Page 1

Vol. 5 Issue 1

All about our students

Fresh news every day at

January 2010

BOOKS for BROCKTON Rocky Family Joins Effort to Help Littlest Students

Photo: Dave M. Shumway, RMC

Anudari Batjargal is not just the youngest student on campus; she is also one of the brightest.

“Anudari Batjargal is only 16, but she knows exactly what she wants to do in the future.” So began the article by Ed Kemmick in The Billings Gazette on an outstanding Rocky Mountain College student from Mongolia who is majoring in aviation management. Anudari, called Anu (Ah – no) for short, may be only 16 years old, but she is much older in her ability to handle her education and life plans. “She is so mature and focused,” said Dan Hargrove, RMC director of aviation. “She found Rocky on her own (searching the internet for a safe place to attend a college with an aviation program), arrived without her parents escorting her, and is serious in pursuing her dream.” That dream is not just to graduate. It is to graduate with a degree in aviation management so she can return to Mongolia and become manager of her country’s new airport, currently under construction, with a 2013 completion date. (Please see Students on the back page)

This small -- population 250 -- community on the edge of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation suffers from its rural remoteness and a grinding poverty census statistics only hint at. With more than a third of the population below poverty income, with the average household income half the state average, and with double-digit unemployment, Brockton’s schools struggle with the resources to educate a population desperately in need of learning. But, what Brockton does not suffer from is the hope for a brighter future that learning can deliver which is why a partnership of educators and students has initiated a project to help its smallest citizens. As part of a “learn and serve” effort, a core group that includes the school principal, an art teacher, a kindergarten teacher and the library media resource specialist are working with Brockton junior high and high school students to jump-start reading among the community’s pre-schoolers. “The students actually came up with the idea of reading to our youngest kids,” said Tiffani Anderson, the library media resource specialist. The project developed after teachers and students attended a workshop in Miles City in early December called Montana Behavior Initiative (MBI) Youth Days. One of the critical issues

Photo: Compliments James Woodcock, The Billings Gazette

Brockton art teacher Jennifer McClure, RMC ’08, saw a need to help with literacy for preschool children in her community and organized a project with three other RMC alumnae at the school that elicited an enthusiastic response from the Rocky community. Bushels of books came pouring in for Brockton’s littlest readers.

for Brockton’s students was being able to read before starting school, something that was handicapped in Brockton by simply not having children’s books. Secondly, with parents who often have learning disabilities, having someone in the home to help preschoolers read was an additional challenge. (Please see Books on back page)

INSIDE: RMC Board Shows Solid Support! New! Online Giving!

