimated at 150 people, the anticipated opening drew the “who’s who” of the Missoula business community, along with city officials, students, regents, administrators and Blackstone Foundation representatives. Read the Missoulian story.
For the second year in a row, UM has been named the No. 12 medium-sized university for producing Peace Corps volunteers. Currently, 22 UM alumni serve with the Peace Corps worldwide. Since the first days of the Peace Corps, 811 UM alumni have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers. Learn more about UM’s Peace Corps ranking.
In the spring of 2013, Grizzly football players and coaches had their blood drawn to see if they might be eligible to donate bone marrow or blood stem cells. Such donations can save the lives of patients around the world, but the odds of being a match is nearly 1-in-100,000. Despite those odds, this week assistant coach Justin Green becomes the second member of the Griz football program to be matched with a patient in need. Read Green’s story.
Eldena Bear Don’t Walk is living out her childhood dream. The youngster who imagined one day becoming a lawyer has done exactly that — and more. The UM alumna has been an appellate judge for eight years, serving almost every tribe in Montana. Today she works as an attorney, consultant and independent legal researcher. And she was the first woman to serve as chief justice of the Crow Tribe. Read Bear Don’t Walk’s story.
The newest issue of the Montanan magazine is out now! It’s packed with compelling stories, beautiful photos and features about spectrUM Discovery Area, UM’s renowned School of Pharmacy and a profile of writer/director Maggie Carey ’97. Can’t wait to get it in the mail? Check out our brand-new, redesigned website at montanan.umt.edu.
Scott Allen Meyer was a good friend to many people. And he was good at many things. He loved to fly fish, hike and snowboard. Most of all, he loved to learn, reading book after book, developing a deep and passionate knowledge of history. When his life was cut short in 2011, his parents decided to establish the Scott A. Meyer Memorial Scholarship for Excellence in American History at UM. Read more
UM’s Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences recently earned the highest possible marks from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. The accreditation evaluated 42 professional education programs across four colleges and schools. Review findings emphasized the college’s outstanding leadership, assessment system and innovative use of digital learning models, noting that the programs are poised for tremendous growth. Read more
Disability Services for Students recently received a visit from UM alumna Akiko Wako, who earned her bachelor’s degree from the School of Business Administration in 2004 and now coordinates rehabilitation projects in an area that was badly affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. Wako encourages students who are struggling to seek out DSS. “Without the support from Disability Services for Students, I would not be here today,” she says. Read more
A real estate agent whose success depends upon the beauty and health of Flathead Lake is contributing to continuous lake monitoring. Dusty Dziza, owner of Flathead Lake Land & Home in Kalispell, puts aside a percentage of her commissions from Flathead Lake property sales for the University of Montana Flathead Lake Biological Station. She donated more than $1,000 this fall. Read more
Six months have gone by since Adrienne Corti passed away, but her legacy at UM continues to grow, and could reach a pinnacle next spring through a scholarship in her name. Corti’s presence has been greatly missed since her death in May, but the programs she built during her tenure in the Department of Health and Human Performance continue to grow. Read more
After #BlackFriday and #CyberMonday comes #GivingTuesday, a day for you to give back and make a difference. This holiday season, the UM Foundation is asking UM alumni, friends and donors to make a gift in support of students at UM. Gifts raised through this campaign will go directly to students, supporting UM's fundraising priority, Investing in Student Success. Read more
Two UM journalism alums earned Emmy Awards for their video documenting the sinking of the USS Mohawk in the Gulf of Mexico last year. David Sirak, ‘92, is the director of News Technology at WFTV in Orlando. Daniel Erusha, ’13, was interning with WFTV at the time of the project. Read more
