cowboy in Kazakhstan herds cattle

Alumnus Travels Kazakhstan to Chronicle Rising Cattle Industry

UM alumnus Ryan Bell earned his master's in nonfiction creative writing in 2014 and then went on to earn the coveted Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship. Now he’s traveling through Russia and Kazakhstan for nine months to write about how those nations are rebuilding their cattle industries in the wake of the Soviet Union's collapse. Learn more about his project and read his articles on his Comrade Cowboys blog.

UM campus

President Holds Campus Forum on UM Budget

President Royce Engstrom held a campus forum on Nov. 17 to discuss the University's budget picture. Engstrom spoke with the campus community about the need to realign UM's base budget with current enrollment and outlined a series of steps that the University will take to continue to deliver an exceptional and transformative education. Read Engstrom's remarks here.

Missoula College nursing students and professor work together

Missoula College Nursing Students Earn 100 Percent Pass Rate

Students at Missoula College UM are well above average when it comes to passing licensing tests required to practice nursing. In 2015, every student in Missoula College’s Associate of Applied Science Practical Nursing Program who took the National Council Licensure Exam passed. Likewise, students in MC’s Associate of Nursing Program garnered a pass rate of 94 percent in 2015. Learn more about how Missoula College prepares nurses for success.

UM alumna Whitney Williams walks along a road in Congo

UM Alumna Helping Influential People Change the World

Founder and CEO of the social impact consulting firm williamsworks, UM alumna Whitney Williams has dedicated her life to doing good in the world. And if the roster of powerful, wealthy people who turn to her for advice is any indication, she’s done it well. Since launching her firm, Williams has helped people, foundations and corporations give their money and use their influence in ways that have brought about real change in the world. Read more about Williams’ work in the Montanan magazine.

plant specimens donated to UM by the Craighead family

UM Herbarium Grows with Gift from Craighead Family

Three giant steam trunks of wildflower specimens sat in the basement of the Craighead household for 50-some years. The specimens, numbering nearly 900, mostly were collected from locales throughout Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. They were used in “A Field Guide to Rocky Mountain Wildflowers,” written by the famous Craighead twins—John and Frank. Now the specimens reside in UM’s Herbarium, a gift from the Craighead family. Read more about the collection in the Montanan magazine

UM business students in former attire

Students Visit High-Tech Company in Downtown Missoula

Working as an information systems technology consultant can be fast-paced and fascinating, but somewhat mysterious to students who are pondering going into the profession, according to David Firth, professor of management information systems at UM’s School of Business Administration. On Oct. 2 Firth will take his students to Advanced Technology Group Missoula Solutions Center to demystify just what technology consultants do on a day-to-day basis. Read more about how the onsite visit helps UM students envision their future.

Terry Payne, left, and Suzanne and Bruce Crocker

UM Foundation Honors Donors with Prestigious Award

The UM Foundation awarded the Order of the Grizzly, its highest honor, on Sept. 24. Suzanne and Bruce Crocker of Palo Alto, California, and Terry Payne of Missoula are the 2015 recipients and were honored at the UM Foundation’s President’s Club and Heritage Society Dinner. “This award is one small way for us to recognize those who have given us so much,” said Shane Giese, president and CEO of the UM Foundation. Read more about this year’s Order of the Griz recipients.

Barbie and Charlie Beaton, owners of Big Dipper Ice Cream

Big Dipper Ice Cream a Sweet Success for UM Grads

Big Dipper, the super-popular, super-friendly ice cream spot located on Missoula’s Hip Strip, celebrated its 20th year of business this summer. The homemade ice cream is considered one of Montana’s sweetest homegrown success stories. UM alumnus Charlie Beaton first came up with the idea for Big Dipper while studying business at UM and making ice cream. Read more about how Big Dipper became a Missoula icon in the fall issue of UM’s Montanan magazine.

Nike COO Eric Sprunk in his office

UM Alumnus Eric Sprunk Turning Nike into Innovation Powerhouse

Nike is not just an athletic shoe and apparel powerhouse. Known for its splashy advertising and big-time celebrity sports endorsements, the company is infusing innovation throughout the organization. Leading that charge is Eric Sprunk, a longtime Nike executive and UM alumnus, who now serves as chief operating officer, overseeing everything from manufacturing to IT infrastructure. GeekWire recently sat down for a Q&A with Sprunk. Read the interview here

Great Falls attorney Alexander Blewett speaks at renaming ceremony

Law School Renaming Ceremony Honors Blewetts

Two decades ago, Great Falls attorney Alexander Blewett was able to make a $50 donation to his alma mater, the UM School of Law. On Sept. 11, UM renamed its law school the Alexander Blewett III School of Law in a formal ceremony honoring the trial attorney and his wife Andrea, who upped their donation from $50 to $10 million, one of the largest gifts ever bestowed upon the university. Read more about renaming in the Missoulian.

The UM Marching Band plays at the 2014 Homecoming football game

Reconnect Sept. 20-26 at UM’s Homecoming

Break out your traditional copper, silver and gold Griz gear and celebrate with the University of Montana during Homecoming 2015, Sunday through Saturday, Sept. 20-26. This year’s theme, “A Tradition of Champions,” commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Montana Grizzlies’ first NCAA Division I-AA football national championship in 1995 and also celebrates the countless successes of UM students and alumni throughout the years. Read more about this year’s Homecoming events

Dan Pendergraph and Sage Stowell backpacking in the Beartooths

Duo Spends Summer Guiding Volunteers into Beartooths

While large swaths of the West have suffered through extreme drought and wildfires this summer, Dan Pendergraph and Sage Stowell have endured numerous hail, rain, lightning and wind storms and the occasional snow flurry while working in the Beartooth Mountains, and they enjoyed almost every minute of it. Stowell and Pendergraph have spent the summer working as field leaders for the Wilderness Institute’s Citizen Science Program at UM. Read more about their adventures in the Billings Gazette.

James Wylder speaks at a campus event.

Estate Gift Creates Scholarships for Top Students

A longtime supporter of UM, James Wylder ’51 decided to leave a portion of his estate to support students. When he passed away in August 2014, the James M. Wylder Presidential Leadership Scholarship was established. Starting this autumn, the University will offer two exceptional Montana students the Wylder Scholarship. The award – among the most generous at UM – covers full tuition, fees, room, board, books and supplies for up to four years. Read the full news release

Missoula Valley

High-Tech Companies Increasing Footprint in State, Hiring UM Grads

Montana has quietly increased its footprint in high-tech businesses, growing at a pace that exceeds statewide growth and providing high-paying jobs for UM students and graduates, according to a recent article in Montana Business Quarterly. From rural areas of Montana, companies are doing business with Fortune 500 firms around the world, according to the article “High Growth for High Tech: Fast-Growing, High-Paying Industry Cluster is Outpacing Other Sectors of Montana’s Economy.” Read more about Montana’s growing industry.

