Fall 1997 Montanan - Volume 15, Number 1
Prescott House Restored
Nowhere else on campus are Missoula's origins as visible as at The University of Montana's Prescott House. Honeysuckle graces the entrance of the two-and-a-half-story classic American Victorian. Silver maple and Douglas fir still shade its six-foot high and handsome windows. Mixed into the original foundation are stones from the lake bed of prehistoric Lake Missoula. Built by Missoula merchant Clarence Prescott Sr. for his family in 1898, the house sits at the base of Mount Sentinel and was for many years occupied by his son Clare. UM alumni will remember seeing Clare puttering about his extensive flower gardens. At his death in 1993 at the age of one hundred, the house and its surrounding half-acre were turned over to the University.
Built in 1898 in the American Victorian style, the newly refurbished Prescott House will serve as a center for educational conferences and social functions.
Funded by a gift to UM from Dennis and Phyllis Washington, the Prescott House has been restored and renovated. The surrounding grounds will include a small amphitheater, pavilion and garden. October 18 will mark its dedication as a center for educational conferences and social functions.
Those who worked for thirteen months wiring, plumbing, siding and repairing its interior woodwork found the home in remarkably good condition. The Prescott family did little redecorating, leaving the original staircase, fireplace, windows and handworked wooden trim visible and accessible. Where replacements were needed, expert craftsmen supplied exact replicas. Furnishings and decorative items have been selected with an eye toward duplicating the appearance of the house at the turn of the century.
The Washingtons hope that the restoration and preservation of this historically significant structure and its grounds will provide a connection between the former graduates of the University and the future generations. "Our past is an anchor that is important in all our lives," said Phyllis Washington. "We believe the Prescott House and its grounds are one of those anchors."
Greetings University of Montana Alumni
We begin another year optimistic for the future. Some might find this strange in view of our difficulties with state funding, but as I have said before, we must find new ways of helping ourselves. Because of support from our alumni and friends and the creativity and diligence of our faculty and staff, we have done so in the past. We must now do more.
During the coming six months, we will develop a five-year strategic plan to bring the University into the new century. Our guiding premise will be the University's mission as a public university responsible for research and graduate education. But, as a university with a presence in several communities, it is critical that we seek new ways of functioning to assure our success in the next hundred years.
In addition, we will implement a development plan on the Missoula campus to assure that faculty and staff have the necessary tools and support for their work. Over the past year, we identified challenges and opportunities as we move into the new information age. As a result, by 1999, we will have implemented on all four campuses an integrated information system that will provide the support we need to deliver high-quality education and related services to our students and alumni, on and off campus. This will enable us to enter the twenty-first century well prepared to assure that public higher education fulfills its purpose in Montana.
As you know, we will celebrate in October the wonderful success of our Capital Campaign, "Ensuring A Tradition of Excellence." When we launched that effort five years ago, few believed we could succeed. However, with the magnificent work of the national campaign Chair Phyllis Washington, the campaign executive committee and their army of energetic and dedicated volunteers, we met our $40 million goal and will exceed $60 million by the time of the celebration. But we cannot stop there. During the next few months, we will identify campus priorities for the next four years for the University of Montana Foundation's board of trustees and work on completing unfinished campaign priorities. We will need your help as we move forward with this effort.
As we attend to these chores, we must pay attention to our mission of providing an education second to none for our students. To do so, we have reaffirmed our commitment to meeting the needs of students and enabling them to realize their highest potential. I have great pride in the faculty and staff of this University for their success in this endeavor.
I look forward to seeing each of you on campus. If you have not visited in some time, make a point of returning for I believe you will find it pleasantly surprising. With the help of our alumni and friends, we have positioned The University of Montana for continued success in responding to the needs of our students and the people of the state of Montana.
George M. Dennison
Entomologist is New Research V.P.