If all goes as planned, next year UM will unveil a "Cyber Innovation Laboratory" that looks something like a scene from a high-tension television drama. But instead of actors, the lab will host aspiring student hackers and forensic technicians learning the technical skills they'll need to navigate the modern age. Read more
The School of Art recently recognized UM alumnus and generous supporter Gilbert Millikan during the dedication ceremony for the new Gilbert Millikan Art Resource Center. The center provides students with access to books, journals, electronic media and other research materials for the study of art history and criticism and the visual arts. It is a testament to Millikan’s love of art and his legacy to UM. Read more
Longtime UM women’s basketball coach Robin Selvig is one win shy of reaching 800 career wins, a milestone reached by only a handful of college coaches. One of them is legendary Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer, who along with Selvig, interviewed for the Lady Griz job in 1978. Read about how it all began with this story from UM Sports Information. Read more
The search for a new director is underway, the offices will be shelled out soon and, if all goes well, the Blackstone LaunchPad program at UM will begin accepting student entrepreneurs by spring. Montana became the fifth state nationally to receive funding from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation to launch an entrepreneurship program aimed at bringing new business ideas to fruition. Read more
Jim McNerney Jr., Boeing Co. president, chairman and CEO, appeared at UM on Wednesday to discuss his company’s emergence as a world leader in the aviation industry and its challenges moving forward. McNerney addressed a crowd of about 900 people in the Dennison Theatre during the 2013 Harold and Priscilla Gilkey Executive Lecture at UM. Read more
Randy Cline, Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences alumnus and superintendent of Frenchtown School District, is the recipient of the Montana Superintendent of the Year award. The award is presented by the Montana Association of School Superintendents, and is one of several honors Cline has received during his time as an educator. Read more
Tim Praetzel, a UM alumnus from Salt Lake City, submitted the winning design for the inaugural University of Montana T-shirt design contest. Praetzel responded to UM’s call to artists to submit a one-of-a-kind design using UM’s new visual mark, the M-pulse. The design will be printed locally onto gray American Apparel shirts and sold in The Bookstore at UM. Read more
UM alumnus Art Almquist, pictured above in blue, was recently named one of People magazine’s six Teachers of the Year for 2013. Almquist graduated from UM in 1996 with a master’s in theatre and began teaching at Tucson Magnet High School in Tucson, Ariz., that same year. He’s built a cutting-edge theater program rarely seen at the high school level. Read more
UM’s Fallen Soldier Memorial was recognized as the official State Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans’ Memorial during a ceremony held Oct. 26. The memorial, which bears the names of 43 Montana soldiers who lost their lives in the recent wars, was unveiled in 2011 and received the state memorial designation during the 2012 legislative session. Read more
The Fallen Soldier Memorial at the University of Montana is a solemn reminder of those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The memorial, bearing the names of Montana soldiers who lost their lives in the recent wars, will be recognized as the official State Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans’ Memorial on Saturday, Oct. 26. Read more
Ten newly minted physicians make up the first class in the Missoula-based Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana. The residents will get top-notch training in a rural setting and come out the other side in three years as board-certified family medicine physicians. And they’ll be first in a concerted effort to ensure Montana’s small towns have family practice doctors. Read more
Under the bright stadium lights last week, Lex Hilliard watched the Jets warm up for their football game. Except instead of the colossal professionals from New York, a different pint-size team of green jerseys surrounded “Coach Lex” – rambunctious 8- and 9-year-olds wearing shorts and mouth guards. The Kalispell native is back home. Read more
Each Homecoming, the UM Alumni Association honors outstanding alumni with Distinguished Alumni Awards. Dorothy Bridges, George Dennison, Jim Messina, Milton Parsons and Yoko Takeuchi are this year’s recipients. They were honored during Homecoming week with an awards ceremony and reception. Read more about their accomplishments.