UM alumna Miranda Fox

Student Leader Wins Executive Director of the Year Award

UM alumna Miranda Fox, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, recently was awarded the St. Jude Up ‘til Dawn Executive Director of the Year Award. Fox was awarded the distinguished honor in Memphis, Tennessee, earlier this month.  St. Jude Up 'til Dawn is a student-led, student-run philanthropic program that focuses on raising funds and awareness across college campuses for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Read more about how Fox’s leadership skills earned her this honor.

UM campus

UM to Honor Four Distinguished Alumni at Homecoming

Four outstanding University of Montana graduates will receive 2015 Distinguished Alumni Awards during Homecoming weekend festivities on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 25-26. The awards are the highest honor presented by UM’s Alumni Association. This year’s distinguished alumni are John Grotzinger, M.S. ’81, of San Marino, Calif.; Jennifer F. Isern ’89 of New Delhi, India; Sheila M. Stearns ’68, M.A. ’69, Ed.D. ’83, of Missoula; and Sidney R. Thomas, J.D. ’78, of Billings. Read more about this year’s recipients.

The surface of Mars

NASA Comes to Arlee: UM Grad Bestows Montana Names on Mars

The Mars rover Curiosity was rolling through Arlee on Friday. Not that Arlee. The one on Mars. “Because western Montana is interesting geologically, it ranked up there to get on the names list,” said Missoula native and UM alumnus Brian Nixon, who operates the Rover’s cameras for Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego. “Those are the formal names we use among team members to reference certain features.” Read more about how Nixon puts his geology degree to work.

The UM Grizzly Bear on the Oval

Private Support for UM Tops $50 Million Two Years in a Row

UM had another remarkable fundraising year. Private support for the University in fiscal year 2015 totaled $52.6 million, just shy of last year’s record-breaking total of $53.7 million. The University received cash gifts, pledges, estate gifts and private grants from 14,272 individuals, corporations and private foundations nationwide. “We are incredibly fortunate to have so many alumni and friends who care about the University of Montana and recognize the value of higher education,” said UM President Royce Engstrom. Read the news release.

UM School of Journalism building

Assistant Journalism Professor Named NAJA President

A UM School of Journalism assistant professor has been elected as president of the Native American Journalists Association. Jason Begay, a Navajo from Gallup, New Mexico, and a UM alumnus, joined the UM faculty in 2010. He serves as Native American projects director at the School of Journalism and co-teaches UM’s award-winning Native News Honors Project. Read more about his new role as NAJA president.

UM accounting Professor Teresa Beed

Accounting Professor Awarded State Association’s Highest Honor

A professor who has taught accounting in UM’s School of Business Administration for more than 35 years was recently awarded the Montana Society of Certified Public Accountants’ highest honor. The association presented the 2015 George D. Anderson Distinguished Service Award to Teresa Beed in June. The award is given annually to a member of MSCPA whose contribution to the accounting profession and involvement in community, charitable and civic activities merit outstanding recognition. Read more about Beed’s recent award.

UM Associate Research Professor Carl Seielstad

To Build a Fire: Professor Devotes Career to Changing Fire Policy

The science of wildfires often pits academics against forestry professionals. Carl Seielstad, an associate research professor at the University of Montana, has built a career bridging the divide through his work in the trenches as well as in the lab. Now the former smokejumper is helping change fire policy forever. For starters, Seielstad says, you’ve got to fight fire with fire. Read more about Seielstad's career path in Dartmouth’s alumni magazine

Team works on computer together

Report: Montana is Top State for Entrepreneurial Activity

For the third year in a row, Montana has been named the top state in the country for entrepreneurial activity by the Kauffman Foundation’s Index of Startup Activity. Scott Whittenburg, the vice president for research and creative scholarship at UM, said the Missoula area in particular has a variety of factors that make it conducive to fostering new businesses. The Missoulian newspaper reports.

MontanaPBS Broadcaster William Marcus

Montana Bids Farewell to Broadcast Giant William Marcus

William Marcus is the quiet giant of Montana media, and it is ironic that he will begin his long planned retirement this month. When the career of Marcus began 40 years ago, public television didn’t exist in Montana. Soon after he took the reins at UM’s Broadcast Media Center 20 years ago, public television was well on the way to becoming a statewide reality. Former Montana Secretary of State Bob Brown looks back on Marcus’ remarkable career

J.K. Simmons holds his Oscar

UM Oscar Winner Describes How Family Launched His Career

On the biggest stage in Hollywood, Oscar-winner J.K. Simmons ’78 delivered a simple get potent message: Call your mom and dad, because he can’t call his. Simmons won the Academy Award for best supporting actor for his performance as the intimidating Terence Fletcher in “Whiplash.” Simmons’ parents, Don and Pat, were integral parts of the UM and Missoula communities for decades. Read more in the Montanan magazine
Alexander and Andy Blewett

$10 Million Gift from Blewett Family to Transform UM School of Law

Following Board of Regents approval that was granted May 22, the University of Montana School of Law will officially become the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana as a result of a $10 million donation from Alexander “Zander” and Andrea “Andy” Blewett of Great Falls. The gift, announced May 21 during the Montana Board of Regents meeting in Kalispell, is among the largest individual gifts in UM history. Read more about this generous gift from the Blewetts.

UM students of the WWAMI class of 2016

Pre-Med Program Sees Increase in Medical School Acceptance

With 18 students accepted into medical schools this year, the Pre-Medical Sciences Program at UM reached an acceptance rate of 64 percent – 20 points higher than the national average of 44 percent. The pre-med program has seen a steady increase in the number of students admitted into medical programs the past several years. Mark Pershouse, Pre-Medical Sciences Program director, credits the steady increase to a task force formed in 2008 to improve pre-medical advising. Read more about UM’s pre-med program.

UM graduate Ryan Bell

Recent UM Graduates Earn Fulbright Scholarships

UM graduates Ryan Bell, Brinna Boettger and Dylan Gomes recently received Fulbright Scholarship award notifications for the coming year. Bell was awarded a coveted Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship. Boettger earned a prestigious English Teaching Assistant Fulbright Scholarship. Gomes earned a Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant to study bats at the Max Planck Institutes in Germany. Read more about UM’s latest Fulbright awardees.

Commencement at UM

Commencement Ceremonies at UM Saturday, May 16

UM’s 118th Commencement ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 16, in Washington-Grizzly Stadium. Max Baucus, Montana’s longest-serving U.S. senator and now ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, will be the featured speaker. UM will honor Salish tribal elder Louis “Louie” Adams with an honorary doctorate of humane letters for his lifetime spent teaching others the stories, culture and language of his people. Read more about Commencement at UM.

rendering of upgraded classroom in the LA Building

Gift Supports Renovation in UM’s Liberal Arts Building

Thanks to gifts from UM alum, businessman and philanthropist Dennis Eck from Wolf Point and his wife, Gretchen, from Butte, the University of Montana’s College of Humanities and Sciences will soon have some of the most advanced technology on campus. The Ecks’ contributions will create a vertical technology corridor of “smart classrooms” in the college’s Liberal Arts Building. Read more about this generous gift from the Ecks and the plans for UM’s LA Building

athletic training students wrap an ankle

Athletic Training Students Earn 100 Percent Pass Rate on Exam

Twelve University of Montana athletic training students recently took the Board of Certification exam, a high-stakes evaluation that enables students graduating from accredited athletic training programs to enter the work force as certified athletic trainers. All 12 students graduating from the UM program this spring took the exam in April, and all of them passed on their first try. Read more about UM’s athletic training students.

