Robert T. Pantzer - 1966-1974

Robert T. Pantzer

December 1966 - June 1974

"The University must preserve its integrity and the principle of law and order.""


  • B.A., The University of Montana, 1940
  • L.L.B., The University of Montana, 1947

Accomplishments as President

A UM alumnus, Pantzer had a unique understanding of the University's needs and interests. With a fair-minded and calm approach, he guided the University through the Vietnam War, facing many protests and a short-lived student take over of the ROTC building (Schreiber Gym). Pantzer worked diligently to meet students' needs. During the Panzter administration, several landmarks and programs began. These not only benefited the student body's educational needs but also promoted school spirit and expanded UM's academic horizons. Pantzer also launched a campaign to improve the University's aesthetic quality, including installing a permanent concrete "M," the Centennial Circle and Grizzly Statue, and the Ryman Memorial Mall, which runs from Arthur Avenue to University Hall.

Background History

As a UM student, Pantzer was involved with numerous campus activities, including ASUM, ROTC, and Sigma Nu. From 1941-45, he served as an officer in the U.S. Army before returning to Montana in pursuit of his Juris Doctorate. Pantzer then served as the County Attorney in Chester, Montana, as well as in private law practice. He became City Attorney for Livingston, Montana, in 1955. He joined UM in 1958 as Executive Vice President and later served as Financial Vice President. He also taught business law classes before assuming the presidency in 1966.

Following the Presidency

In the year of his resignation, the University created the Robert Pantzer Award, which is given annually to honor an individual who has enhanced the humane and open learning environment at UM. In 1977, Pantzer received the University's Distinguished Alumni Award, as well as honorary degrees from Rocky Mountain College and Yankton College. Pantzer Hall was dedicated in 1996, and in 2000, he received the Outstanding SOBA Alumnus Award, after being selected by the Business Advisory Council. Pantzer resided in Missoula, Montana until his death in 2004.

Robert T. Pantzer

Landmarks Erected

  • Elrod Research Station at Flathead Lake, 1967
  • Aber Hall, 1967
  • Physical Plant, 1967
  • University Center, 1968
  • Grizzly Statue and concrete "M," 1968
  • Science Complex, 1971
  • Rec Annex, 1972
  • Mansfield Library, 1973

Programs Established

  • Department of Computer Science
  • Programs in Comparative Literature, Environmental, and Native American Studies
  • Courses in Portuguese and Chinese