Fast, Easy . . . and Very Welcome

Insider ‘Days of Severest Strain’ Eased by Profound Commitment “No pen can describe the struggle of the past four years at the Polytechnic; neither will space allow even a brief account of its hardships and triumphs.” -- Lewis Eaton, Founder 1913 In “Courageous Journey,” the first volume of his two-volume history on Rocky Mountain College, Dr. Lawrence Small describes the heavy burden of raising money during the early days of the College. For those bearing that burden, he writes, it meant “sleepless nights and days of severest strain.” How true those words are today as they were in 1913, or even in the years from 1965 to 1975 when Dr. Small accepted the challenge of being president. Or the years that Dr. Arthur DeRosier Jr., steered the best course he could for the College. Or the years now, when the same financial trials confront us. I am fortunate during “the sleepless nights and days of severest strain” to be able to summon scenes that buoy my spirit. As I look across the walkway from Prescott Hall to Morledge-Kimball Hall when I walk into my office early each morning, I’m filled with the promise that Mrs. Flora Kimball, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, must have had 97 years ago. She would be so proud to see Kimball Hall today. Her namesake investment of $15,000 in 1913 would be the equivalent of a gift today in the amount of $15,476,987.21. Yes, loyal Billings backers provided support then, but it was investors like Flora from the East that bolstered those uncertain times. And it is foundational leaders like Dr. Charles Morledge and his wife, Patti, who were willing to invest in the continuity of that support. The most outstanding event I’ve observed this past semester with the opening of Morledge-Kimball Hall is how all the students and faculty communicate with each other. The greatest asset here is the faculty. The greatest natural resource is the student body. Always the former continue to be in touch with the latter. This dedication to our students is ever so apparent at “MoKim Hall,” as the students have affectionately nicknamed the building. The most profound investment that was made by Flora so many years ago is still at work today. The building and the spirit it creates between faculty and student does so much to retain those students within the academy. It’s funny how some brick and mortar can be the catalyst for a learning experience that keeps students coming back for more. It is for this reason we want to invest in the remodel and addition to the Bair Science Building. This spirit of retention is one of the observations I’ve made this past semester. Good things are at work here because the students can stay engaged with their professors. This, too, is an investment of sorts. For every 2% improvement in retention of students, we create $500,000 of cash flow. Flora, Patti and Charlie had a great vision for Rocky Mountain College. They knew that by creating the space for students and faculty to engage with each other, a whole new world would open up to the students we serve. It may be a bit presumptive of me, but the “Courageous Journey” must continue. As president, I long for and seek foundational investors like Flora, Patti and Charlie because, in order to meet our goals, one must have the vision and daring to look beyond the horizon. There are others like Flora, Patti and Charlie -- The Eaton Brothers, John Losekamp, Willis Lougee, and James J. Hill come to mind. Hill, for example, who was the entrepreneurial owner of the Northern Pacific Railroad, went on to create the Northwest Area Foundation, which has funded educational opportunities for over 100 years. These people, like many of you, are important to Rocky Mountain College and we are so thankful for blessing our lives by allowing us to be part of yours. You have provided so much wonderful support over the years. We appreciate your loyalty and friendship. May God continue to shine His light through you.

Michael R. Mace, President

Your donations may now be made online. It’s fast and easy for you and very welcome by us! Many of you asked if we would be able to provide this service and we’re happy to be able to do so. Just go to, click on Alumni & Friends, and you’ll find the bright yellow “Donate” button in the left hand column. (See portion from Alumni web page below).

Focus on Faculty & Staff Above & Beyond When the national media needed to interview someone who was an expert on aviation legislation, especially as it would affect aviation programs, it was no surprise that RMC aviation assistant professor Dr. David Ison was called. In November, CNN’s Lisa Sylvester interviewed him about recent legislation from Congress that will change the flight hour requirement for all new airline pilots. “Collegiate aviation programs, including ours, are concerned that the legislation is focused on an increase in quantity of flight hours when the emphasis should be on quality of flight hours,” he said. Dr. David Ison’s aviation ardor began when he was 13 years old, which is why he so deftly conveys that passion for flying to his students. “I fell in love with airplanes when I was very young. As I grew older, I became convinced that I would need to actually fly them,” said Dr. Ison. Dr. Ison comes to Rocky’s premier aviation department with outstanding credentials as a pilot. Following graduation from Auburn University, where he earned a bachelor of science degree, he gained employment with Atlantic Southeast Airlines - Delta Connection (ASA) in Atlanta, Georgia, where he flew E-120 Brasilias and Canadair Regional Jets. After several years of working at ASA, he became Chief Pilot for the E-120. Looking for a different type of flying to explore, he moved on to ATA Airlines where he served as First Officer on the Lockheed L1011. While on the L1011, he flew all over the world flying troops and charters. Destinations included Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Caribbean. Next, he moved to ATA’s Boeing 737-800 where he mostly flew within the contiguous U.S., the Caribbean and Central America. While working at ATA, he realized his true passion was to teach. He earned his master’s of science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After a few more years at ATA and over 6,000 hours of flying, he joined Rocky Mountain College. Dr. Ison’s penchant for adventure and the outdoors has lead him to become a sailor, a power boater, kayaker, fencer, and hiker. He was the proud owner of a Catalina 22 sailboat which he used to plough the waters of Lake Lanier just north of Atlanta. He has also sailed in various locales along the Florida coast. He is lucky to still have the use of a Monterey