Monte poses with a training vehicle at Missoula College

Trucking Companies Seek Missoula College Grads

Every week, trucking companies in western Montana call Mickey Lyngholm, the workforce navigator at Missoula College, and ask her to share their job openings with students and recent graduates. They're desperate for drivers. Missoula College got a RevUp Montana grant from the Department of Labor two years ago which allowed it to create a CDL program. It offered the first course last October. Read more about the demand for CDL drivers in the Missoulian

Shannon O’Brien, new dean of Missoula College

UM Names Shannon O’Brien New Dean of Missoula College

Shannon O’Brien, the education policy adviser for Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, will become the next dean of Missoula College University of Montana on July 1. O’Brien replaces Interim Dean Jane Baker, who has led MC since October 2014, and Barry Good, who was dean from 2006 to 2014. O’Brien was selected after a national search by a committee led by Chris Comer, dean of UM’s College of Humanities and Sciences. Read more about MC’s new dean.

students pitch their business idea at startup challenge

Entrepreneurial Students to Pitch Startup Ideas at Challenge

UM’s School of Business Administration, along with the Montana Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs and Blackstone LaunchPad at UM, will showcase the entrepreneurial aspirations of students from across the state at the 26th Annual John Ruffatto Business Startup Challenge. The event will take place Thursday, May 14, in the Gallagher Business Building on the UM campus. Read more about the annual event and the students who participate.

Chemistry Professor G. Whiz

Popular Chemistry Professor Prepares to Hang Up his Cloak

In 24 years at UM, chemistry Professor Garon Smith has instructed some 20,000 students in introductory chemistry, and has entertained and educated more than 100,000 young students with his wizardly alter-ego, G. Wiz.  Now as he prepares to hang up his cloak in retirement this spring, Smith will present one of his renowned chemistry shows for the benefit of the campus community. Read more about Smith’s remarkable teaching career and his upcoming public lecture

UM graduate Thomas Nybo in Nepal after earthquake

Journalism Alumnus Brings Horrors of Quake to the World

Thomas Nybo said he has been at the scene of many natural disasters soon after they have struck: tsunamis, earthquakes and typhoons, chronicling them either as a journalist or on behalf of UNICEF. April 25 was the first time the UM graduate had ever experienced one firsthand. Nybo, 44, was in a coffee shop in Kathmandu when the magnitude-7.8 quake struck. Since then, the world has seen the devastation of quake through Nybo’s lens. The Great Falls Tribune reports.

UM historian David Emmons, and UM alumni Julie and Sam Baldridge

Alumni Donors Boost UM Irish Studies Program

Eminent UM historian David Emmons conducted groundbreaking research on the history of the Irish experience in Montana. Now thanks to a private gift, his work will be honored and continued far into the future. UM alumni Sam and Julie Baldridge of Whitefish have established a visiting professorship in Emmons’ name. Each year, a Dr. David Emmons Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies will come to campus to teach various courses on Irish and Irish-American history. Read more about the donation from the Baldridges.

UM Professor Joel Henry

Tech Startup Co-Founded by UM Professor Ready to Expand

An upstart technology firm founded in Missoula plans to create 10 new jobs over the next two years to handle the growing demand for its data-mining software. Joel Henry, a law and computer science professor at UM, co-founded Agile Data Solutions in 2013 to help sift through mountains of legal data. Agile currently employees 12 people, all of them UM graduates and interns. The firm is looking to grow its workforce to 22 people. Read more about Agile’s growth.

Conference attendee tour a restoration site in Montana

Professor: Restoration Ecology Industry Creating Job Growth

Restoration work in Montana is creating job growth. Statistics show an eight percent rise in such employment in Montana in 2013. That's according to Cara Nelson, associate professor of restoration ecology at UM, who talked about the growth of restoration work during her presentation at the three-day restoration conference called the "Symposium on Riparian Restoration in a Contaminated Environment: Lessons Learned and Challenges in Moving Forward." Read more about the restoration industry in the Montana Standard.

Video: Missoula Mayor John Engen Speaks at TEDxUMontana

UM alumnus John Engen is in his third term as the 50th mayor of his hometown of Missoula, Montana. Watch his recent TEDxUMontana talk titled "If a Politician Gave a Speech in the Woods, What Would a Bear Do?"
UM big data students and Professor Lee Tangedahl

UM’s Big Data Certificate Has Recruiters Lining Up

Trenton Starkey, a 25-year-old senior pursuing a degree in management information systems at UM’s School of Business Administration, isn’t stressed about finding a job after he graduates like most of his peers. He’s already had recruiters emailing him and making him offers, and he’s accepted a "cloud engineering" position with Microsoft. Starkey is one of seven UM students who will be the first to graduate with a certificate in data analytics in May. Read more about UM’s big data certificate.

Main Hall with Mount Sentinel in the background

A Message from the President

Dear Campus Community, It is with a heavy heart that I write to report a sad and tragic weekend for the UM family. Three students passed away this weekend in unrelated incidents. Two have been reported in the local media, and the third involves the untimely death of a UM law student. In all cases, the families have been appropriately notified and we have extended sympathies on behalf of the entire University community. Read more from President Engstrom.

Casting director Rene Haynes

Scouting Talent: Odyssey of Stars Honoree Casts Hollywood Films

Rene Haynes has lived in Los Angeles for decades now, and she still makes it back to Montana to visit. Sometimes she heads to Great Falls, where the C.M. Russell High School graduate still has family. Sometimes she travels the state's seven Indian reservations to seek out talent for Hollywood film projects. The former UM student has become renowned as a casting director specializing in Native American and First Nations roles. Read more about Haynes in the Missoulian.

Hank Green

Hank Green Loves Science, and Wants Others to Love it, Too

Hank Green, Internet Guy. Even if you don’t know who he is, there’s a good chance he has helped teach your kids or the kids of someone you know how photosynthesis, mitosis and biological molecules work, among a great many things. Truth be told, he’s an online video master. And Green, who holds a master's degree in environmental studies from University of Montana, loves science. U.S. News and World Report talks with Green about his success. 