Third time's the charm! T. Lloyd Chesnut, former vice president for research and graduate studies at Ohio University in Athens, became UM's vice president for research and development August 1. Picked from more than 100 applicants in this third stab at replacing Raymond Murray, Chesnut is an entomologist with more than twenty-five years' experience as a research administrator. At Ohio University, Chesnut doubled the amount of outside funds to support OU's basic research programs. He was a senior scientist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C., and continues to serve on the agency's Advisory Board of the National Environmental Technology Applications Center.
"Dr. Chesnut brings the unique blend of talent and experience needed for success in this position," President George Dennison said. "I couldn't be more pleased and excited."
The Breath of Life
On June 13, UM police officer Steve Tompkins and Facilities Services maintenance supervisor Greg Plantz saved the life of Facilities Services employee Bob Blough after he suffered a major heart attack while on the job. In the minutes it took paramedics to arrive, Tompkins gave Blough mouth-to-mouth resuscitation while Plantz pumped his chest. Both Tompkins and Plantz learned CPR through UM's Wellness Center, and their lifesaving efforts inspired 135 of their fellow UM employees to sign up for the Wellness Center's CPR course.
UM in the Flathead
In an effort to better serve students in the Kalispell area who would like to earn a bachelor's degree, UM will offer one in liberal studies beginning fall 1997 at Flathead Valley Community College. The decision to offer this bachelor's degree was based on the broad background it provided. The first courses to be offered are ancient Greek humanities, folklore and folk literature and a history course on Montana and the West. For added convenience, the courses will be scheduled on evenings or weekends.
Chef Martin Albrecht
For the second year running a UM chef has been named the Western Montana Chef of the Year by the American Culinary Federation's Western Montana Chapter. Martin Albrecht, the chef in UM's catering kitchen, received the honor April 28 at UM during ACF's annual banquet. Tom Siegel, UM's executive chef, held the honor last year. Of Polish descent, Albrecht cooked at premiere restaurants in England, California and New York and at Missoula's Lily Restaurant before joining UM's staff in 1993.
Philip Wright Dies
Philip Wright, professor emeritus of zoology, died at his Missoula home on July 16 at age 83. Wright, who taught at UM for 46 years, retired in 1985 and was the major contributor of bird and mammal specimens to what is now the Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum. Wright was well-known around the country as a zoologist and famous on campus for his ornithology and mammalogy courses.
Philosopher and former Missoula Mayor Daniel Kemmis received a Distinguished Service Award from The Society for Conservation Biology. The society honors individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to conservation. Currently the director of UM's Center for the Rocky Mountain West, Kemmis was recognized for his social, economic and political worka category whose previous winners include Vice President Al Gore.
Drink Up Griz!
UM Refreshing Spring Water is now available statewide for 89 cents for sixteen ounces, a dollar thirty-nine for thirty-three ounces, a joint effort of UM's Dining Services, Montana Silver Springs and Sheehan Majestic distributors. Royalties from sales of the water will benefit UM students. Look for the maroon, silver and gold designer label with the Grizzly logo against a black background.
Higher Ed: Quality, Access and Cost
Legislators, educators and administrators from around the West met in Missoula June 8-10 to discuss quality, access and cost as they relate to the financial future of public higher education in the region. Participants heard various perspectives on the issues, including those of Utah Governor Michael O. Leavitt and Arizona State University President Lattie F. Coor. Faculty and students also shared their views. Montana Governor Marc Racicot, Higher Education Commissioner Richard Crofts and UM President George Dennison hosted the conference.
UM's 100th Commencement
A century ago two graduates received degrees at UM's first commencementMrs. Ella Robb Glenny received a bachelor's of arts degree, and Miss Eloise Knowles, a bachelor's of philosophy. At UM's 100th commencement on Saturday, May 17, more than 1,500 graduates participated throughout the day. This year also marks the 100th birthday of UM's Main Hall.
J School Gets Interim Dean
Joe Durso Jr., a member of the journalism faculty since 1984, is interim dean of the journalism school, replacing Frank Allen, who left the post June 30 after serving three years. Nominated during an internal search, Durso was appointed by Provost Robert Kindrick, who said UM will conduct a national search to fill the post permanently. Durso was a finalist for the job three years ago but said he's no longer interested in the permanent position.
