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Montana Tech Alumnus Donates $686,000 to Montana Tech


6/30/2011

Montana Tech alumnus Ronald Verbeck, who passed away in August 2010, left $686,000 to the Montana Tech Foundation. The first donation, in the amount of $200,000, was presented by Ron’s sister, Sharon Arends, during events surrounding Montana Tech’s 111th Commencement Ceremony in May. At the commencement ceremony, Sharon accepted Montana Tech’s Distinguished Alumni Award for her brother. The second donation, in the amount of $486,000, was presented by Sharon to the Foundation on June 30, 2011.

The donations support Montana Tech’s comprehensive campaign, Strengthening Foundations...Ensuring the Future. The initial $200,000 will be used to name the first floor observation deck in the Frank and Ann Gilmore University Relations Center in honor of Ron. The $486,000 gift, will be used to establish the Ron Verbeck Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund, an innovative savings match program that rewards students for saving earned income, and will contribute to the Foundation’s Legacy Endowment, which supports the advancement and development of the college.

"It is with great pleasure that I make this donation on behalf of my brother Ron," said Sharon. "Ron was proud of his Montana Tech education. He loved the campus and felt strongly about giving back to his alma mater and helping others obtain a great education."

"We are humbled that Ron was so generous to Montana Tech when making his estate plans. By contributing to a building project and endowing the remainder of this gift, Ron’s legacy will live on permanently at the campus that helped shape who he became," said Mike Johnson, Vice Chancellor of Development and Student Services and President of the Montana Tech Foundation.

Born in Butte, Ron was proud of the heritage that accompanied being raised on the Richest Hill on Earth. He graduated with honors from Butte High School in 1966. In 1970, he graduated with an Engineering Sciences degree with honors from Montana Tech. He is remembered by fellow classmates as a hard-working, overachieving student who often enrolled in heavy class loads and worked two jobs to achieve his goal of graduating with honors in four years. Ron was admired by his peers for his tremendous intelligence and innovative thinking.

Of Ron’s many accomplishments, he was most known for his devotion to his work. He was driven to move up the ladder of success from the ground up. Beginning as a production engineer with Amoco Production Company, Ron continued his climb to the top as the Executive Vice President of his own company, JetAir International Inc. which he formed with a long-time friend. Ron later became a recognized, accredited, and proud holder of a United States patent with his invention of the "interface pipe coupling" called Positive Seal. These couplings are used around the world in various industries.

Ron’s generosity reached across the nation. He continually made tremendous donations to charities like Big Brothers and Sisters, the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots, the Marine Corps League, and the Be an Angel Foundation. As an alumnus of Montana Tech, Ron contributed selflessly back to his alma mater. He belonged to the Chancellor’s Roundtable and the Marcus Daly Society.

For more information, please contact Michael Barth, Director of Operations with the Montana Tech Foundation at 406-496-4233.