UM alumni Craig Holtet and Ron Ramsbacher

Two Alumni Transform Missoula Grocery Stores Under Local Ownership

Congratulations to UM alumni Craig Holtet and Ron Ramsbacher, who this week converted Missoula’s two massive former Safeway grocery stores to local ownership and reopened them as Missoula Fresh Markets. Holtet and Ramsbacher bought Orange Street Food Farm in 2013 and acquired Missoula’s two Safeway stores after Albertsons bought Safeway in 2014. The duo says they are excited to be able to increase the local ownership of Missoula businesses. Read more about the new stores in the Missoulian.

Video: The Best of Benny the Bull

Benny the Bull, mascot of the Chicago Bulls, was named the top sports mascot in America by Forbes magazine in 2013. Inside the suit is Barry Anderson, who earned the position after embodying Monte at the University of Montana. Check out Benny’s moves in this 2013-14 highlight reel.

Blackstone Manager Jennifer Stephens talks with entrepreneurs

Blackstone LaunchPad Helps Entrepreneurs Start Businesses

The Blackstone LaunchPad is a program at the University of Montana. It helps students, faculty, staff and alumni turn their ideas into businesses and nonprofit organizations. The LaunchPad has been at the University of Montana for about a year. Over 300 students, alumni and faculty have registered with the LaunchPad, and around 170 ideas have been pitched. All are in various stages of development. KECI-TV reports on UM’s Blackstone LaunchPad.

Tommy Livoti works at a dig site at Fort Missoula

Doctoral Student Envisions Way to Protect Antiquities During Wartime

Walking the ancient streets of Babylon allowed Tommy Livoti to find his path in life. In 2003, the Missoula native and UM grad was a Marine Corps platoon commander in Iraq. Livoti saw a water-treatment system and military headquarters built upon archeological treasure troves. It all felt so wrong.  It was then that Livoti became powerfully interested in protecting cultural properties during warfare. Read more how Livoti is combining his military and archeology background into one. 

ruth Swaney

Forestry School Hires New Native American Program Coordinator

The College of Forestry and Conservation announces the appointment of Ruth Ann Swaney as coordinator of the Native American Natural Resource Program. Swaney is an enrolled tribal member of the Three Affiliated Tribes on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota. Swaney also has family from the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Montana. She holds a master’s degree in organismal biology and ecology from UM and is working on a doctorate in society and conservation. Read more about Swaney.

Author Smith Henderson

Debut Novel by UM Alumnus Wins 2014 Montana Book Award

"Fourth of July Creek," a novel written by Hellgate High School and UM graduate Smith Henderson, has won the 2014 Montana Book Award. The annual award "recognizes literary and/or artistic excellence in a book written or illustrated by someone who lives in Montana, is set in Montana, or deals with Montana themes or issues," according to organizers. "Fourth of July Creek" is the debut novel from Henderson. Read more about the 2014 Montana Book Award.

Students work on medical dummies at Missoula College

Health Care Students at Missoula College Find Jobs Aplenty

It’s no secret that job growth within the health care industry is booming as the American population ages. A national emphasis on preventative care, growing rates of chronic conditions and “baby boomers” have all led to an increased demand for health care professionals. In Missoula County, that trend has far-reaching implications, as the local economy is dependent on the health care industry and hundreds of college students are receiving the training necessary to enter the field. Read more about the health care field in the Missoulian.

UM alumna Shelli Johnson

Alumna Looks Back: ‘My Most Spectacular Failure was a Gift’

“The years tell us what the days cannot.” UM alumna Shelli Johnson reflects on what she considered her greatest failure at the time: losing her basketball scholarship and quitting the team. “During my recent look back at all of this, I realized the things I did in the months following my aforementioned failure not only made a significant difference in my life during that time, but continue to inform my life, and my work.” Read more on the Make it Missoula blog. 

Globetrotter Shane Scooter Christensen interacts with a young fan

Alumnus Scooter Christensen Finds Stardom with Globetrotters

Although he didn’t know it at the time, Shane “Scooter” Christensen spent most of his life practicing to be a Harlem Globetrotter. As a youngster, he was inseparable from his basketball and when the former Griz point guard graduated in 2002, he relentlessly pursued his dream of playing professionally until one day he caught the eye of a Globetrotters scout. Read Christensen’s inspiring story in the Montanan magazine.

UM Entertainment Management students and program director at Pollstar Live conference

Entertainment Management Students Attend Industry Conference

Several UM students recently traveled to Nashville to attend Pollstar Live! 2015, the premier conference and trade show for the concert industry. The students from UM’s Entertainment Management program were right in the middle of the action, meeting with industry professionals, hearing from UM alumni who work in the business, and attending expert panels and, of course, visiting some of Nashville’s renowned music venues. Read more on UM’s Entertainment Management blog. 

Zack Wagenmann participates in media interview during the NFL Combine

Wagenmann Impresses in Explosion Drills at NFL Combine

Former Montana Grizzly Zack Wagenmann continued his push toward a career playing football with an appearance at the NFL Scouting Combine on Sunday. And oh what a showing it was. Wagenmann scored high marks and times in four of the speed and explosion workouts to help offset a tough showing on the strength side on the third day of the Combine. Read more about Wagenmann’s showing in the Missoulian.

UM Production concert posters

For Those About To Rock: UM Concert Posters Spark Memories

“What was your first concert? It’s a great question—a surefire conversation starter in pretty much any setting. Mine happened to be Pearl Jam, who played an intimate show for about 1,200 lucky fans at the University Theatre here at UM on June 16, 1993,” writes Montanan magazine editor John Heaney. As one of only a handful of student-run concert production organizations in the country, UM Productions is responsible for providing many of those moments. Read more and view concert posters here. 

UM alumna Ashley Heers

Evolutionary Biologists Ask: Which Came First, the Dinosaur or the Bird?

The consensus is in: Birds are living dinosaurs. But how that epic evolutionary leap took place remains one of science’s greatest mysteries. Evolutionary biologists like Ashley Heers represent the next generation of researchers. She is using the latest video and computer modeling technology to study this evolutionary mystery. Heers recently completed her Ph.D. with Kenneth Dial at the UM’s Flight Laboratory, probably the world’s leading research center on bird aeronautics. Aubodon Magazine reports in this month’s cover story.

Author and UM graduate S.M. Hulse

UM Alumna Draws on Western Landscape for Debut Novel

S.M. Hulse never set out to write a “Western novel.” “I’ve spent my whole life living in the West, I kind of just felt like I’m writing a novel about the people and places I know,” she said. Hulse, a Spokane native who earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Montana, returned to Missoula recently for a reading of her debut novel, “Black River," out now on Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Read more about Hulse’s acclaimed first novel in the Missoulian.

GMOtional documentary film

Student-Alumni Documentary Earns Honors in Filmmaking Contest

A documentary created by UM students and recent alumni recently won an award at the International Fusion Doc Challenge, a five-day filmmaking competition. Director Tom Stagg, a recent UM alumnus, and co-director Brent Bluehouse, UM graduate student, worked with students Anne Bergman, Brian Rapaport, Tessla Hastings, Channing Nun and UM staff member Christian Gold Stagg created “GMOtional,” which won “Best use of Genres: Nature/Environmental.” Learn more about the competition here and watch the “GMOtional” trailer here.

