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Montana Tech Alumni Make $300,000 Gift to University


Janet and Gary Kolstad make donation to Montana Tech. Montana Tech announced today that alumni, Gary ’85 and Janet ’85 Kolstad, have gifted an additional $300,000 to the university.  The gift will go towards the support of the Living & Learning Center on campus. 

“It is with great pride that Janet and I are able to continue to give back to Montana Tech and help the students and university,” noted Gary. “We are inspired by the success of students and graduates of Montana Tech and their life’s journey from ordinary to extraordinary, and the resulting impact they have in this world. Montana Tech is well known in industry as the premier STEM institution in Montana.”

Gary and Janet have been donors to Montana Tech since 1991, and in 2014 they reached one million dollars in aggregate giving to the university.  In 2008, they established the Gary and Janet Kolstad Endowment which has grown to over $1,100,000 today, which subsequently produces over $40,000 of annual giving, split between petroleum engineering scholarships and petroleum department funding. 

“Gary and Janet are special people,” noted Montana Tech Chancellor Don Blackketter. “Not only have they given from their finances, they are also extremely active in mentoring new graduates, motivating alumni to be more involved with Montana Tech and professional organizations, and are examples of integrity as business and community leaders. Montana Tech is proud to be closely associated with the Kolstads.”

In addition, the Kolstads actively support alumni events in Houston, have given unrestricted gifts, and supported capital projects like the Natural Resources Building, Digger Turf, and the Frank and Ann Gilmore University Relations Center.

"Gary and Janet have been exceptional Montana Tech alumni," explained Joe McClafferty, President of the Montana Tech Foundation. "They have given of their time, talent, and treasure to our university. We are very thankful for all they do for Montana Tech and are so proud of their success coming from ordinary beginnings to leading extraordinary lives."

Their dedication and commitment to be part of the solution is advancing our university. Janet (Tuss) is a native of Great Falls, MT and started her career with ARCO Oil and Gas Company.  During her eight years with ARCO, she served in several production operations positions in California, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Gary is a native of Glasgow, MT and started his career as a field engineer with Schlumberger.  Serving in numerous domestic and international leadership positions, he had the opportunity of living and working in North America, Russia, Indonesia, and the Middle East.  In 2006, Gary was recruited to be the CEO of CARBO Ceramics Inc.  (NYSE: CRR), a global oilfield services technology company providing industry leading production enhancement products and services to increase the recovery factor in oil and natural gas wells.  His passion for driving CARBO to develop innovative technology has roots from his engineering degree earned at MT Tech.

For his contribution to his career and his community, Gary was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from Montana Tech in 2002.  He has remained very engaged with Montana Tech over the years, including the Montana Tech Foundation Board of Directors, Petroleum Advisory Board, and the current comprehensive campaign.

The Living & Learning Center (LLC) on the Montana Tech campus will serve as a vibrant multidisciplinary building creating a new social hub on campus. The LLC will house a state-of-the art resident hall with access to a variety of community lounges and learning spaces. These spaces will be designed to create an environment that will foster leadership, teamwork, collaboration, and communication skills.