Devotion to UM and Missoula Wins Bucklew Award for Bill Reynolds
Reynolds received the award at the UM Charter Day observance along with other individuals whose service to the University and its students is noteworthy. The Bucklew Award, named for the former UM president, is specifically for a Montanan who has made extraordinary effort to foster understanding between his or her community and the University. Typically, the recipient is someone whose advocacy for UM has resulted in increased private support.
Reynolds was a long-time volunteer for the Missoula Business Drive for the Excellence Fund, the University’s main source of unrestricted gifts that provides more than $350,000 annually. For many years he contacted fellow physicians asking their support. He served two terms on the UM Foundation Board of Trustees and participated in the highly successful UM Capital Campaign—Ensuring a Tradition of Excellence. A supporter of many facets of UM, he is perhaps best known for establishing the Fifth-Year Basketball Scholarships for both men and women student-athletes. At his urging, many others have joined him in support of the scholarships.
“Education is so important,” he says. “I want to do all I can to help these kids afford to complete their degree programs after they’ve used up their athletic scholarships.”
When the Foundation’s Board of Trustees created the Bucklew Award in 1988, they committed $1,000 each year for the recipient to designate a scholarship to a department of his or her choice. Reynolds chose the fifth-year scholarship fund.
Sliter Memorials Assist Political Science, Athletics
Sliter, Majority Leader of the Montana House of Representatives, died in August as a result of an automobile accident near Helena. He was 32.
Gifts from more than 300 family members, friends and colleagues, created the E. Paul Sliter Memorial Scholarship in political science as well as an Opportunity Fund in the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. In terms of numbers of contributors, the Sliter funds are among the largest memorials ever received by the UM Foundation. Overwhelmed by the show of support, affection, and prayers, “the family couldn’t be more pleased, honored, and proud of Paul,” says his widow, Elaine, about the establishment of these funds. The academic department from which he earned his degree and Grizzly athletics were both important to Paul, she says.
After Paul’s death, his family decided that a scholarship in political science was an obvious choice as a memorial. They wanted the award for an upper-division student and specified that the recipient must have participated in community service and be politically involved, two characteristics that hallmarked Paul’s years at UM. Paul was elected to his first term in the Montana House of Representatives while he was still a student. He served four terms in the House, two in top leadership positions.
Knowing the quality of scholarship applicants, Elaine says, “we are hoping the recipients will be people with the same passion that Paul had. He would want to help them and see them strive for success in that arena.”
When the scholarship reached the $50,000 level, a second endowment was established to acknowledge Paul’s love for Grizzly athletics. “A home football game was one of the few things Paul would give up a day of hunting for,” Elaine says. Grizzly games were a family activity for the Sliters—Elaine and Paul, his parents, Everit ’66 and Nikki ’65, brother Justin ’97 and his wife, Jennifer. Last year, baby daughter Morgan was able to attend with Elaine.
Hall of Champions Will Feature Trophies, Athletics Memorabilia
The $150,000-200,000 project will transform the south concourse of the Adams Center into a museum of trophy cases, displays for each competitive sport, banners, video stations, and more. Athletic Director Wayne Hogan expects work to begin this summer to create welcoming areas at both entries to the concourse, improve lighting and flooring, and construct display cases. The Hall of Champions will open in the fall.
In the course of the expansion and remodeling of Adams Center, trophy cases scattered throughout the building were removed and valuable artifacts put in storage until space and funding could be found for displays. That left no opportunity for visitors and alumni, as well as current and former athletes, to trace the University’s athletic history.
Hogan says it is time to change that. When the athletics advisory board formed this year, the Hall of Champions project became a priority for the twenty-five men and women—many former athletes themselves. Then, it gained impetus from an unfortunate source: the sudden death of board vice chair, Jim Kastelitz ’68 of Missoula. Memorials for Kastelitz have been directed to the project and his fellow board members dedicated themselves to securing the major gifts necessary to complete the funding.
Gifts for the project should be directed to the UM Foundation and specified for the Hall of Champions, according to Jim O’Day, development officer for intercollegiate athletics.
The south concourse is an ideal spot for the Hall of Champions, Hogan says, because it is so accessible to people attending events at Adams Center and for football fans who pass through on their way to Washington-Grizzly Stadium. Success of the sports programs has made people nostalgic for former times. They want to come back to athletic arenas to “see their history,” according to Hogan. “The Hall of Champions will make people who were here take ownership in what’s happening in our programs today.” Seeing the project take shape is a thrill, he says. “It’s going to be great to honor our past in a wonderful space.”
Planners visited several institutions and are attempting to incorporate the best of what they saw into UM’s facility. Memorabilia and trophies dating back to early days exist, Hogan says, and an inventory is being taken to determine what pieces can be displayed in the Hall of Champions. Some of the overflow will be housed in the Varsity Club, a lounge-dining-meeting facility on Adams Center’s upper level, giving further opportunity to see the roots of Grizzly athletics. Former athletes with memorabilia to donate to the displays can contact Tammy von Lutzow, Varsity Club manager, at (406) 243-5321.
Foundation Enriches UM by $8.3 Million This Year
Contributions from alumni and friends and endowment earnings last year allowed the UM Foundation to provide nearly $8.3 million in private gifts to University academics.
The amount exceeds the Foundation’s five-year average payment to UM—$7.6 million—despite an economic downturn and unstable stock market. Penny Wagner Peabody ’61, chair of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, says the increased giving was testament to donors’ recognition that UM’s needs are ongoing and perhaps even greater during challenging times.
The largest share, almost $4.9 million, went for academics and institutional support such as educational programs, chairs and professorships, and professional development for faculty members. The amount available for student scholarships has risen steadily to nearly $2 million this year, thanks to the number of new awards created and additions to existing scholarship funds. The University awarded 2,107 scholarships this academic year. The remaining portion supported facilities and equipment.