Apr 17 2014


The University of Montana received $5 million this week to endow a scholarship fund for Montana students with financial need. The gift came from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.

“We are tremendously grateful for this gift that will enable many Montana students to receive a transformational education at the University of Montana,” President Royce C. Engstrom said. “This amazing act of generosity will change lives.”

The gift includes $144,000 for scholarships to be awarded to next fall’s freshmen. Twelve students will receive $3,000 scholarships that are renewable for four years.

The remainder of the gift will be placed in an endowment. The University of Montana Foundation typically begins distributing funds from an endowment within 12 to 18 months after a gift is received and placed in the investment pool. The proceeds from the invested funds yield the scholarships.

The donor is working with the UM Foundation to determine the size of the scholarships that will be awarded through the endowment.

“The size of this gift will impact generations of Montanans,” said Shane Giese, president and CEO of the UM Foundation. “The donor has demonstrated a great deal of trust in the University and more importantly, the value of investing in students.”

Since July 2013, the University and the UM Foundation have been working to increase the number of scholarships and fellowships through the Investing in Student Success Initiative. The initiative also focuses on increasing support for the Davidson Honors College, Global Leadership Initiative, a Learning Commons at the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library and facilities for student-athletes.

The addition of the $5 million gift brings the total contributed toward Investing in Student Success to $20.2 million. The majority of the gifts received will go toward scholarships and fellowships.