This fall there are nearly 800 individuals registered for MOLLI courses, an all-time enrollment high, and membership also has grown to 637 members since the start of the fall term on Oct. 3. MOLLI is a resource for adults aged 50 and older who enjoy having a relationship with UM, connecting with others and learning for learning’s sake. Read more
Bryan Lutgen, the 29-year-old management information systems major at UM, received the Don McGonigle Memorial Scholarship this spring. The scholarship was established in honor of McGonigle, a remarkable businessman who showed characteristics of cheer, optimism, courage, determination, modesty, kindness and high moral standards. The award recognizes Lutgen for showing many of those same characteristics. Read more
As a doctoral student in UM’s Department of Counselor Education, Tara Smart remains focused on her passion: advocating for children and helping others to understand the unique needs of special education students. Thanks to the vision and funding of some generous UM alumni, Smart is first recipient of UM’s Intermountain Children’s Home Doctoral Fellowship. Read more
UM’s Wildlife Biology Program recently appointed an interim director and a new student adviser. Winsor Lowe will lead the program for the next two years, and Darr Tucknott joins the staff as student adviser. Lowe, a professor in the program for eight years, replaces Dan Pletscher, who retired in June. Read more
The usual shimmer and shine found at Southgate Mall got an added boost on Sunday when the UM’s drum line and spirit squads arrived with boisterous fanfare. Starting at JC Penney Court, the maroon and silver throng marched to the Clock Tower to officially kick off the week of UM Homecoming celebrations. Read more
College of Forestry and Conservation faculty members Alex Metcalf and Carl Seielstad led a hazardous fuels treatment project at Lubrecht State Experimental Forest last week. The thinning work reduced fuels around the recreational and lodging facilities at the forest. Seielstad and student Jenny Smith talked about the work in an interview with ABC Fox Montana.
The community is invited to join the festivities during UM’s 2013 Homecoming Week, set for Sept. 29-Oct. 5, with a full schedule of traditional events. This year’s Homecoming theme – “Up With Montana!” – comes directly from UM’s fight song, penned in 1914, and celebrates both the rich past and rising future of UM. Read more
By now, you’d think Anna Baldwin would be used to winning teaching awards. Instead, the Arlee High School English and history teacher says she “basically didn’t believe it” when her phone rang at 8 o’clock Sunday night with the news: Baldwin is Montana’s 2014 Teacher of the Year. Read more
Ulysses Doss and the founding members and first students of the Black Studies Program launched in 1968 at the University of Montana gathered Friday to kick off their reunion, celebrating the successes they achieved in an unlikely place and to award the first ever Ulysses S. Doss Scholarship. Read more
Social media central at the Montana Economic Development Summit was monitored closely by a small group of UM students who worked for months to ensure that business leaders at the summit – and around the world – could connect to the ideas and information being shared during the two-day event in Butte. Read more
UM photojournalism and multimedia Associate Professor Jeremy Lurgio's project “Lost & Found Montana” recently was named one of 20 “Best of 2013” projects by American Society of Media Photographers. Lurgio tells the stories of 18 Montana towns on the edge of extinction through photographs, an interactive Web site, a multimedia exhibit and magazine publication. Read more
A new facility at UM will allow students to learn about cybersecurity and use “big data” to solve real-world problems. On Monday, UM announced plans to open a Cyber Innovation Laboratory in collaboration with state technology companies. Read more
The first TEDxUMontana event will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 19, in the Masquer Theatre of the Performing Arts and Radio/TV Center at UM. Tickets for TEDxUMontana are sold out, but you can still be part of the conversation at public viewing events. Find a listing of viewing locations here.
From heavy-hitting keynote speakers to ambassadors from some of the world’s most dynamic economies to breakout sessions with industry leaders, there is something for everyone at the 2013 Montana Economic Development Summit taking place in Butte on Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 16-17. Organized by Sen. Max Baucus, the goal of the summit is to boost trade opportunities for Montana and create new jobs. Watch the summit live here.
Each spring students from Montana's higher education institutions are invited to compete for a $10,000 grand prize in the annual John Ruffatto Business Plan Competition at UM. Meet the competitors from last spring's competition and watch highlights from the event.
