MONTANA STRONG: Students Support Students During New Fundraising Drive

As the fall semester kicked into gear, the T-shirts began to show up. Everywhere. They blazed “Montana Strong” in Grizzly maroon and silver. Just another piece of UM swag? Not quite.
 
The T-shirts are a symbol of a new student-centric fundraising effort launched by the University of Montana Foundation. Called the Student Foundation, the new initiative aims to increase awareness among students of the value of philanthropy. Donations to the Student Foundation will create a scholarship for students with financial need, to be awarded for the first time for the 2015-16 academic year.

Student Foundation supporters
 
That’s where the T-shirts come in. For every $15 gift, students receive a Montana Strong shirt to show their pride in and support of their school. UPTOP, a clothing company owned by brothers and UM alumni Colt and Luke Anderson, designed and donated the T-shirts.
 
Though just in its infancy, the Student Foundation has raised $3,157 as of February 1. Molly Adamson, who manages the program, expects that number to increase as more students learn about the impact of giving.

“Even a small gift — $10 or $15 — adds up,” Adamson said. “Together UM students can show they care about each other and their school.”
 
Student giving societies are a growing trend at colleges nationwide, as universities recognize that students who are involved with philanthropy while on campus will be more likely to give back as alumni. Students have rallied around the idea of raising funds to support their own.
 
The Student Foundation will replace the Senior Class Gift Campaign, which in years past has funded solar panels for the on-campus Farm to College greenhouse, a campus map installed at the M on Mount Sentinel, benches, trees and bike racks.