A Commitment to Montana
The University of Montana School of Law received the largest outright gift in its history this February – $800, 000 from Alexander “Zander” Blewett III and his wife, Andy. Their gift has created the Blewett Scholars Fund, which supports law students who have earned a bachelor’s degree from Montana State.
The School of Law currently has twice as many UM graduates enrolled as MSU graduates. The Blewetts hope their gift will help to correct this imbalance.
“I hope these scholarships will provide more incentive for the next generation of MSU students to obtain the quality of education that the School of Law provides,” said Zander Blewett.
The first three Blewett Scholars arrived on campus this fall. Ford Hayes, a MSU graduate in political science who is originally from Minneapolis-St. Paul, says the scholarship made his decision of where to attend law school easy.
“Cost is definitely a big factor for me,” he said. “I chose to go to UM because it was by far the best value in the country, especially for in-state residents.”
The scholarship is a significant award, covering half of the recipient’s tuition, and is renewable for three years.
Ted Koenig, a MSU history major from Kalispell, returned to Montana after three years with the Peace Corps in Madagascar. He says he’s grateful to be home.
“Sometimes you don’t realize how great a place is until you’re gone from there. That’s how I feel about Montana. When I was deciding where to go to law school, UM was the first one on my list,” he said.
All three students are still deciding which course their law careers will take, but the scholarship opens up many possibilities. UM School of Law Interim Dean Greg Munro says that financial support allows students to consider careers in public or community service.
Eli Inabnit, who hails from Missoula but received his degree in English literature from MSU, agrees that this is an important consideration. He said, “Being awarded this scholarship will allow me to minimize the amount of debt I take on and will free me from constrained career decisions.”
All three scholars stressed how thankful they were to receive the Blewett Scholarship.
“Mr. Blewett has made a great gift, recognizing the value of and investing in students from both MSU and UM,” said Koenig. “I think I speak for all three candidates when I say we appreciate his commitment to both Montana institutions.”