MISSOULA – For over 35 years, local businesses have helped ensure the University of Montana’s future success by participating in the UM Foundation Missoula Business Drive.
This year was no exception. The 2014 Business Drive, which ran from Sept. 30 through Dec. 31, raised $143,000 to support the University. Some 167 donors made contributions this year. An honor roll thanking these donors by name or business appeared in the Jan. 25 edition of the Missoulian.
“I give because supporting UM means supporting our community,” said Vicki Corwin, vice president of Stewart Title, who chaired the 2014-15 campaign. “I want to thank all our donors who believe the same.”
While donors to the drive can, and do, support a wide variety of campus programs, the foundation encourages donations to the University’s Excellence Fund. This flexible fund supports a wide variety of student-learning activities. Because the fund is unrestricted, money can be channeled to areas of greatest need, as opposed to being earmarked for a single purpose. As such, these dollars are incredibly valuable to the University. UM President Royce Engstrom determines where to distribute the Excellence Fund each quarter.
This year, several media partners also made valuable in-kind contributions, including Townsquare Media, Cherry Creek Radio, the Missoulian, 107 The Ranch, KPAX-TV, KECI-TV and Mountain Broadcasting. By providing advertising free of charge, these businesses helped spread the word about the drive across Missoula. Their contributions were integral to the initiative’s success.
Some of this year’s most generous gifts came from area banks, including U.S. Bank, First Security, First Interstate and Missoula Federal Credit Union. The Washington Foundation, a longstanding supporter of the University, made a $10,000 contribution.
Volunteers began the annual drive in 1978 as a way to strengthen the bond between the business community and the University. These leaders recognized that supporting the University, Missoula’s largest engine of growth, fosters the city’s development. Decades later, hundreds of businesses have made contributions and helped shape UM’s future.
To learn more about the UM Foundation Business Drive, visit http://www.SupportUM.org/businessdrive.