Last month we celebrated the University of Montana’s 125th birthday. It was a week-long celebration of our shared history, and our exciting future.
At the Charter Day ceremony, the Foundation recognized Mickey Sogard, a longtime volunteer and supporter, with the Bucklew Award. I was reminded of the long tradition of donors making a difference here.
Private support began before the first building was even constructed.
Forty acres of historically Salish land at the base of Mount Sentinel was donated to Montana by the estate of C.P. Higgins and The South Missoula Land Company (E.L. Bonner). This land became our beloved campus.
After the UM Foundation was incorporated in 1950, philanthropy flourished. In 1957 the Foundation awarded 24 full-ride scholarships and managed 30 other funds, supporting an early computing center, the carillon bells in Main Hall and the planetarium, among other areas. By 1964, the Foundation had $420,000 in assets and supported a variety of academic areas, scholarships and professorships.
Twenty-five years later, in 1988, the Foundation funded 250 scholarships, with 155 more established during the Ensuring a Tradition of Excellence campaign in the 1990s. Today, more than a dozen campus buildings have been constructed or renovated thanks to private support.
As UM celebrates its 125th year, more than 2,000 students benefit each year from privately funded scholarships. Donors also support 32 faculty positions, numerous academic programs and continued enhancement of learning environments across campus. Donors like you have changed so many lives – you provided nearly $21 million in support to the University last year. Thank you for believing in the power of education, and for being part of what comes next!
President and CEO
University of Montana Foundation