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J.K. Simmons Nominated for Supporting Actor Oscar

J.K. Simmons, a UM graduate, has been nominated for an Oscar for best supporting actor for his performance in "Whiplash." In "Whiplash” Simmons plays a sadistic but brilliant jazz band instructor who pushes an ambitious student drummer to the edge of his talents and sanity. Simmons, who turned 60 this month, is the son of the late Pat and Don Simmons, longtime Missoula residents and important figures in the campus and city arts communities. Read more about Simmons’ nomination.

UM alumnus Zach Brown holds trout

Alumnus Named One of 10 ‘Young Leaders Changing the West’

Zach Brown, an avid outdoorsman and recent UM graduate, wants to make sure that Montana stays exceptional. And now he’s taking that mission to the state Legislature: This November, Brown leaned on a platform of environmental protection to win House District 63.  Brown, former student body president at UM, was recently named one of 10 “Young Leaders Changing the West” by High Country News.  Read more about Brown and the nine other 20-somethings who received this honor.

Crowd gathers for journalism ceremony at State Capitol

Capitol Ceremony Marks Journalism School’s 100th Anniversary

From its founding days housed in Army tents on the University of Montana’s Oval in 1914, the School of Journalism has taught its students how to improvise in tough situations. This was just one of the take-home messages at a recent ceremony at the Montana State Capitol honoring the UM Journalism School’s centennial year. Read more about the history of UM’s journalism school and the ceremony in Helena in the Independent Record.  

screen shot from UM grads' Doritos commercial

UM Grads in Running to Score Super Bowl Commercial

Two alumni of UM’s School of Media Arts are part of a team hoping to win a contest to get a television commercial they made to air during the Super Bowl. Alex Pollini and Sean Clark’s group’s entry in the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl contest, called “Baby’s First Word,” is among the 10 finalists being put up for a fan vote. The winning team will also win $1 million. Read more about the team here and vote for the ad here.

Actor and UM alumnus JK Simmons poses with his Golden Globe

Alumnus J.K. Simmons Wins Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor

Former Missoula resident and University of Montana alum J.K. Simmons has won the Golden Globe for best supporting actor for "Whiplash." In the film, Simmons plays a jazz band instructor who uses humiliation, fear and cruelty to motivate his students. Simmons is a UM graduate and native of Missoula. His parents are the late Don and Pat Simmons, longtime Missoula civic and arts leaders. Read more in the Missoulian.

HP executive George Milliken speaks with UM students

Hewlett-Packard to Return in February to Recruit UM Students

Career Services at UM strives to provide students with ample opportunities to explore careers with the world’s most renowned and reputable companies. Career Services recently teamed up with Hewlett-Packard, one of the world’s leading technology companies. An HP executive visited with UM students in December and company representatives will return again in February for the Big Sky Employment and Academic Enrichment Fair. Read more about UM’s relationship with HP and the upcoming employment fair.

Video: UM's 2014 Year in Review

As 2014 draws to a close, the University of Montana looks back at the moments and milestones of the past year in this Year in Review video

UM basketball coach Travis DeCuire

New Griz Hoops Coach Travis DeCuire Leads by Example

New University of Montana head basketball coach Travis DeCuire wears a whistle around his neck during practice, but he doesn’t have to use it. Whether he’s demonstrating how to disrupt a ball screen, explaining the finer points of trapping in the post or taking a jump hook to set off an offensive drill, DeCuire commands his team’s attention. The Missoula Independent reports.

Peace Corps volunteer Sally Kintner of Kalispell works with young child in Ethiopia

Missoula Second Per-Capita in Producing Peace Corps Volunteers

An annual report produced by the Peace Corps recently found that Montana and Missoula ranked among the top 10 overall per-capita volunteer-producing states and metropolitan areas in the country. The per-capita rankings measure the rate of volunteers per 100,000 of the population. Montana's per-capita ranking climbed from 10th spot to seventh and its metro area, Missoula, moved from sixth to second. USA Today reports.

LeAnn Montes playing for the Lady Griz

Former Lady Griz Inducted Into Montana Indian Athletic Hall of Fame

UM Alumna LeAnn Montes was inducted into the Montana Indian Athletic Hall of Fame in December.  She was selected based upon her performance as a star high-school athlete, a four-year member of the Lady Griz basketball team and her current role as head coach of the Stone Child College women's basketball team. Montes graduated from UM with degrees in business administration, management and marketing. Learn more about Montes' accomplishments. 

An illustration by David Tuss from the book Animal Weapons

UM Alumnus Teams up with Professor to Illustrate Science

A saber-toothed cat snarls, ready to pounce from the front cover of “Animal Weapons,” a new book that’s getting a lot of notice from both the media and the science world. The artist and UM alumnus Helenan David Tuss teamed up with writer and UM Professor Doug Emlen to illustrate the animal kingdom’s amazing array of extreme weaponry. Read more about  how Tuss met Emlen while earning his bachelor’s degree in science and a minor in art from UM.

Skiers test Saga outerwear in the backcountry

Students Turn Class Assignment into Successful Ski Outerwear Business

Saga Outerwear has always been grounded, an independently owned company since it first launched in 2005. The brand got its start when Andrew Mallett and Austin Stevens, both longtime skiers and then students at the University of Montana, were tasked with developing a theoretical business plan for a college course. Saga has come a long way since then, growing rapidly in sales and now selling to retailers around the world. Freeskier magazine reports on Saga’s rise.

Video: Investing in Student Success at UM

Education changes lives and those lives change the world. At the University of Montana, we see it daily. Our students come from every conceivable background and embrace challenge, grow as individuals and, ultimately, thrive.

Sidney Thomas, chief judge of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

Law Alumnus Named Chief Judge of 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

There is now a new sheriff for the sprawling San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. And this one is an unassuming, soft-spoken judge from Big Sky country. Meet Sidney Thomas, a Montana native who took over Dec. 1 as the influential chief judge of a court that shapes federal law for California and eight other Western states. Read more about the UM School of Law alumnus and his new role.

UM graduate Dan Baca works at the console as the space shuttle docks with the International Space Station

Alumnus Reaches for Stars as Engineer on Orion Spacecraft Project

Growing up in Montana, Dan Baca had an amazing view of the stars, but he had no idea the stars were in his future. Today, the 2003 UM graduate is working with NASA on the Orion spacecraft that made its first launch Thursday. Baca is a member of the team that ran a full mission simulation in mid-November for Orion’s launch, testing pre-launch through ascent, orbit, entry and splashdown/recovery. Read more about Baca’s unique career path.

students age 50 and over enjoy a MOLLI class

$1 Million Gift Supports Lifelong Learning at UM’s MOLLI

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UM, known as MOLLI, has received a $1 million grant from The Bernard Osher Foundation. A $950,000 endowment gift and $50,000 in operating funds will provide current and ongoing support for the continued growth of MOLLI.  The program is a resource for adults age 50 and older who enjoy learning, connecting socially with others and having a relationship with UM. Read more about the recent Osher grant. 

