Emma Lommasson Grand Marshals in Styleby Joyce H. Brusin
Emma and driver Russ Francetich get in line alongside the UM marching band to lead off the 1998 Homecoming parade.
Emma Bravo Lommasson '33, M.S. '39, was a familiar face to many who lined Missoula streets to watch the 1998 Homecoming parade in October. Serving as Grand Marshal gave Lommasson a chance to spot and greet some of the generations of students who passed through her office in the fifty years she served the University. Before she retired in 1977, Lommasson had been teacher, departmental assistant and University registrar. For ten years after her retirement she volunteered time as an academic adviser. "All those years it was the young people who made it such a wonderful experience for me," she says.
Lommasson's Italian-born parents immigrated to Sand Coulee, where Emma was born and raised. After graduating from Centerville High School in 1929, she moved to Missoula where she worked her way through UM, earning a bachelor's degree in math sciences in 1933. She taught at schools in Sand Coulee and Centerville until 1937, when she returned to UM as secretary and assistant to math department Chair N. J. Lennes. Lommasson continued to study and completed a master's degree in math sciences in 1939. "Some people remember me from the years I taught in the math department," Lommasson says. "I taught one course every quarter. One quarter when Doctor Lennes was on leave, I taught his full load of courses."
Lommasson continued to teach as UM's enrollment dipped during World War II. "The math department chair, Doctor A. S. Merrill, had coordinated with the armed services to bring the College Training Detachment to campus," Lommasson recalls. "We trained young men who were in the Air Force and on their way to becoming pilots. From 1941 to 1943 they came to campus in groups of 1,000 at the beginning of each month. We taught them geography, history, physics and math. Each group stayed three months before shipping out." At the end of the war in 1945, Lommasson became veterans' adviser at UM and the University's assistant registrar. She eventually became registrar/associate director of admissions and records, continuing in that post until she retired in 1977.
UM President George Dennison '62, M.A. '63, was a student during Lommasson's years as registrar. "She took a great interest in students and helped many of us in so many different ways," Dennison remembers. "She helped us to realize our potential and to try to achieve it."
"Emma is both a gracious lady and a very talented administrator," current UM registrar Phil Bain says. "She went the extra mile for hundreds and hundreds of students and faculty during her years as teacher and registrar."
"After so many years there, the University continues to be my life," Lommasson says. She never misses a Grizzly football or basketball game and holds season tickets to the ASUM Performing Arts Series. "I want to know what young people are interested in. It might not always be what would interest me, but I like to keep up," she says. Having seen so many changes at UM, Lommasson's philosophy about keeping up with the rest of the world is simple: "I've learned that I don't have to walk fast; I just have to keep walking."
Update from Montana Eddyby Joyce H. Brusin
The last issue of the Montanan told of the continuing search to unearth Montana Eddy, author of historic UM classroom graffiti. He has revealed his existence--but not his identity--to the UM Alumni Association. Eddy responded to our article by again writing to Alumni Association Director Bill Johnston, postmarked November 16, 1998, in Detroit.
"As always the experience I received from the U of M comes into play every day and sometimes the education," he wrote. The approach of the annual Griz/Cat football game in November apparently emboldened Eddy. "I would like to humbly inquire about some accommodation for the game?" he wrote. "With that, might I inquire about a parade or maybe Montana Eddy Day?" Eddy eventually revised his requests into more easily attainable honors.
Unfortunately, we still can't respond to Eddy as we have no way of contacting him. Please let Bill hear from you once more, Eddy, and this time leave a P. O. Box, e-mail or other address. Remember to repeat some of your more reasonable demands. We need to be certain of your identity!
