Montana State University

College of Letters and Science

Montana State University
P.O. Box 172360
Bozeman, MT 59717-2360

Tel: (406) 994-4288
Fax: (406) 994-7580
Location: 2-205 Wilson Hall


Nicol C. Rae

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Notable L&S Alumni

The College of Letters & Science has many notable alumni. Here are a few of our most well-know and influential alumni.

Sarah Vowell, how Bozeman and MSU affected her American life
Urbane, witty and sophisticated, Sarah Vowell is often considered the consummate New Yorker. However, the author, social commentator, long-time staple of public radio's This American Life, voice of Violet in The Incredibles, and popular guest on late-night talk shows, grew up in Bozeman and graduated from Montana State University in 1993 with a degree in modern languages and literature. Read more...

Wally McRea, Montana rancher and famed cowboy poet
In 1954 Wally McRae went to what was then Montana State College. In addition to his studies, the university provided the opportunity to nurture his love of performing through activities such as theater, rodeo clowning and student government --- he was voted president of his class. McRae eventually earned his degree in zoology, with a chemistry minor. Read more...

Maurice Hilleman, credited with saving tens of millions of lives
Dr. Hilleman and his team at Merck & Company developed about three dozen experimental and licensed animal and human vaccines, including 8 of the 14 routinely given to young children in the U.S. today. His work is credited by scientists for virtually wiping out many of the dreaded and deadly childhood diseases that remained common just 40 years ago. Read more...
Irving Weissman, research pioneer
Irving Weissman (’61, Pre-medicine) is the director of the Institute for Cancer and Stem Cell Biology and Medicine at Stanford University and is known for his ground-breaking research in biology. He pioneered the science of isolating blood-forming stem cells from mice, and in collaboration with others discovered human stem cells that produce blood cell progenitors and nervous tissue. Read more...
Doug Coombs, a passionate life in extreme
MSU grad Doug Coombs' penchant for radical terrain made him a pioneer in the sport of extreme skiing. As a geology student, Coombs studied his craggy surroundings. As a skier, he became adept at snow dynamics -- avoiding avalanches and teaching others how to stay safe in the backcountry. He was the first to etch tracks down some 250 slopes. Read more...