Griz scoreboard operator Patrick Ryan

Grizzlies' Scoreboard Operator to Retire After 38 Years

He’s climbed these steps many times over the past 28 years, a stretch dating back to 1986 when Washington-Grizzly Stadium opened. But that wasn’t the beginning of Patrick Ryan’s job as the Grizzlies’ official scoreboard operator. That began at Dornblaser Field in 1976. Or maybe it was 1974, he isn’t sure which. Ryan has operated the Grizzlies’ scoreboard for all but one game over the past 38 years and will retire at the end of the season. Read Ryan’s story.

Montana Tradition: UM limited edition collection

UM Releases Retail Line with Throwback Colors

The classic copper, gold and silver colors are making a one-year comeback at the University of Montana. On Friday, Nov. 21, UM released a limited-edition retail line featuring its official school colors of copper, gold and silver. The line, called Montana Tradition, includes clothing and several select non-apparel items. A list of retailers carrying the products is available online at Read more about the Montana Tradition line here.

UM Alumna Nancy O'Connor

Longtime UM Supporter, Alumna Nancy O’Connor Passes Away

UM alumna and longtime supporter Nancy O’Connor passed away Nov. 10 at her home in Malibu, Calif., at the age of 84. O’Connor was the daughter of Ralph and Hulda Miller Fields, who were also UM alums. Nancy married actor Carroll O’Connor in 1951. Over the years, Nancy served on several UM boards and the couple gave generously to UM. In 1999 the University renamed the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West to honor their contributions. Read more about Nancy’s life in the Missoulian. 

UM's Gallagher Business Building

Local Innovators Share Important Lessons with UM Students

Throughout the fall 2014 section of Regents Professor Jakki Mohr’s Marketing of High Technology Products and Innovations class (BMKT 460), students have had the opportunity to hear many of Missoula’s most innovative professionals speak. Visit UM’s student-run American Marketing Association blog to read some of the lessons shared by local innovators Michael Manhardt, Glenn Kreisel and Chris Wright.

Former Griz point guard Will Cherry

Former Griz Will Cherry Signs Deal with NBA’s Cavaliers

Will Cherry showed up at the office a little early Sunday for his first day of work on the new job. As he was lifting weights, he heard in a booming baratone, “WILL CHERRY.” It was LeBron James, the best basketball player on the planet. Welcome to the Cleveland Cavaliers and the NBA, Will Cherry. The former Griz point guard has signed a two-year deal, the team announced Sunday. Read more about Cherry’s new job in the Missoulian.

locker rooms in the future Washington-Grizzly Champions Center

UM Receives $7 Million Donation for Athletic Champions Center

The Washington family, for whom Washington-Grizzly Stadium at UM is named, has once more stepped forward with a major gift to the UM Department of Athletics. The sons of Dennis and Phyllis Washington, Kyle and Kevin, are giving $7 million on behalf of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation to be used for UM’s planned $14 million Washington-Grizzly Champions Center. Read more about the generous donation from the Washington family.

IX Ranch

UM Student Takes Business Venture to Blackstone LaunchPad Demo Day

UM student Walker Milhoan is headed to New York City to attend the Blackstone LaunchPad Demo Day. Milhoan’s business venture, RanchLogs, is one of 20 selected to take part in the event, which organizers plan to host annually. Milhoan founded RanchLogs in August. RanchLogs is an interactive, Web-based software platform that serves as a livestock inventory and range management tool. Read more about Milhoan’s venture and his trip to New York.

UM alumnus John Chandler to teach UM courses on marketing analytics

Former Microsoft Data Analytics Expert to Teach at UM

A former Microsoft data analytics expert will teach advanced marketing classes at UM’s School of Business Administration this winter and next fall. John Chandler is the founder of Data Insights, a Minnesota-based consulting firm that uses data science to help companies like eBay, General Mills and LinkedIn. He taught a one-credit weekend seminar to UM graduate students called "Advanced Marketing Analytics: Turning Big Data Into Knowledge." Read more about UM’s new marketing analytics classes.

UM students Stephen Jenkins and Jena Trejo

Forestry Students Named Finalists in Business Challenge

UM students Stephen Jenkins and Jena Trejo are finalists in the Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge for their proposal to convert forest slash to methanol. The challenge encourages and rewards innovative, market-based solutions to natural resource issues. Jenkins and Trejo, both forestry majors, are working to develop a gasification unit that can convert forest products left after thinning and logging into a methanol biofuel. Read more about their idea on the College of Forestry and Conservation website.

People attend the opening ceremony for the Elousie Cobell Land and Culture Institute at UM

Elouise Cobell’s Legacy Finds Permanent Home at UM

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.

The sun rises behind an oil rig on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation

Journalism Alumna Earns Award for Outstanding Feature Story

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.

UM Assistant Professor Annie Belcourt

UM Professor Named Harvard JPB Environmental Health Fellow

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.

Students in a MOLLI classroom at UM

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Surpasses Record Enrollment

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. 

Shawn grove of UM's VETS Office and Professor Laura Dybdal

UM Expands Mindful Resilience Training for Student Veterans

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.

Mike and Maureen Mansfield statue at UM

Mansfield Center Podcast: President Engstrom Reflects on Leadership

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.

Mary Ann Cotter receives award for her father, Tom

Major Scholarship Donor Tom Cotter Honored by UM Foundation

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. 

UM yearbooks

Mansfield Library Makes 72 UM Yearbooks Available Online

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.

Journalism Plaque on UM's Don Anderson Hall

School of Journalism Celebrates a Century of Making News

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

Hank Green

Internet Sensation Hank Green Aims to Decrease ‘Worldsuck’

“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.

UM Alumnus Bryn Hagfors

Alumnus Named ‘Rising Star’ by Great Falls Tribune

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.

Suzanne and Dave Peterson

Missoula Couple Donates $1.5 Million to UM for Gifted Education

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.

Maureen and Mike Mansfield statue on UM campus

Mansfield Global Leadership Podcast Explores Mike Mansfield’s Legacy

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.

Video: 2014 State of the University Address

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

Video: Convocation Kicks Off Fall Semester at UM

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.

Students meet with adviser

Students Find the Path to Success Through Career Services

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.

Video: The Life of a Student Athlete: Jordan Sullivan

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. 

UM students Matt Gangloff and Andrew Burrington work with Associate Professor Cameron Lawrence

Community Support Helps SoBA Students Turn Over a ‘New Leaf’

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.

Late Wilderness Steward Bud Moore

Late Wilderness Steward Bud Moore’s Papers Donated to UM Archives

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. 

