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Founders' Excellence


Nominations for the Founders' Excellence Award 2020 is now closed. We are always accepting nominations, however! You can email your nomination to

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:

  • Leadership
    • Local
      • 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
      • Financial
        • 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)

Past Recipients

2019 Janice Brady, Dr. Leslie Ruyle
2018 Patricia Holman, William Crandall
2017 Dr. Margarett Campbell, Gail Rader
2016 Tom Baker, Dr. George Bandy
2015 Mike Tilleman, Gerry Veis
2014 Tom Patrick
2013 Dave Clausen, David Leeds
2012 Larry Romo, Gail Reynolds
2011 Alex Capdeville, Linda Vaughey
2010 Richard 'Dick' Clark, Dr. David Abbott, Lyndon Pomeroy. Special award 'Chancellor's Distinguished Service' – Dr. Joseph Callahan
2009 Charles Nelson, Gary Funk, Mary Franklin
2008 Greg Jergeson, Tony Preite
2007 Larry Brubaker, Kristine Kline, Ross Seger
2006 Bob Bachini, Jim Hall, Dr. Kirk J. Miller
2005 Roger Barber, Wilbur Hensler, Lou Lucke
2004 Judy Greenwood, Gordon Obie, Raymond Watson. Special award 'Chancellor's Excellence' – Emmett Willson
2003 Norm Gorder, John Kuhr, Karen Myers, Ken Myers
2002 Gerald Bekker, John Facey, Robert Kiesling, Joseph McDonald
2001 Dr. Harold E. Kleinert, August 'Gus' Korb, Dr. Donald L. Stainsby. Special award 'Chancellor's Excellence' – Turk Lords
2000 Robert T. Bricker, Edith Scheid, George Staudacher
1998 Martha Anne Dow, Donald E. Rathbone, President Bill Daehling
1997 Cynthia Bryson, Don Vaupel
1996 Mary A. Blew, Wells Lamey, Carol Linebarger Robertson
1995 Florence A. VandeBogart, Dr. Gar F. Wynne
1994 Irene Ruyle Baker, Edith P. Gronhovd, Tom Reynolds
1993 Tillie Patterson, Robert Hockett, Murton McCluskey
1992 John Lloyd, James Athearn, Joseph Lutz
1991 Robert Morrison, Louis Goller
1990 Dave Greenwood, Bill Fuglevand, Kirk Miller, Bill Lisenby
1989 Dr. Clark Grimm, Carl Vender, Toni Hagener, Mike Allen
1988 Lyle Leeds, Ruth Gagel, Dr. Jim Elliott
1987 President L.O. Brockmann, Helen Kiesling, Vicke Larson Schend
1986 Senator Stan Stephens, Professor Louis Hagener
1985 President James Erickson, Francis Yeager, Lorraine Hockett, Roger Pugh
1984 Vern Sedlacek, Anton Bryant, Irene Damschen, President G.H. VandeBogart
1983 Keith Clawson, Margaret Heberly, Jim Magera
1982 Wilbur Swenson, Rolland Sullivan, Carl Gunderson
1981 Dr. Harrison Lane
1978 Joseph S. Wright