Montana State University

Montana State University alumnus William Henderson pledges $250,000 for MSU veterans and their spouses

December 2, 2014

Montana State University announced today that alumnus William W. Henderson has pledged $250,000 to establish a permanent scholarship endowment to support military veterans and their spouses. As part of MSU’s Veteran Families Freedom Fund scholarship initiative, Henderson and his wife, Marilyn, are establishing the Henderson Family Award to encourage veterans and their spouses already enrolled at MSU to continue through to successful MSU graduation. Today, MSU’s record student population includes nearly 600 veterans. Student veterans are pictured here visiting with recruiters during a career fair. MSU photo by Kelly Gorham.

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Montana State University announced today that alumnus William W. Henderson has pledged $250,000 to establish a permanent scholarship endowment to support military veterans and their spouses.

As part of MSU’s Veteran Families Freedom Fund scholarship initiative, Henderson and his wife, Marilyn, are establishing the Henderson Family Award to encourage veterans and their spouses already enrolled at MSU to continue through to successful MSU graduation. Today, MSU’s record student population includes nearly 600 veterans.

Henderson was in MSU’s ROTC program and joined the U.S. Air Force after graduation, where he flew in B-52s as a navigator and electronic warfare officer. After concluding his service, he continued on to do his graduate studies in systems management in Southern California. With more than 30 successful years in commercial banking, Henderson rose to the position of executive vice president for Wells Fargo, leading their commercial banking programs in central and northern California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah. He and Marilyn now live in Santa Rosa, Calif.

“We really appreciate all that Montana State is doing for returning veterans during this incredibly formative period in their lives,” Henderson said. “We also understand the important role that spouses and families play in supporting those who serve our nation, so supporting this scholarship program and the opportunities it creates just felt like a great way for us to do our part.”

Once fully funded, the Henderson Family Award will provide approximately $10,000 in annual scholarship funds to an MSU student each year. One annual in-state, full-ride scholarship will be awarded through MSU’s Office of Disability, Re-entry and Veteran Services, with priority given to those veterans or veteran spouses with 30 hours of university credit and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

“We are extremely grateful to the Hendersons for this remarkable generosity,” said Chris Kearns, vice president for student success at MSU, whose division provides services and support for MSU’s student-veteran community. “Together with gifts received for the Veteran Families Freedom Scholarship Fund, this new scholarship endowment will help MSU to become the school of choice for veterans and their spouses returning from service to our nation.”

Veteran students or their spouses interested in this scholarship can learn more by contacting Brenda York, director of the Office of Disability, Re-entry and Veterans Services, via telephone at 406-994-2824 or email at byork@montana.edu.  Those interested in providing additional financial support to the Veteran Families Freedom Scholarship initiative may contact the MSU Alumni Foundation at info@msuaf.org or via telephone at 1-800-457-1696.

About the Montana State University Alumni Foundation: The Montana State University Alumni Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation comprised of three entities that serve one mission: "We create lifelong relationships and strengthen our resources to advance Montana State University." The MSU Alumni Association is a membership body that keeps graduates and friends of our University connected to one another and to their alma mater. The MSU Foundation raises significant private financial support and serves as the steward for more than $200 million dollars in total assets from many generous donors. And the MSU Innovation Campus offers powerful opportunities for partners to invest in a creative, entrepreneurial environment that offers state of the art facilities, supports start-up companies and provides students with hands-on learning experiences that can result in employment opportunities upon graduation.

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Jason Smith, vice president of external relations: (406) 570-6066   jason.smith@msuaf.org