It’s the Montana “grow-your-own” spirit that inspires Kaye Norris, assistant director of the Western Montana Area Health Education Center at UM, to coordinate a program that places “homegrown” behavioral health specialists in rural Montana communities. The Rural Behavioral Health—Primary Care Collaborative is a program that integrates a prelicensed clinical social worker and postdoctorate psychology graduate into primary care rural health clinics. Read more
On Aug. 31, six U.S. Navy SEALs parachuted into Washington-Grizzly Stadium before the first game of the 2013 season and the first regular-season night game. The SEALs were on hand to support Griz fan and Billings native Bo Reichenbach, a Navy SEAL who lost both his legs while serving in Afghanistan.
Gov. Steve Bullock brought his statewide education tour to UM on Friday, continuing his push to bolster early childhood learning and get more degrees into the hands of adults. After stopping at UM-Western in Dillon and the early learning center in Hamilton, Bullock toured the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences at UM to discuss learning in Montana. Read more
The UM College of Forestry and Conservation will celebrate its centennial this year with three days of events. All alumni and friends of the college are invited to events taking place Sept. 19-21. The college formally opened on Sept. 8, 1914, with 25 students and one degree program. It since has grown to offer five undergraduate degrees, four academic minors, five master’s of science degrees and three doctoral programs to nearly 1,000 students. Read more
The University of Montana made the top 100 in a list of universities ranked by research, service and social mobility. Washington Monthly magazine, a nonprofit publication, gave UM an overall ranking of 90th among 284 schools. The national magazine rates schools based on their contribution to the public good through recruiting and graduating low-income students, producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs, and encouraging students to give something back to their country. Read more
UM President Royce Engstrom delivered his annual State of the University on Aug. 23 to an audience of faculty, staff, students and community members. Engstrom introduced several new administrators and student leaders, shared a variety of stories about academic distinction and success taking place at UM and outlined some of the milestones the University will work toward during the 2013-14 academic year. Read the text of his speech here.
Missoula is home to a vibrant group of industry experts building businesses and doing groundbreaking work in the high-tech sectors of big data and cybersecurity. It’s also home to a large state university that began last year offering undergraduate classes aimed at preparing students to work in those rapidly expanding fields. On Thursday, representatives from both groups had the ear of U.S. Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont. Read more
The Market on Front opened Monday on the street level of the new Park Place parking garage at 201 E. Front St. in downtown Missoula. The concept for all the food found inside the market is simple, owner Ben Sokoloski said. “We want local, we want quality and we want fresh,” he said. “We’re keeping everything seasonal and unique.” Sokoloski hatched the idea for the market as an MBA student at the University of Montana School of Business Administration. Read more
Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor will receive an honorary doctorate of laws from the University of Montana at 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, in the George and Jane Dennison Theatre. The ceremony is free and open to the public. O’Connor has long-standing connections to the UM School of Law. Read more
University of Montana President Royce C. Engstrom will outline institutional priorities for the upcoming academic year during his annual State of the University address at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 23. The public and members of the media are invited to the event, which will be held in the Montana Theatre of UM’s Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center. Read more
With a stroke of a pen, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law by U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson on July 2, 1964. The act—one of the most important pieces of legislation passed in the twentieth century—prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. A pen Johnson used to sign the landmark bill has a somewhat surprising home: a box on a shelf on the fourth floor of UM’s Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. Read more
Five outstanding University of Montana graduates will receive 2013 Distinguished Alumni Awards during Homecoming weekend festivities, Oct. 4-5. The awards are the highest honor presented by UM’s Alumni Association. This year’s distinguished alumni are Dorothy Bridges of Minneapolis, George Dennison of Missoula, Jim Messina of Washington, D.C., Milton Parsons of Denver and Yoko Takeuchi of Tokyo. The public is invited to attend a panel discussion featuring all five Distinguished Alumni Award recipients at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, in the University Center Ballroom on the UM campus. Read more