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