Focus on Alumni & Friends Starkweather Endowment Rocky Mountain College has established an endowment as a memorial to Dolores S. and Jack A. Starkweather and as a tribute to their support for the College’s geology department. Dolores and Jack Starkweather were a popular and beloved couple in Montana, where Jack developed a formidable career as a petroleum engineer and oil and gas entrepreneur while Dolores was engaged with helping Billings Clinic, Senior Helping Hands and the American Lutheran Church. They were wonderful parents to two sons and a daughter. When Jack died in November of this year, six years after Dolores, his funeral was a tribute to the high regard the community had for both, according to Obert Undem, Rocky Mountain College director of planned giving. “They were remarkable citizens of this community,” Undem said. “The standards they set for caring and supportive friendship will continue to set standards by which activities of others will be measured for years to come.” The Starkweathers exemplified how investment in a gift annuity, like the Rocky Mountain College Charitable Annuity, could help future generations, Undem said. In 1993, the Starkweathers transferred stock valued at $100,000 from Sawtooth Oil Co., a company that Jack Starkweather partnered, to Rocky. While they earned income every year from the annuity, they also were establishing a balance that would become a permanent endowment upon their deaths. “While quarterly annuity payments totaling more than their original gifts were received during their lifetimes, they also established, at death, a permanent endowment with a balance exceeding half their original gift. Substantial income tax benefits were secured in the year of their gift. Such a gift today would produce even greater tax benefits,” Undem said. They would be delighted that almost $55,000 will now help the Rocky geology department which turns out so many students who pursue careers in the oil and gas industry, added Undem. Undem said others had expressed interest in augmenting the Starkweather Endowment. Anyone interested may contact him for assistance.

Courtesy photo

Dr. David Ison teaches a growing number of aviation students. cruiser that he navigates around the west coast of Florida whenever he has the chance to get away. A few years ago, Dr. Ison tried out a new hobby -- kayaking -- and got hooked. On his days off, he could be found out in Tampa Bay fly fishing for trout, redfish and other sea creatures from his kayak. Of course, having a kayak with a mountable sail on it helped him keep his hand in sailing, too. In more quiet moments, Dr. Ison is an accomplished writer and has authored countless articles for national aviation magazines such as the Collegiate Aviation Review, the Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education and Research, the Journal of Women in Educational Leadership, Plane & Pilot Magazine, Professional Pilot, IFR, IFR Refresher, Aviation Safety, NBAA Journals and Water Flying. Dr. Ison has also presented his research at the annual University Aviation Association Conference and has recently been invited to speak at the 2010 Flight Safety Foundation Corporate Aviation Safety Seminar.

Jack and Dolores were born in Montana, he in Roundup, and she in Big Timber. Jack served in the Army during the Korean War and then earned a degree in geology from the College of Puget Sound. Jack’s mother set him up with Dolores and the two married in 1954. Jack worked for McAlister Oil Company before becoming a partner in Sawtooth Oil Co. He discovered four significant oil fields in Central Montana. A 50-year member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, he was awarded his registered professional Courtesy photo geologist status from the Dolores S. and Jack A. Starkweather AAPG in 1944. were a popular and beloved couple in The Starkweathers Montana, and loyal RMC supporters. were members of the Petroleum Club and Yellowstone Country Club. Called “Starky” by his friends, Jack was a passionate outdoorsman who loved fishing and hunting. He was also an accomplished golfer and gardener. Dolores loved playing bridge, skiing, golf, tennis and her book clubs. She also loved nursing and practiced in Minneapolis, Tacoma, and Billings. The couple enjoyed their cabin in Big Timber where they entertained family and friends. For more information on the Starkweather Endowment, contact Obert Undem, Rocky Mountain College director of planned giving, 406657-1142/

