The Founders' Excellence is an award to deserving individuals in honor of their professional accomplishments, loyalty and service that have enhanced the development of Montana State University-Northern.
In 1976, Founders' Day was added as an NMC tradition. At the first Founders' Day event, a letter was read from Mrs. G.H. Vande Bogart reviewing experiences from the beginning of the college. Succeeding Presidents Dr. L.O. Brockmann, Dr. J.R. Crowley, and Dr. Duane Leech were present and spoke on the development of the college. A picture of the recently retired Dr. Crowley was placed in the main hallway of Cowan Hall joining those of his predecessors. The Founders' Excellence Award presentation banquet has continued on a nearly annual basis for the past 35 years, and has been traditionally included as a part of the Spring Commencement activities. (excerpt from 'A Northern Reflection' by Louis W. and Antionette R. Hagener)
Candidates for Founders' Excellence must be an alum, administrator, former faculty or staff, or friend of MSU-Northern who have made a significant contribution to the development of Northern or to their chosen profession in one or more of the following areas:
- A person who gave significant ideas and actions
- A person who was a benefactor of Northern by giving moral support and service
- A person who enabled the growth of the college through legislation
- State or National
- A person who gave original ideas, creations, or contributions to an academic field, particularly in a degree area offered by MSU-Northern
- A person who gave dedicated and long-lasting contributions to a particular field or activity
- A person of notoriety by virtue of office Service
- A person who has held an important position, published material, made an important discovery or invention, made a contribution to an academic field, or has given significant direction or service to MSU-Northern for a minimum of 25 years, particularly if he/she is or was an alumnus, faculty, staff, or administrator of Northern
- A person who gave direct financial contribution to the Alumni Foundation for buildings, scholarships, research, faculty development, program development, etc.
(Candidates for excellence awards may not be currently employed by Montana State University-Northern)