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Montana Tech Alumni Donate to Student Success Center


December 23, 2016

Montana Tech announced today that petroleum engineering alumni, Gary ’85 and Janet ’85 Kolstad, have gifted $500,000 to the university. The funds will name the Enrollment and Recruitment Center in the future Student Success Center (SSC), a 25,000-square-foot building with space for living and learning. The SSC will be a central gathering place for all students, where leadership and teamwork skills are developed. The SSC will be a place for students to learn and study, to relax and play. The Center will be designed to assist Montana Tech in recruiting, retaining, educating and graduating more problem solvers, innovators, healers, trailblazers and leaders to enter the work force and advance the world.    

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 is over $1,070,588 today. The endowment produces over $40,000 of annual giving for petroleum engineering scholarships and petroleum department funding.

“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 the resulting impact they have in this world. Montana Tech is well known in industry as the premier STEM institution in Montana.  I really appreciate the passion the graduates of Montana Tech have when they get out in the workplace, and I am humbled when they ask me for advice or mentoring, on their career development and business ideas.”  

The Kolstads are very engaged Montana Tech alumni. They actively support alumni events in Houston, have given unrestricted gifts, and supported capital projects such as the Natural Resources Building, Digger Turf, and the Frank and Ann Gilmore University Relations Center. They also give of their time, talent, and treasure to Montana Tech.  

“We are very thankful for the Kolstads and their dedication and commitment to Montana Tech,” noted Joe McClafferty, President of the Montana Tech Foundation. “They believe in Montana Tech and have seen the impact Montana Tech students and alumni make all over the world. This gift is going to move the Student Success Center forward and put more students on an extraordinary path. This is a huge step forward for our great 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), is a global technology company that provides products and services to the oil and gas, and industrial markets to enhance value for its clients.  CARBO Oilfield Technologies - is a global leader that provides engineered solutions in its Design, Build, and Optimize the Frac® technology businesses, delivering important value to E&P operators by increasing well production and EUR.  CARBO Industrial Technologies - is a leading provider of high-performance industrial ceramic media products that are engineered to increase process efficiency, improve end-product quality and reduce operating costs.  

Gary’s passion for driving CARBO to develop innovative technology has roots from his engineering degree earned at Montana 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 Student Success Center (SSC) on the Montana Tech campus will serve as a vibrant multidisciplinary building creating a new social hub on campus. The SSC 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.