UM History Student Named First Dennison Doctoral Fellow

May 30, 2014

MISSOULA – The spring semester was just coming to a close when Patrick O’Connor received the news. The University of Montana Department of History doctoral candidate will be the first George M. and Jane I. Dennison Doctoral Fellow. 

“The Dennison Fellowship will support my work in a number of ways,” said O’Connor, whose research focuses primarily on the social, political and intellectual histories of 19th-century America. “First, it relieves me of some teaching duties. With that time I can travel to archives, attend conferences and devote myself more fully to my project. The additional financial resources are also helpful, as the research process can become costly.”

The George M. and Jane I. Dennison Doctoral Fellows in History Endowment was initially established by trustees of the UM Foundation, UM alumni and members of the local community to honor former UM President George Dennison and his wife, Jane, for the many contributions they have made to the University. The endowment supports fellowships in the UM history department, where Dennison earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

“Patrick’s important research agenda explores the problem of urban public health in the United States at the turn of the 20th century,” UM history Professor Kyle Volk said of O’Connor’s work. “The Dennison Fellowship will transform Pat’s career as a graduate student by providing him the critical resources needed to engage in deeper – and likely more distant – research and to craft a more significant doctoral dissertation.”

Contributions to the George M. and Jane I. Dennison Doctoral Fellows in History Endowment can be made online at or mailed to the UM Foundation, P.O. Box 7159, Missoula, MT 59807. For more information about the endowment, call Ric Thomas at 406-243-5615 or email


Local, hometown

Contact: Ian Withrow, media and information coordinator, UM College of Humanities and Sciences, 406-243-2632,