A Senior’s Reflection

Research psychology major Christopher Morucci reflects on how the Franke Global Leadership Initiative (GLI) has affected his UM experience, and how the recent transformative gift from Bill and Carolyn Franke and their family will impact the program for the next generation of students.

By Christian Kiemele, Nelson Weller Intern

Christopher Morucci

What’s been your favorite part of your education here at the University of Montana?

Probably the out-of-classroom opportunities that I’ve been able to find. Whether it’s working in research labs for psychology, working as a student-leader for GLI, or just for organizations on campus, I’ve been able to get a lot more out of UM than just the classroom experience.

What drew you to the Franke GLI initially?

The out-of-classroom experiences. That’s something that’s guaranteed for your four-year experience, that’s one of the key aspects of it. Also, the fact that the capstone—even though it is a lot of work in the senior year—you will have a proposal that you’ve done, and a project that you’ve worked towards and implemented by the time you graduate. That’s something that you actually have that’s feasible and in your hands by the time you’re gone.

Tell us about a time when a scholarship was really crucial in your schooling.

The GLI scholarship allowed me to study abroad in Japan. I did an internship there with TELL, formally known as the Tokyo English Life Line, and it gave me an experience that I would not have been able to have without a scholarship through the Franke Global Leadership Initiative. It was something most undergraduate psychology students do not get to do. I’ve tried to get as heavily involved in GLI as I can, and I’ve gotten wonderful things out of the experience.

What does it mean to you to see a gift like the Frankes’ support a program you’re involved in?

It’s incredible, especially because I met the Frankes two years ago, before they decided to do this. And now, while I’m still in college, this happened; this gift went through and will benefit people coming up behind me in the program. It’s incredible to see. I can’t even really put it into words.

What excites you as you look ahead to the future of the Franke GLI?

I’m excited to see more students get larger scholarships to help even bigger dreams become reality. I would love to see every student in the GLI program go out and have a semester, or a year, of some sort of experience that they would not have been able to have otherwise. I know I would never have been able to do an unpaid internship, in another country, in probably the most expensive city in the world, if I had not had funding from GLI. It’s not something that would’ve happened for me. I’m so excited to hear the stories of other students who do incredible things.