Alumni Association Awards Grand Prizesby Joyce H. Brusin
The UM Alumni Association capped off its fall membership drive in December by awarding long-awaited grand prizes. The 1998 football season had seen the unveiling of the new alumni membership tent at out-of-town games and select home games. Alumni and friends who registered at the tent received a free tailgate button and information on the benefits of joining the Alumni Association as dues-paying members. They also became eligible to win free Grizzly performance wear, stitched especially for the Alumni Association by Missoula's Sun Mountain Sports. "Grizwear" awarded after games this season included numerous windshirts, jackets and hats with Grizzly colors and logos. In addition, friends and alumni who joined the Alumni Association as dues-paying members by November 21 became eligible to win this December's grand prizes--a first prize of $1,000 cash and a second prize of tickets and travel expenses to the 1999 Griz/Cat football game.
On December 16 in Missoula two winners were drawn from the list of nearly five thousand dues-paying members. Mark Novas, M.A. '74, of Atlanta, won $1,000 cash, while Allen Chesbro Jr. '41, of Belt, won tickets and travel expenses for two to the 1999 Griz/Cat football game. Novas had just joined the Alumni Association as a dues-paying member on November 15. Chesbro has been a lifetime member of the Alumni Association since 1944. Chesbro's wife, Lucille Sweeney Chesbro '40, is also a life member.
This fall's membership project would not have been possible without immense help from the UM Alumni Association's House of Delegates and other alumni volunteers. For information on the benefits of joining The University of Montana Alumni Association, or to learn more about UM Grizwear, call Betsy Holmquist at 1-800-862-5862 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Joyce H. Brusin
Betsy Brown Holmquist '67, M.A. '83, membership coordinator for the UM Alumni Association, and Kathleen Corbally Schaub '81, director of annual giving for the UM Foundation, combined resources to stage the first-ever joint phonathon to solicit Alumni Association memberships, as well as contributions to the Foundation's Excellence Fund. Students working the phones for the Foundation's nine-week fall campaign devoted two evenings to calling alumni who had been dues-paying members of the association within the last five years but had allowed their memberships to lapse. Dues-paying members help support Homecoming celebrations, class reunions, the Ask-an-Alum career mentoring program and many other activities.
More than 120 former dues-paying members had promised to renew by the time the combined effort ended. Anyone not contacted in November who would like to renew membership or join the UM Alumni Association may call 1-800-862-5862.
The University of Montana Alumni Association welcomes new officers and new board members* to its 1998 board.
Michael J. O'Neill '80
Rick F. Schneider '78
Donald E. Nicholson '56
Gwen McLain Childs '63
Board of Directors
Robert T. "Rob" Bell '90, '93
Marcia Meagher Bragg '63, '74
* Janece Welton Connor '58
R. MacMillan "Mac" Fraser '62
Wyley P. Good '63
Robert W. "Bob" Hoene '70
* James K. Liles '69
William "Bill" W. Mercer '86
Paige Wilson Nicholson '89
Byron L. Robb '54, '56
* John Walker Ross '66, '69
* Daniel D. Short '78
Rachel Sprunk Smith '84
Daniel J. Sullivan '77
Geoffrey J. Sutton '75
* Mary Ellen Cawley Turmell '64
Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.
John C. Wertz '61
* Joseph Robert Whittinghill '89
2 Business School Alumni Reception, Seattle
5 Alumni Gathering, Palm Desert, Calif.
8-17 Alumni International Travel--Costa Rica
10 Alumni Gathering, Western Pennsylvania
25 UM Senior Recognition Day
13-15 50th and 60th Class Reunions
14-29 Alumni International Travel--Europe's Grand Continental Passage
21 Golf Tournament, Kalispell
TBA Golf Tournament, Spokane, Wash.
TBA Golf Tournament, Miles City
11-12 Alumni Gathering, Neckargemuend, Germany
16-7/2 Alumni International Travel--Russia's White Sea
19-27 Alumni International Travel--Village Life in Heidelberg
14-22 Alumni International Travel--Village Life in the Cotswolds
18-31 Alumni International Travel--Main-Danube
TBA Alumni Gathering, Boston
For more information on these events, call the UM Alumni Association at 1-800-862-5862.