UM receives $24 million pledge for forestry, leadership
Posted October 11
MISSOULA, Mont. — The University of Montana Foundation has received a $24 million pledge from Indigo Partners investment firm co-founder Bill Franke and his family — the largest gift in the university's history.
The Franke family has a history of investing in higher education and has made previous donations to Stanford and Northern Arizona. The family owns a home in Montana and school officials say they have developed a strong connection with UM.
The family's gift is focused on conserving Montana's natural resources and expanding the global perspective of UM's students.
In consideration for the gift, the university is asking the Board of Regents to rename the College of Forestry and Conservation and the university's Global Leadership Initiative in honor of the family. The renaming must first be approved by the UM faculty senate, provost and president.