Alumna, Montana state constitutional convention delegate, state senator, MSU honorary doctorate in 2003
Dorothy Eck served in the late 1960s as president of the Montana League of Women Voters and was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1972. The Montana State Constitution was widely hailed as one of the best in the country. As part of the Bill of Rights committee, she worked on the all-important "right to know" and "right to participate." Demanding open and participatory government as a right was an important part of Eck's lasting legacy. In 1973, Eck was asked to be the state-local coordinator to put the participatory goals of the new constitution into practice. She was the first woman to hold high office in the executive branch of Montana government, and she chaired the Governor's Task Force on Citizen Participation. Eck was elected to the state senate in 1980 and was a relentless advocate for funding for education and for the Montana University System. She worked for more robust health care for children and families and for adequate mental health care. After she retired from the senate in 2000, she remained an engaged and active citizen and continued to be a role model for many young people.
Dorothy Eck brought a steady, strategic and compassionate spirit to her work and gained the respect even of those who opposed her.