Aug 01 2011


From funding for research at Flathead Lake to scholarships for service-minded students, alumni, friends and foundations showed their support for The University of Montana by giving $19 million in the 2012 fiscal year, which ended June 30. This comes close to the $20.2 million in gifts in 2011. Laura Brehm, president of the UM Foundation, which manages fundraising for the University, is pleased with this year’s total.

“Alumni and friends are passionate about supporting the University’s mission and they continue to do that even when times are tough,” Brehm says. “The financial markets are volatile and that affects giving. We are especially grateful for gifts that are helping President Royce Engstrom and our deans move forward on their top priorities.”

The Foundation received 14,000 individual gifts in fiscal year 2012. Notable gifts include:

  • (1) A $1 million challenge gift for research and monitoring of Flathead Lake. The gift directed to the Flathead Lake Biological Station is from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous. It requires a dollar-for-dollar match from other donors. 
  • (2) Missoula businessman Jim Auger committed $2 million of his estate for scholarships in the School of Business Administration. Recipients will perform community service.
  • (3) The Grizzly Scholarship Association pledged $500,000 for matching funds for improvements to athletic facilities. The athletic department is working toward a $6 million goal for a new student-athlete academic center, renovation of the weight room and locker room, and lights at Washington-Grizzly Stadium. The lights were installed this spring.

“Many of our most loyal donors showed their support by committing a portion of their estate to UM, and this helps us secure the future of the University,” Brehm says.

The Foundation organizes several targeted campaigns each year including the Missoula Business Drive, the UM faculty/staff giving campaign and the Senior Class Gift campaign. In addition, the Foundation employs students to call alumni, friends and parents to invite them to make a gift. The Foundation staff travels across the country meeting with alumni and friends who are interested in supporting the University.