Montana Public Radio

Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation

The 2018 Baucus Leaders (from the left) Noah Hill, Shane St. Onge, Marianna Yearboro, Makkie Haller and Katie Wilkins.
University of Montana

A million dollar gift to the University of Montana is permanently endowing an internship program that will allow 10 students a year to spend a summer working in Washington, D.C.

Site preparation work is underway on the expansion of UM's education center
Eric Whitney

The University of Montana announced it has received a major gift from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation to expand the college of education and human sciences.

The University of Montana campus, Missoula, MT.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

The state received a $650,000 grant this week aimed at smoothing the path between high school and college or career training.

Montana’s 86 percent high school graduation rate ranks 19th in the nation, but Deputy Commissioner of Higher Education John Cech said that many students are not prepared for what comes after.

A recent informal survey of Missoula parents highlights some of the biggest ongoing local childcare needs and challenges.
(PD)

Affordable and easily accessible childcare is just as elusive in Montana as it is everywhere else in America. At a luncheon Tuesday, a Missoula County group called Healthy Start Missoula that’s supported by a federal grant laid out the challenges and offered one potential private-sector solution.

Healthy Start Coordinator, Anna Semple, says parents now have precious few infant childcare options:

The University of Montana campus, Missoula, MT.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Hot on the heels of a recent record-setting financial gift, the University of Montana has announced it’s received another multi-million-dollar award.

Butte's American Legion baseball teams are now $1 million closer to a brand new facility at Copper Mountain Park.

The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation and Montana Resources contributed a total of $1 million to bring a proposed $2 million American Legion baseball facility to Butte.

Northwestern Energy will chip-in $50,000; half of that in cash, with the rest in the form of an in-kind labor donation to install lighting.

Butte-Silver Bow Chief Executive Matt Vincent predicts lots of people will attend night games.

Dan Boyce

Tonight in Missoula, a man in his mid 50s is getting an Eagle Scout award. The man is Larry Simkins, CEO of the Washington Companies, the giant international conglomerate based in Missoula with interests in railroads, shipping and mining.

He’s getting the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, which isn’t handed out that often. Past recipients include President Gerald Ford and Montana author and historian Stephen Ambrose.

Simkins says he remembers when he got his original Eagle Scout award.

Montana's Graduation Rate Hits All-Time High

Jan 13, 2015

Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau got right to the point when she opened a news conference Tuesday in the Governor’s office.

“I am proud to announce that Montana’s graduation rate has hit an all-time high of 85. 4 percent.”

That compares with a graduation rate of just over 80 percent in 2010.To put those numbers in perspective, only nine states have graduation rates higher than 85 percent, according to a U.S. Department of Education report from 2012.

Courtesy of The University of Montana

The $7 million donated to the University of Montana’s Athletic Department today is by far the most money ever donated in the department's history.

Kevin and Kyle Washington gave the money on behalf of the The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation. They are sons of the two philanthropists and Montana business moguls.

University officials say the funds will be used to build a new, $14 million football locker room and a student athlete weight room.