Montana State University

MSU receives $3.1 million for scholarships as university celebrates 120th anniversary

February 15, 2013

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The Montana State University Alumni Foundation announced it has received gifts totaling $3.1 million from the estate of Warren and Phyllis Howe of San Francisco to support student scholarships. The announcement coincides with the 120th anniversary of MSU's founding on Feb. 16.

"The Howes' generous gift underscores the vision our university founders had 120 years ago - to establish a preeminent land grant university accessible to all Montanans," said MSU President Waded Cruzado. "As alumni, the Howes both benefitted from that vision and, thanks to their generosity and lifelong commitment to MSU, so too will generations of students to come."

In 1996, the Howes established the Warren and Phyllis Howe Scholarship at MSU to provide financial support for students pursuing degrees in agriculture, engineering, nursing, and family and consumer sciences. Warren died in 2006 at the age of 101 and Phyllis died in 2012 at the age of 98. Through their estate, they provided $2 million in additional support, tripling the benefit to students.

"During their lifetime and through this gift, the Howes showed exactly what Montana State meant to them and the impact it had in their lives," said Michael Stevenson, president and CEO of the MSU Alumni Foundation. "The result of a lifelong relationship with Montana State University, this gift clearly demonstrates the impact alumni can have in supporting the needs of today's students."

Warren, a 1929 graduate, and Phyllis, a 1936 graduate, earned degrees in electrical engineering and home economics, respectively. Phyllis later earned a master's degree in home economics, taught nutrition courses at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, Calif., and authored seven editions of the textbook "Basic Nutrition in Health and Disease."

While at MSU, the Howes were active students. Warren was a member of the Omega Beta fraternity, the Electric Club, the Rifle Team, and the American Institute of Electrical Engineers. Phyllis, an honor roll student, was a member of the Home Economics Club, 4-H, and the Phi Upsilon Omicron, Phi Kappa Phi and Spurs honor societies. Both were Montana natives with Warren hailing from Hamilton and Phyllis from Columbia Falls.

"The Howes' gift couldn't have come at a better time. An MSU education has never been in higher demand, as evidenced by the success of our graduates as well as the support of employers, students and alumni," Cruzado said. "Just like the 120-year old decision of MSU's founders continues to have a positive impact today, the Howes' gift ensures that generations of students have the opportunity to better themselves and our communities through education."



Melanie Bury Schell, MSU Alumni Foundation chief operating officer and general counsel, (406) 994-2053,