Missoula Business Drive

The Missoula Business Drive is an annual fundraising campaign driven by local businesses and the University of Montana Foundation to support the University of Montana.

Thirty years ago, Missoula business leaders recognized an opportunity to foster Missoula's development through a relationship with the city's largest engine of economic growth, the University.

Every year since then, business volunteers contact fellow members of the Missoula business community to strengthen relationships and encourage continued economic development. These volunteers make up the University of Montana President's Excellence Fund Advisory Council, encouraging support for UM priorities through the Excellence Fund.


To learn more about annual giving, contact Carlyn Runnels, Director of Annual Giving.

Carlyn Runnels

Meet business drive chair Stefanie Nixon

Stefanie Nixon

Stefanie graduated from UM in 2005 with a BS in Marketing and International Business. She is now the General Manager of The Loose Caboose, a group of local coffee kiosks in Missoula. 

"Not only does the business drive strengthen the relationships between local businesses and the University of Montana, but students all across campus are benefiting from the Excellence Fund. Any opportunity to further the chance for student success is something that is extremely important to me."

Meet business partner Vicki Corwin

Vicki CorwinVicki graduated from UM with a BS in Health, Physical Education and Recreation in 1978. She is now Vice President at Stewart Title of Missoula. 

Vicki's parents, husband and all three of her kids attended UM (her youngest is still a student).

Vicki says she likes the fact that the business drive gives students opportunities and experiences that help them achieve their dreams. 

Meet business partner Jim Galipeau

Jim GalipeauJim Galipeau graduated from the UM in 1984 with a BS in Accounting. He is now a partner at JCCS, a statewide accounting firm. He has volunteered for several years with the business drive, and keeps volunteering because he sees the importance of the University not only from an educational standpoint but as an economic driving force in Missoula. He believes the University does a really good job of preparing people to go out after graduation and make a living. By giving back to UM, he enjoys also giving back to the accounting profession.

Meet business partner Shannon Lukes

Shannon Lukes

Shannon Lukes, ‘04, is a Commercial Loan Officer at First Security Bank with an enthusiasm for giving back to the University.  “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the University of Montana,” says Lukes. “I feel like I should be giving back in some way.”

Lukes is one of many Missoula business people who volunteer their time by being involved with the Missoula business drive.

Meet business partner Walt Muralt


Walt Muralt, '89, is the president/owner of Muralt's Travel Plaza, and an annual supporter of the business drive.

Walt understands the connection between Missoula's business community and UM, and says "The healthier and stronger the University is, the stronger the businesses in the community are and vice versa." With the annual economic impact of the University of Montana on Missoula topping $250 million, participation in the UM Foundation Missoula Business Drive is a solid investment in the future.

To make an online gift today, please complete the secure donation form below.