Montana Tech Offers Online Auction to Raise Money for Butte Student Scholarships | Local

DAVID McCUMBER

Baylie Phillips can tell you why Montana Technological University’s initiative to offer scholarships to students in Butte is important. But even more than words can tell, she shows it to you, with her life.

Phillips, originally from Butte, is a junior at Tech. She excels in a very demanding field of study: metallurgical and materials engineering.

With the knowledge she’s gained at Tech – and the degree she’ll get next year – she’ll likely have her choice of jobs. But she has more than her own career in mind.

“After I graduate, I plan to work on aspects of materials science related to environmental sustainability,” Phillips said. “I would like to work on environmentally friendly processes that can reduce the size of landfills.”

She is also working on a project to remove selenium from water systems, which could be vital in many ecosystems. In addition, the project shows promise for treating other contaminants. “Like copper and lead here in Butte,” she said.

Baylie doesn’t wait until she graduates to start giving back.

She is both an artist and a scientist, and her works include headframe paintings and name signs for use in courtyards, on children’s bedroom doors, or wherever people want. She is donating two of her works to this week’s Butte online scholarship auction, Montana Tech’s effort to raise money for scholarships for Butte students.

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For Montana Tech, Baylie is the perfect illustration of why the university wants to offer more scholarships to students in Butte.

“Montana Tech takes people who have the will and thirst to make an impact on the world and gives them the tools to make it happen,” said Joe McClafferty, CEO of the Montana Tech Foundation and vice-chancellor of the school for the development and engagement of alumni. “Students often come from humble and ordinary beginnings and they get these tools and keep doing great things.… The ripple effect is amazing, passed down from generation to generation.”

For years Montana Tech has strived to help Butte students attend a world-class college in their own home.

Tech’s Be the First offered full four-year scholarships for Butte students who are the first in their family to go to college.

The Be the First effort, launched in 2018, is bearing fruit. In May, Sadie Starcevich will graduate with a degree in accounting. She will be the first recipient of this scholarship to graduate.

The Be the First program, funded by the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, selects three students from Butte each year. But the need in Butte is more than three students per year, and the school offers many other scholarships for students in Butte. And he wants to be able to keep doing it.

Michael Barth, executive director of the Montana Tech Foundation, said the goal is to establish an endowment of $ 2.5 million that will positively impact students at Butte for years to come.

Tech received several leadership gifts that set the school on the path to this goal. As an example, Chris and Liz Wright of Denver donated $ 40,000 per year for 10 years for scholarships led by Butte. Wright is CEO of Liberty Oilfield Services.

This week’s online auction is a chance for others to invest in the youth of Butte.

“Any investment in education is good,” Montana Tech Chancellor Les Cook said on Saturday. “An investment in the students of Montana Tech and Butte is even better. Our vision is to be the institution of innovation and opportunity. Thanks to the generosity of many people, we are able to both support our local community and achieve our mission. “

Because Butte is the home of Montana Tech, the university feels a special obligation to the city’s youth. The Butte Scholarship Initiative aims to ensure that Tech will be able to fulfill this obligation for years to come, by awarding significant scholarships that will fill in the gaps and enable Butte students who may not have otherwise been able to attend. at University.

“Butte is filled with determined people,” said McClafferty. “They can excel in any Montana Tech program. Like Baylie, these young people have what it takes to be successful, reflecting the qualities that make Butte such a special place: strong family values, a tireless work ethic, a purposeful, focused outlook and a knack for getting things done. “

McClafferty said Tech hopes the online auction will be an annual event.

This year’s auction features a variety of attractive items for donors to bid on, including artwork, concert and sports tickets, even a ‘Butte Experience’ which includes dinner with Cook and his wife. wife Stéphanie and a private tour of the Headframe Spirits distillery.

Baylie Phillips knows she may have to pursue her career elsewhere. “A lot of companies in my field are headquartered on the east coast,” she says. “But I’m looking for a way to be closer to home.

“After I set foot in the door, maybe I could start my own consulting firm and stay in Montana as a result.”

Another reason to invest in our students in Butte.


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