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Page 14 text:
ZduxxUton In Montana The heritage of our college is older than the state of Montana; seventy-five years ago the first religious predecessor of Rocky Mountain College was founded — six years before Montana became a state. Higher education began in Montana Territory at Deer Lodge in September, 1878, when the " Montana Collegiate Institute " was established through the un- tiring efforts and generous gifts of many citizens. Among those who contributed to the founding and support of this school were E. H. Irvine, Conrad Kohrs, A. H. Mitchell, L. J. Sharp, S. E. Larabie, W. A. Clark, and Gov. S. T. Hauser. Soon after the Institute was launched it was felt that there would be an advantage in having this school placed under the sponsorship of some religious group. The Presbytery of Montana, the first denomination to respond to this sug- gestion, appointed a committee to enter negotiations with the trustees of the Institute. As a result, the Presbytery acquired the property of that school on August 23, 1882. A new institution, the College of Montana, was opened Septem ber 10, 1883, under the patronage and control of the Presbyterian Church in Montana. The first president was Reverend D. J. McMillan who served until 1890. The program of the College of Montana was a blend of liberal arts and technical studies. One of the strongest departments was a " School of Mines " which offered the only work in this field in i±ie state. It helped produce a num- ber of outstanding mining engineers in the state, continuing its valuable service to young men of the region until the founding of the Montana School of Mines. In the late 1880 ' s, Montana Methodists began agitation for the establishment of a college. In 1889, the year Montana became a state, the Methodist Episco- pal Church organized Montana Wesleyan University in Helena. Technically, the name of the school was " Montana University " , a designation which continued until the state legislature restricted that name to the state University of Mon- tana. Subsequently this school became Montana Wesleyan College. Below is a photo (found in 1902) of the ruins of the College of Montana in Deer- lodge, the pioneer college of our state. U Mb
Page 13 text:
ke OncamUu Pn bide U ' 4, Philip M. Wideiihouse The staff of " The Yellowstone " has been gracious enough to invite me to write a brief message for the 1958 issue. I am grateful for the oppor- tunity of using this medium to extend my greetings and congratulations to the class of 58 o It will be my pleasure to work with you as alumni members of our academic community. As you leave Rocky Mountain we trust that you will take away something of its spirit of idealism and also that you will leave with the college something of your own spirit, devotion and loyalty. Farewell to the college and welcome into the alumni. To all the student body - greetings and salutations! The Widenhouse family is looking forward to our new home at Rocky Mountain and to meeting all of you. We have great hopes and expectations for the future as we begin a new life with you. To trustees, faculty, alumni and friends of the college - we send our fond greetings. We join you in the common enterprise of making Rocky Mountain College a place where the search for truth may be pursued in full freedom to the end that generations of dedicated young people may find wisdom and know- ledge to guide them through life. It is commonly accepted that a college or university has three basic func- tions - 1. An institution of higher learning is a custodian of knowledge and truth. Its libraries, laboratories and classrooms preserve the accumulated ex- periences gathered through the centuries by men of ideas. 2. An institution of higher education also seeks to transmit to each succeeding generation of students the cultural values of the past and the body of known knowledge in each academic discipline. 3. An institution of higher education is committed to the task of exploration of new knowledge. The research function of a college or university is as im- portant as the first two if there is to be a creative, growing, stimulating academic community. Rocky Mountain College joins all other institutions of higher education in dedication to these three tasks. Your President-elect ' s conception of Rocky Mountain College goes beyond these tasks to include a fourth function of building a Christian academic community where scholars may pursue these ends while seeking for meaning and purpose to all of life. Philip M. Widenhouse
Page 15 text:
Above is pictured the Klein Campus of Montana Wesleyan College in Helena, (united in 1923 with Intermountain Union College) which was later partially destroyed by the earthquakes of 1934-35 At left is Mills Hall, with Helena Hall on the right. These buildings are still standing. These two denominational schools were kept going in the early days through the sacrifice and devotion of friends and faculty members „ The income within the state for educational work was quite limited,, Economic " booms and busts " seriously affected the support and stability of the schools,, Both were able to continue to the turn of the century. In 1900 the College of Montana suspended operations for four years and in 1904 Montana Wesleyan changed to a strictly preparatory program, maintaining work at this level until 1914. When the Montana Legislature authorized the founding of Montana State College at Bozeman in 1894, the organizing committee " borrowed " Dr c James Reidp second president of the College of Montana in Deer Lodge, to be the first president of M c S C. Some members of the faculty and several promising stu- dents followed President Reid from Deer Lodge to Bozeman,, Among the latter was a chemistry major who became " Dean " Cobleigh, beloved teacher and counselor of many generations of M„ S. C„ students. There is reliable authority for the statement that the College of Montana never quite recovered from its loss of leadership to Montana State College. Without a doubt the latter was immeasurably strengthened by being able to draw on leaders with previous administrative and teaching experience in Montana,, When Ernest T. Eaton arrived in Montana from Iowa about 1901 as the new superintendent of schools at Deer Lodge, the College of Montana had suspended classes „ He secured a lease on the campus and, with his brother Lewis T. Eaton, operated " Montana College and School of Manual Arts " from 1904 to 1907. In the latter year Presbyterian trustees of the College of Montana re- sumed control, reopening the school on the traditional liberal arts program. The Eaton Brothers, moved by a great concern to offer to young people the opportunity to attend a school such as they had conducted in Deer Lodge, came to Billings and established Billings Polytechnic Institute in 1908. Lewis T. Eaton became Educational Director while his brother Ernest was Financial Director; the latter spending most of his time in the East securing gifts for buildings and for operation of the school. As most of the support came from Congregational sources, " Poly " became known as a Congregational school.
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