Feist Family Foundation Makes $2 Million Gift to Grizzly Athletics

The Missoula-based Feist Family Foundation has committed $2 million to the University of Montana athletic department. The gift benefits athletic facility improvements, student-athletes, men’s basketball and the Grizzly Athletics Hall of Champions. In honor of the foundation’s generosity, the Hall of Champions, located along the south concourse of the Adams Center, will be renamed the Feist Family Foundation Grizzly Athletics Hall of Champions.

An image of the newly renamed Feist Family Foundation Grizzly Athletics Hall of ChampionsUM’s rich athletic history is almost as old as the University itself. The foundation’s generous support will ensure that fans can continue to celebrate that tradition. A portion of the gift will support ongoing maintenance and improvements to the Feist Family Foundation Grizzly Athletics Hall of Champions.

“The Feist family and Sheehan Majestic have been such great supporters of UM and Grizzly Athletics,” said Kent Haslam, athletics director. “This gift is a testament to their commitment to our student-athletes and to this community.”

Originally built in 2003 after the renovation to the Adams Center, the Feist Family Foundation Grizzly Athletics Hall of Champions features dozens of glass display cases that house some of the department’s proudest moments and achievements, including conference- and national-championship trophies, recognition of past Grizzly greats and other memorabilia. The hall attracts thousands of visitors on Griz game day and is a popular destination for people visiting campus.

The beautiful display brings fans together and rekindles wonderful memories, but takes funding to update, including cleaning the glass displays and changing out photos and memorabilia to ensure it is a dynamic history of the University’s programs. The athletics department has in the past pieced money together to pay for the upkeep, but the endowment from the Feist Family Foundation will provide consistent funding, without having to pull from other areas.

“The funding will provide critical support to one of the most high-profile spaces on campus,” said Haslam. “There is a constant need to keep the displays maintained and current. This gift will allow for that, along with supporting many other priorities within the athletics department.”

The generosity of the Feist family, which operates local full-service distributor Sheehan Majestic, is nothing new to the University. The family also donated $1 million to the athletics department in 2008.

“Montana’s proud history is what makes it so special to be part of Grizzly Athletics,” said a representative of the Feist Family Foundation. “We’re excited to assist in showcasing the department’s many accomplishments over the years.”