MSU vice president of communications and public affairs (retired)
Cathy Conover served Montana State University from 1981 to 2010, initially in human resources, becoming director of labor relations, and then personnel services. She taught in both the Colleges of Engineering and Business for over 15 years. In 1997, she became director of university relations, university spokesperson and lobbyist. When she retired in 2010, she had reached the level of vice president of communications and public affairs. She was a visionary who saw the need for communications to adapt and change in the digital era. During her tenure, she oversaw and supervised MSU's integrated marketing plan and published the university's new flagship magazine, Mountains and Minds. For six legislative sessions, she lobbied at the Montana Legislature advocating for MSU, the Montana Ag Experiment Station and Extension. She served as the interim associate commissioner of higher education for six months, during which time she coordinated the lobbying efforts of the entire Montana University System. In Helena, she developed positive relationships with leaders and constituents across Montana. Conover served on the Chamber of Commerce board. After retiring, she continues to serve on the boards of Wonderlust and the Wheeler Center, creating programming for the community and entire state.
A mentor and role model, Cathy Conover was a fierce advocate for professional development and equal pay. She is truly one of MSU’s extraordinary women.