Sep 29 2014


Once again, Missoula business leaders are coming together to raise funds for the University of Montana.

For 30 years, local businesses have recognized that supporting the University, Missoula’s largest engine of growth, fosters the city’s development. This year, the Missoula Business Drive formally begins Sept. 30.

“The thousands of students enrolled at UM make a huge impact on our local economy,” said Vicki Corwin, vice president of Stewart Title, who is chairing the 2014 campaign. “I give because supporting UM means supporting our community.”

Donations to the Missoula Business Drive are directed to the University of Montana Excellence Fund. This unrestricted fund supports a wide variety of student learning activities, such as helping students travel abroad or attend conferences, providing a stipend for stellar guest speakers or prize money for student competitions.

Earlier this year the Excellence Fund sent a team of UM students to Jacksonville, Fla., for the International Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl, where they won first place.

“It’s likely that we wouldn’t have gone without the travel grant,” said Neil Bennett, a UM graduate student in economics and the team’s coach. “Receiving the money meant a lot to us, and we are very grateful for it.”

Their story is just one of many. Donors to the Missoula Business Drive have impacted thousands of students over the years and contributions of any size make a big difference.

“Every gift matters,” said Tara Vinson, associate director of annual giving at the UM Foundation. “We are grateful for the generosity of all our donors. They truly make a big impact.”