The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, in conjunction with Montana Rail Link and Modern Machinery, announced a $500,000 donation to the Yellowstone Science and Allied Health Building campaign Monday, Aug. 13. The donation puts the MSU Billings Foundation at its goal of $5 million required by the state legislature as a condition of a $10 million appropriation.
With $3.85 million of that goal raised in the last two years, MSUB Foundation President and CEO Bill Kennedy says he is pleased with the efforts of his team and the community to fulfill the match for the state.
“This could not have been possible without the tremendous support from people who believe in this project and the students of MSU Billings. My staff, our many donors, partners like the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, the Montana Coal Board, Big Sky Economic Development, and Chancellor Edelman helped create the momentum that we needed to see this project to the finish line,” said Kennedy.
MSU Billings will host a ceremonial groundbreaking as part of the Board of Regents proceedings on campus next month. The public is invited to celebrate on Wednesday, September 12 at 5:30 p.m. in the current science building parking lot at 1500 University Dr. Representatives from the university, legislature, and major donors will be among those breaking ground during the ceremony.
“We are looking forward to celebrating this new chapter for MSU Billings, and the start of a new era in education for our future science and allied health leaders. This final push was made possible thanks to the efforts of Commissioner Clayton Christian, the Montana University System, MSU President Waded Cruzado, our legislators, our donors, and the hard work of the MSUB Foundation,” MSU Billings Chancellor Dan Edelman said. “Construction on the new science building will begin this spring, and we will finally be able to offer our science and allied health students state-of-the-art facilities that match the quality education offered at MSU Billings. Thank you to our supportive, welcoming community, the many university staff and faculty, and all of the other people who contributed to helping us reach this significant goal.”
The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation is the major philanthropic organization for The Washington Companies in Missoula, Mont. The Washingtons believe higher education is important to remaining competitive in the global market place and producing measurable returns to society.
“Opening doors for our youth to explore 300 science and allied health courses in the 40 science and allied health degree programs at MSU Billings is important work. Constructing the new Yellowstone Science and Allied Health Building virtually guarantees that MSU Billings will produce a globally competitive workforce that will benefit society for generations to come,” said Executive Director Mike Halligan of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation.
Billings’ Mayor Bill Cole congratulates Chancellor Edelman, Bill Kennedy, and the staff, donors and volunteers who made this achievement possible.
Mayor Cole said, “This marks a major milestone for MSUB and for Billings, which is already a hotbed for entrepreneurship in Montana. The new science building will provide the technical and STEM-competent workers who are essential if Billings is going to thrive and compete with other cities in the 21st century.”
The MSUB Foundation was tasked in 2013 with raising $5 million for an expanded and renovated building that will house both the sciences and allied health programs when complete. These funds were required by the state legislature as a condition of a $10 million appropriation. The $15 million will be used to update the current science building, originally built in 1947.
Fundraising will continue with consideration to building cost inflation, and bricks are still available for purchase through the ceremonial groundbreaking event. A 4-inch by 8-inch brick is $250, and 8-inch by 8-inch bricks are $500. Personalized and engraved bricks will be laid into a walkway near the completed building.
For more information about the Yellowstone Science and Allied Health Building project, contact Robbie Carpenter, campaign director at MSU Billings Foundation, (406) 657-2332, firstname.lastname@example.org.