UM's Mansfield Library

Extensive Collection of Sen. Baucus' Papers Arrive at UM for Archiving

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.

Actors in Driving Miss Daisy

Catch UMArts in Action During Summer Theater Season

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.

UM campus

Chinese Delegation Visits for Talks on Academics, Trade, Technology

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 students study in the library

Record Year for Fundraising Means More Scholarships for Students

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.

UM geneticist Fred Allendorf

Former Students, Fellow Scientists Honor UM Geneticist Allendorf

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. 

The faces of the five DAA winners

Five Distinguished Alumni Honored for Achievements

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.

former UM law Professor Duke Crowley

Professor Left Lasting Impression on Montana Law, Thousands of Students

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.

UM's Main Hall

UM’s Main Hall Makes List of 100 Missoula Icons

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 Assistant Professor Annie Belcourt

Researcher Approaches Native American Health Disparities From All Sides

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.

UM alum Dave Dickenson

No. 1 Big Sky Men's Athlete: Montana’s Dave Dickenson

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.

items from women's rights exhibit

Artifacts: Library Exhibit Showcases Women’s Fight for Rights

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.

Students in UM journalism class

School of Journalism Announces High-Profile Professorship

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.

UM basketball coach Travis DeCuire

DeCuire Well-Versed in the Grizzly Way, But Will Do Things His Own Way

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.

recent School of Journalism grads in caps and gowns

Journalism Students Win Big at Regional, National Competitions

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.

20 under 40

20 Under 40: Young Western Montanans Making a Difference

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.

UM Alumna Renee Haugerud

A True Trailblazer: Alumna Finds Unique Success on Wall Street

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.

Video: Explore the Flathead Lake Biological Station

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.

UM retiree Dan Pletscher

Pletscher Retires After Leading Wildlife Biology Program to Prominence

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.

Lady Griz assistant coach Annette Rocheleau

Annette Rocheleau Retires After 32 Years of Coaching Lady Griz

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.

Patrick O'Connor

History Student Named First Dennison Doctoral Fellow

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.

New UM basketball coach Travis DeCuire

Travis DeCuire Named Coach of Griz Men’s Basketball Team

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

Sally Mauk and William Marcus

MTPR News Director Sally Mauk Retires After Storied Career

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 Regent Mariah Williams

UM Student Appointed to Serve on State Board of Regents

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.

Flathead Lake Biostation buoy and research vessel

Flathead Lake Biological Station Surpasses Fundraising Challenge

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.

UM Adams Center

Alumnus Commits $1.5 Million Bequest for Athletic Facility Updgrades

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.

still shot from the film Subterranea

Two Media Arts Grads Learning Art of Postproduction

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.

former UM basketball coach Wayne Tinkle

Tinkle Looks Back on Career with Griz, Future with Oregon State

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. 

UM School of Law Class of 2014

Law School Commencement and Hooding Ceremony Saturday, May 24

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.

New Leaf Environmental wins Business Plan competition

Business Plan Competition Crowns Winners, Awards $31,000 in Prizes

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.

Recent UM grad Maddy Murray on the tennis court

Tennis Player Recognized for Achievements On, Off the Court

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. 

UM graduates celebrate Commencement

Class of 2014 Celebrates at Commencement Ceremonies

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

Bitterroot College students at graduation

Bitterroot College Holds its First Graduation Ceremony

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.

UM grad Christina Bloemen

UM Graduate En Route to Ukraine as Fulbright Scholar

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.

20/Nothing film

Student, Alumni Win Film Festival Awards for Documentary

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.

Commencement at UM

UM to Hold 117th Commencement Ceremonies Saturday, May 17

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.

UM campus

Fundraising Record Broken with $37.4 Million Donated to UM

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.

UM alum Neal Lewing

Music Student Returns to Perform Senior Recital, Benefit Scholarships

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.

Stream of big data numbers

Missoula Startup That Searches Legal Big Data on Verge of Growth

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.

Big Data Week Missoula logo

Missoula, UM Take Weeklong Look at Big Data, its Effects

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.

Suzanne Crockert

Couple's Estate Gift to Elevate Montana Museum of Art & Culture

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.

Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta

Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta Delivers Lecture at UM

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.

UM Phonathon student workers

Donors Answer Call to Support UM, Break Fundraising Record

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.

Students walk across campus

$5 Million Gift for UM Scholarships to Benefit Generations of Students

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.

UM alums Tom Rua and Wes Hale

Missoula Scientists Patent Treatment for Dangerous MRSA Infections

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.

Professor Carl Seielstad

Professor Seielstad Wins 2013 Wildland Fire Leadership Award

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.

scientist working at MontTEC

$26 Million Invested in Missoula Green Bio-Based Chemical Company

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.

Former U.S. Sen. Max Baucus

Former Sen. Max Baucus Donates Official Papers to UM

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.

UM Carilloneur Barbara Ballas

Carilloneur Makes Music From High Inside UM's Main Hall

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 grad Maggie Carey

Funny Girl: Career in Comedy Comes Full-Circle for UM Grad Maggie Carey

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.

Video: Blackstone LaunchPad at UM: Passion Players

Are you ready to pursue your passion? Blackstone LaunchPad and the experienced entrepreneurs of Missoula are ready to help make your dreams come true.

Paige Williams

MonTEC Creates Collaborative Environment for Missoula Startups

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.

Video: Blackstone LaunchPad: David and Goliath

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.

UM campus

UM Alumnus Donates $11 Million to Provide Scholarships for Students

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.

SoBA students exit building

IT Consulting Firm Expands, Offers Big-City Opportunity for UM Graduates

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.

Video: Be Bold: Blackstone LaunchPad at UM

Great entrepreneurs are born at the University of Montana. And now Blackstone LaunchPad at UM is here to mentor even more students who are ready to make the leap into the world of business development.

Royce Engstrom, Earle Layser, Jim Burchfield

UM Receives $1.5 Million Boost for Conservation from Wyoming Couple

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.

Video: The Spark: Blackstone LaunchPad at UM

Blackstone LaunchPad at UM is making entrepreneurship an viable career path for any UM student with the spark to create a new business.

2012 senior gift

Graduating Students Launch 2014 Senior Class Gift Campaign

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

Former Lady Griz Star Mandy Morales Transitions to Coaching

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.

UM law alum Zander Blewett

Law School Alumnus Donates $800,000 for Scholarship at UM

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.

Video: 21st Century Montana Entrepreneur

Local entrepreneurs share their perspectives on starting a business in Montana, and the impact of the Blackstone LaunchPad at UM.

Pat and Don Simmons

End of an Era: Pat and Don Simmons Leave a Legacy of Service

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.

large gathering of women

Women in Montana Politics Exhibit Celebrates 100 Years of Progress

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.

Comedian Chris Fairbanks

Good Humor: Alum Chris Fairbanks Returns to Perform at Film Festival

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.

