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Perpetual Scholarship To Support Hundreds Of UM Students

File photo
File photo

The University of Montana is celebrating a seven-figure estate gift that’s led to the creation of a new perpetual scholarship program.

The $1.1 million gift was provided by UM alumna Dorothy Rochon Powers and her husband Elwood. Another $260,000 will support general UM scholarships.

The UM Foundation’s Kate Stober says the scholarship will be awarded to incoming Montana high school students who show both financial need and academic merit.

"It’s going to support hundred of students every single year. The scholarships are pretty general. They’re mostly for Montana students, but they can be studying anything at the university. So it’s really a great boost for UM, and at the same time helps our enrollment.”

UM is working to shrink a budget shortfall created by ongoing enrollment declines. Officials say they’ll reduce faculty and staff by 192 positions to cut costs.

The benefactor of the estate gift, Dorothy Rochon Powers, was a graduate of the UM School of Journalism. After graduating in 1943 she landed a reporting job at the Spokesman-Review, a rare position for a woman of her day. She stayed there for the next 40 years becoming a highly respected reporter.

Powers died in 2014.

Edward O'Brien is Montana Public Radio's Associate News Director.
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