In 1995 the Montana GIS Users' Group established a scholarship fund to provide annual scholarships to undergraduate or first year graduate students attending Montana colleges or universities. The funds were managed as an endowment by the Montana Community Foundation (MCF) until 2007. In 2007 MCF increased the minimum balance for endowments that it was willing to manage, so a new home for the funds had to be found. The fund was split in half, with approximately $11,000 each going to the University of Montana Foundation and to the Montana State University Foundation. This money was used as seed money to establish endowed scholarships at those institutions.
From 2007 to 2012 the scholarship at The University of Montana was greatly enhanced by Hans Zuuring a professor emeritus of Forest Biometry at the College of Forestry and Conservation, and longtime member of the Montana GIS community (1987 to present). Hans donated in excess of $12,000 to bring the fund to a level where it can sustain a $1000 scholarship award in perpetuity starting in 2013. Upon Hans' retirement, additional gifts were made to the scholarship fund in his honor.
When the GIS Users' group combined with the Local Government GIS Coalition to become the Montana Association of Geographic Information Professionals (MAGIP), it dedicated $15,000 of its closing balance to the MAGIP Education Committee. The Education Committee is using these funds to continue the annual scholarship program that was formerly supported by the MCF endowment. This will result in more scholarships being available to students overall, and the GIS community having more control of the funds. MAGIP will continue its own scholarship fund and as a non-profit organization can accept direct donations. Please visit the MAGIP website at www.magip.org for contact information.
Contacts for contributions to The University of Montana Zuuring\MAGIP Scholarship Fund:
This fund has the opportunity to continue to grow. With additional contributions a larger or second scholarship can be offered in the future. Since this scholarship is open to all disciplines at The University of Montana, MAGIP alumni of The University of Montana are encouraged to enhance this scholarship fund named in honor of Hans Zuuring and MAGIP.
Kate Jennings, our UM representative for the MAGIP scholarship fund, can be contacted directly via Kate.Jennings@mso.umt.edu.
Kate Jennings, Director of Development and Alumni Relations, College of Forestry and Conservation, P.O. Box 7159, 600 Connell Avenue, Missoula, MT 59807-7159, Office - 406.243.5533, Cell - 406.274.2841, Fax - 406.243.4965
Contributors can also write a check payable to “UM Foundation” with the words “Zuuring/MAGIP fund” on the memo line and mail it to UM Foundation, PO Box 7159, Missoula, MT 59807.