UM graduate Ben Sokoloski

Entrepreneurial Energy: One Student’s Journey Toward Launching a Business

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.

Lt. Gov. Angela McLean

One Giant Leap: Alumna Angela McLean Dives Head-First into Politics

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,

Paul Gladen interviews with media

UM Launches New Blackstone Entrepreneurship Program

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.

Peace Corps class in Africa

UM Ranked No. 12 for Producing Peace Corps Volunteers

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

Assistant  Coach Justin Green

Assistant Coach Makes Stem Cell Donation to Young Patient in Need

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

Living Her Dream: UM Alumna Builds Impressive Law Career

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.

Montanan cover, winter 2014

Check Out the Latest Issue of the Montanan, the Magazine of UM

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  

Excellence in American History Scholarship Keeps Memory of Alum Alive

Excellence in American History Scholarship Keeps Memory of Alum Alive

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

College of Education Lauded for Excellence in Accreditation Review

College of Education Lauded for Excellence in Accreditation Review

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

UM Alumna Stops by Disability Services for Students to Offer Thanks

UM Alumna Stops by Disability Services for Students to Offer Thanks

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

Realtor Turns Commissions into Donations for UM Biological Station

Realtor Turns Commissions into Donations for UM Biological Station

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

Corti Scholarship Aims to Keep Students Connected to the Outdoors

Corti Scholarship Aims to Keep Students Connected to the Outdoors

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

Giving Tuesday Offers a Chance to Make a Difference This Season

Giving Tuesday Offers a Chance to Make a Difference This Season

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

Journalism Alums Win Emmy Awards for Work in Florida

Journalism Alums Win Emmy Awards for Work in Florida

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

UM, Local Firms Join Forces to Create Cybersecurity Lab, Programs

UM, Local Firms Join Forces to Create Cybersecurity Lab, Programs

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

New Art Resource Center Adds to Gilbert Millikan's Legacy

New Art Resource Center Adds to Gilbert Millikan's Legacy

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

As Coach Selvig Nears 800 Wins, a Look Back at How he Got the Job

As Coach Selvig Nears 800 Wins, a Look Back at How he Got the Job

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

Blackstone Entrepreneurship Program Getting Underway at UM

Blackstone Entrepreneurship Program Getting Underway at UM

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

Boeing CEO Discusses Leading Company into Challenges of Future

Boeing CEO Discusses Leading Company into Challenges of Future

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

College of Education Alumnus Named Superintendent of the Year

College of Education Alumnus Named Superintendent of the Year

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

Online Voters Select Winning T-shirt Design in UM Competition

Online Voters Select Winning T-shirt Design in UM Competition

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 Alum Named Among People Magazine’s Teachers of the Year

UM Alum Named Among People Magazine’s Teachers of the Year

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

Fallen Soldier Monument at UM Dedicated as State Memorial

Fallen Soldier Monument at UM Dedicated as State Memorial

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

Monument to be Dedicated After Military Appreciation Griz Game

Monument to be Dedicated After Military Appreciation Griz Game

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

Residency Program Aims to Fill Void in Montana’s Rural Health Care

Residency Program Aims to Fill Void in Montana’s Rural Health Care

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

Returning to his Roots: Hilliard Coaching in Kalispell

Returning to his Roots: Hilliard Coaching in Kalispell

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

Five UM Grads Honored with This Year’s Distinguished Alumni Awards

Five UM Grads Honored with This Year’s Distinguished Alumni Awards

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. 

Lifelong Learning Institute at UM Boasts Record Enrollment

Lifelong Learning Institute at UM Boasts Record Enrollment

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

Ambition, Altruism Lead to Scholarship for Student with Disabilities

Ambition, Altruism Lead to Scholarship for Student with Disabilities

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

Student Named UM’s First Intermountain Children’s Home Doctoral Fellow

Student Named UM’s First Intermountain Children’s Home Doctoral Fellow

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

Wildlife Biology Program Appoints Professor Lowe as Interim Director

Wildlife Biology Program Appoints Professor Lowe as Interim Director

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

Homecoming Week Kicks Off; Events Run Through Saturday

Homecoming Week Kicks Off; Events Run Through Saturday

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 Leads Hazardous Fuels Treatment Project at Lubrecht

College of Forestry Leads Hazardous Fuels Treatment Project at Lubrecht

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.

Alums, Community Invited to Celebrate UM Homecoming

Alums, Community Invited to Celebrate UM Homecoming

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

College of Education Alumna Named Montana’s Teacher of the Year

College of Education Alumna Named Montana’s Teacher of the Year

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

Founders, Students in UM Black Studies Program Recall 1968 Launch

Founders, Students in UM Black Studies Program Recall 1968 Launch

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

UM Students Turn Economic Summit into Social Media Central

UM Students Turn Economic Summit into Social Media Central

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

Journalism Associate Professor’s Multimedia Project Earns Top Honors

Journalism Associate Professor’s Multimedia Project Earns Top Honors

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

New UM Cyber Innovation Lab Will Teach Security, 'Big Data'

New UM Cyber Innovation Lab Will Teach Security, 'Big Data'

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

Join the Conversation at TEDxUMontana Viewing Parties

Join the Conversation at TEDxUMontana Viewing Parties

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

Watch the 2013 Montana Economic Development Summit Live from Butte

Watch the 2013 Montana Economic Development Summit Live from Butte

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.

Video: Inside UM's John Ruffatto Business Plan Competition

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.

Social Work Alums Return to Home to Fill Mental Health Services Need

Social Work Alums Return to Home to Fill Mental Health Services Need

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

Video: Navy SEALs Skydive into Washington-Grizzly Stadium

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. 

Montana Gov. Bullock Makes Stop at UM During Education Tour

Montana Gov. Bullock Makes Stop at UM During Education Tour

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

College of Forestry Marks 100 Years with Centennial Celebration

College of Forestry Marks 100 Years with Centennial Celebration

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

UM Ranked Among Top Schools for Research, Service, Social Mobility

UM Ranked Among Top Schools for Research, Service, Social Mobility

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

President Looks to Year Ahead in State of the University Address

President Looks to Year Ahead in State of the University Address

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

Big Data Players Brainstorm on Growing Montana’s High-Tech Sector

Big Data Players Brainstorm on Growing Montana’s High-Tech Sector

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

Alum Opens Market Based on Plan Developed for UM Business Competition

Alum Opens Market Based on Plan Developed for UM Business Competition

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

Supreme Court Justice O’Connor to Receive Honorary Doctorate from UM

Supreme Court Justice O’Connor to Receive Honorary Doctorate from UM

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

President to Deliver State of the University Address Aug. 23

President to Deliver State of the University Address Aug. 23

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

Piece of History: Presidential Pen Part of UM's Mansfield Collection

Piece of History: Presidential Pen Part of UM's Mansfield Collection

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

UM to Honor Five Distinguished Alums at Homecoming

UM to Honor Five Distinguished Alums at Homecoming

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