Montana State University

$10,000 charitable grant funds student scholarships for MSU Leadership Summit

September 9, 2013 -- MSU News Service

Montana Rail Link President Tom Walsh presents Montana State University President Waded Cruzado with $10,000. From left: MSU Alumni Foundation President and CEO Michael Stevenson, Montana Rail Link President Tom Walsh, student Beau Bridgeman, MSU Leadership Institute Director Carmen McSpadden, ASMSU President Lindsay Murdock, ASMSU Attorney Phyllis Bock, student Josh Iverson, MSU Associate Provost David Singel, alpinist Conrad Anker, student Dhaval Bajaria and MSU President Waded Cruzado.   High-Res Available

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Montana Rail Link President Tom Walsh presented Montana State University President Waded Cruzado a $10,000 check from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation at the MSU Alumni Foundation’s football game tailgate on Thursday, Aug. 29, to fund student participation in the university’s 2013 Leadership Summit.

“This gift comes just as we are about to kick off our Year of Engaged Leadership, focused on developing the leadership skills of our students, faculty, staff and community members,” Cruzado said. “With this support from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, MSU students will be able to discover their leadership potential as participants in our next Leadership Summit.”

Presented before a crowd of more than 150 university alumni and friends, the gift will provide funding for up to 75 students to attend MSU’s Leadership Summit, scheduled to occur Oct. 18-19.

“The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation is proud to partner with Montana State University in supporting the Year of Engaged Leadership at MSU,” said Mike Halligan, executive director of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation. “A core value of the foundation is giving youth the tools they need to succeed in life, and helping underwrite the 2013 MSU Leadership Summit is aligned not only with the mission and goals of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation but the Washington Companies as well.”

Walsh, representing the Washington Companies, added that “the grant represents an investment in the young leaders of tomorrow, and we applaud MSU’s efforts to bring young people together for such an important goal.”

The gift was a result of ongoing efforts by the MSU Alumni Foundation team to secure funding for programing related to the university’s Year of Engaged Leadership. Working closely with university staff and faculty, the foundation connected the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation’s philanthropic mission with the university’s Year of Engaged Leadership priorities.

“We are very appreciative that the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation recognized how they could help more students participate in the Leadership Summit,” said MSU Alumni Foundation President and CEO Michael Stevenson. “Through their continued generosity, they have become a true partner with us in advancing the leadership experience for students in Montana.”

The student Leadership Summit, organized and presented by the MSU Leadership Institute, is one of many programs, lectures and events the university will be offering as part of its Year of Engaged Leadership, which began with last week’s Freshman Convocation featuring Life of Pi author Yann Martel.

Designed to help students understand how to work with diverse teams and solve complex problems, the summit will connect business, nonprofit and student leaders in an innovative and energizing off-campus conference. Focused on an outdoor theme, this year’s summit will feature world-renowned alpinist and MSU Leadership Institute board member Conrad Anker.

“With the funding for students to participate in this summit, we will be able to use this leadership program to build the leaders and engaged citizens for the local, national and global communities we serve, furthering our university’s objectives related to learning, discovery and outreach,” Cruzado said. “I am excited to see how the students will take what they learn through the opportunity afforded them to participate in this conference, and how they will carry their experiences through our Year of Engaged Leadership.”

About the Montana State University Alumni Foundation: The Montana State University Alumni Foundation is an independent 501(c) 3 nonprofit headquartered in Bozeman that is composed of three entities – The Montana State Alumni Association, rallying 145,000 alumni and friends; The Montana State University Foundation, which stewards and grows an estimated $180 million in assets; and the Montana State University Innovation Campus, dedicated to helping develop public-private partnerships. Together, these three organizations are dedicated to one mission: Creating lifelong relationships and strengthening resources to advance Montana State University.

Contact: Melissa Dulin, Director of Development, MSU Alumni Foundation, (406) 994-3046 or