Trustee Answers President’s Call for More Scholarships

In July, President Royce Engstrom asked UM Foundation Trustees to support his vision to dramatically increase the number of scholarships and fellowships available to students.

Trustee Suzanne Peterson and her husband, Dave, responded by making a leadership gift, pledging a substantial six-figure sum to support scholarships in the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences.

Dave and Suzanne PetersonSuzanne Peterson ’78 came from Butte to Missoula with one goal: to get her college degree. But as with many UM graduates, the city changed her life. She met her husband, Dave, also an alum. They took over his family company, Quality Supply, which they bought outright in 1984 and operated until their retirement in 2011. Thirty-five years later, they are firmly Missoulians.

Much of their commitment to the community comes from their love of the University of Montana.

“Missoula is the way it is—culture, diversity, football games—because of the University,” says Suzanne. “UM makes our community rich and vibrant.”

They decided it was time to give back to the place that means so much to them.

“We believe that education is really important---it changes lives,” says Suzanne. “Providing scholarships for up-and-coming educators is a natural fit for us.”

The University estimates that about 40 percent of UM undergraduates would not be able to attend college without some financial aid. Scholarships also help drive enrollment.

Investing in student success means planning for the future, something the Petersons understand well.

“Having two little grandsons is a big incentive for our gift,” says Suzanne. “We hope their education will be as great as ours was at UM. We hope our gift will help long into the future.”

Call us at 800.443.2593 to find out how you can support scholarships at UM.