New to Alumni Board
This fall six new members begin serving on the UM Alumni Association board: William W. Mercer '86, assistant U.S. attorney in Missoula; Byron L. Robb '54, retired district judge in Livingston; Rachel S. Smith '84, a fashion sales representative in Georgia and a Montana realtor; Daniel J. Sullivan '77, executive manager of information systems for the Montana Power Company in Butte; Geoffrey J. Sutton '75, owner of Missoula's Sutton West Gallery and John C. Wertz '61, chief operating officer and a director of Banner Aerospace in Washington, D.C.
Record Research ANASA satellite circles the planet as part of the Earth Observing Project. A windmill on the plains, blades and turbine toughened to withstand Montana weather, produces renewable energy. New programs help special education high school students throughout Montana make a successful transition to adult life. These are just a few of the fruits of research projects by UM faculty, who attracted a record $27 million in research grants and contracts during the 1996-97 fiscal year. The total is a 10 percent increase from last year's $23.5 million.
The top three UM funding recipients for fiscal '97 are the Division of Biological Sciences with $4.78 million, the School of Forestry with $4.43 million and the Rural Institute on Disabilities with $3.84 million.
Robert Frazier, chair of the Research Management Council, has seen an encouraging trend in UM's research funding applications. "The base has broadened, and there are more people participating," he said. "This year we processed over 600 applications."
President George Dennison credits UM's faculty for the competitiveness of their projects and their willingness to seek support for their research. "The important thing to realize is that these people are getting support for what they would be doing anyway," he said. "Their research hasn't been modified to fit available funding."
Lubrecht Turns Sixty
Land, lots of land, beginning with a donation from the Anaconda Copper Mining Company in 1937, has provided generations of UM forestry, recreation and wildlife students 28,000 acres where they can study, research, live, cross-country ski and hike. Named for an Anaconda Company timber manager and tucked away in the Blackfoot River drainage thirty-five miles northeast of Missoula, the Lubrecht Experimental Forest is celebrating its sixtieth anniversary this October.
Over the years, forestry sophomores spent part of their school year living in Lubrecht's rustic cabins while studying forest ecology, surveying and production in second-growth timber. The varying ages of Lubrecht's trees also provided students an opportunity to learn about thinning, pruning and habitat management.
Current research projects at Lubrecht focus on topics such as uneven-aged stand management, thinning and wildlife population ecology. In nine two-acre enclosures, for example, UM wildlife biologists are learning to better manage endangered species by monitoring survival rates among newborn mammals.
Since 1982 the Castles Forestry Center at Lubrecht has provided conference facilities for a variety of University and community groups, including language immersion programs, forestry workshops, Elderhostels and the Missoula Food Bank's annual meeting. A new lodge, opened in 1997, provides modern living facilities.
Dean of UM's School of Forestry Perry Brown said, "Lubrecht is a state-of-the-art facility providing educational opportunities on the leading edge as well as good field experience. It's a tremendous asset for teaching, demonstration and research."
Award-winning UM Journalism
"Native America: Whose Land? Whose Law?" received a Rocky Mountain Emmy this spring from the Arizona Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Produced by UM's Student Documentary Unit, the hour-long documentary covering tribal sovereignty and issues such as gambling and land use on Montana's Indian reservations aired on Montana Public Television in December 1996 and March 1997. This is the fourth Emmy the SDU has received for best student-produced program in the Mountain time zone.
Geology Professor Honored
Marc Hendrix, a UM assistant professor of geology, recently received the Winston and Helen Cox Teaching Award for his dedication to teaching. The $3,900 award includes $500 for Hendrix to spend on new acquisitions for the Mansfield Library. A member of the geology faculty since 1994, Hendrix developed all his courses from the ground up, leading a revision in the department's sedimentology and stratigraphy curriculum from freshman through graduate level.