Neighbor to Neighbor You’re great! We’re grateful! By Barb Skelton, Chairman of the Board of Rocky Mountain College During a time of worldwide economic stress, Rocky Mountain College is proud to celebrate 100 percent financial support from our Board of Trustees. We are thrilled to have unanimous participation among our board members. It demonstrates that our leadership is making a significant financial commitment to the College and it is something that is critical in helping secure other financial support. As I always say, it is what life is about: neighbors helping neighbors. That is what the generous gesture from all trustees in 2009 is all about. It is an important facet for fund raising. People want to see that those who are involved with the College at the highest levels believe in it enough to put their own money behind it. Donors and

foundations are favorably impressed when they see there is solid support from the board. We can be proud that’s the case with our Rocky family. We also want to recognize our hard working development team, directed by Shari VanDelinder. They are the ones who work long hours to make sure your donations are properly handled, to discover new donors, and to always promote the interests of our students and our great school. They do a fantastic job. Each year we ask more of them and each year they accept the challenge. With enthusiasm, Shari’s team is invaluable to Rocky. My hat is off to them! Last, but in no way least, we thank those listed below, who make a huge difference in how much we are able to accomplish for our students. We can never thank you enough for your generosity!

Mrs. Patti Morledge

Katherine Olson Foundation


$225,000 -- Scholarships / Endowment

$15,000 -- In Honor of Linaya Leaf

$7,000 -- Scholarships

Edward Charles Dapples

Louvin Foundation

Dan Scott

$120,000 Dapples Endowment -Education Library

$10,000 -- Scholarships

$5,000 -- Annual Fund

Marilyn Kohles

Carol Ann Bass

Stuart Simonson

$6,000 -- Flight Team Endowment

$5,000 -- Annual Fund

$25,0000 -- Athletic Endowment

Anonymous $20,000 –- Scholarships / Endowment

Bonne Morscheck

Richard Eddy

$10,000 -- Cloyd Conner Endowed Scholarship

$5,000 -- Richard W. & Margaret W. Eddy Scholarship Endowment

Mace Holdings

David Orser

$10,000 -- Endowment

Richard Brown

$20,000 -- Annuity -- Benefiting the Ossie Abrams Faculty Achievement Award

John Eisenhauer

$5,000 -- Keith Brown Scholarship Endowment

Employee Benefit Management Systems, Inc. (EBMS) $26,500 -- Scholarships

$10,000 -- Scholarships

Drs. Edwin and Jessica Stickney $9,400 -- Scholarship / Music Endowment

Phillip and Linda Boggio $5,000 -- Bill Burkhardt Endowment

Meet Our Development Team

Shari VanDelinder Executive Director of Development (406) 657-1173

Robert FitzGerald Director of Major Gifts (based in Helena) (406) 431-3357 fitzer@

Vicki Davison Director of Annual Fund and Alumni Relations (406) 657-1005

Obert Undem Director of Planned Giving (406) 657-1142

Justin Rehklau Development Accountant/ Database (406) 657-1009 justin.rehklau@

Deb Faw Office Manager, Development (406) 657-1006 fawd@

Jesse Murphy Outreach & Development Coordinator (406) 208-2429 jesse.murphy@


Coming Attractions

You don’t have to be rich to give to Rocky . . .

You just have to believe Rocky still makes a difference in the lives of its students. You can do so with a Rocky Gift Annuity qualifying for the 40% Montana income tax credit; secure a big federal charitable tax deduction; receive a higher return than savings certificates; and, eventually fund scholarships for Rocky students. Call for a confidential review of this cost free opportunity. Many people enjoy this tax benefit and have more money to spend. For information, call Obert at (406)-657-1142 or e-mail


Tax Saving “Income Deduction (Federal) on annuity (Federal) Tax for life (1099) (25% Rate)

Montana Tax Credit Total Savings Tax to Donor Savings

One Annuitant 55 @4.8%




$2,007 $3,261

60 @ 5.0%




$2,609 $4,240

65 @ 5.3%




$3,190 $5,184

70 @ 5.7%



$2,384 $3,814 $6,198

75 @ 6.3%



$2,760 $4,416 $7,176

80 @ 7.1%




85 @ 8.1%

$2,025 $14,118

$5,023 $8,162

There’s a warm atmosphere in the Great Room of Prescott Hall from flickering candles on every table.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 15, 2010 THE UNVEILING OF MONTANA STATE HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME The Rocky Mountain College Athletic Association will unveil the Montana High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in Fortin Education Center, Friday, January 15, 2010, during half time of the RMC vs. Carroll College basketball game. The east end of Fortin Gymnasium is dedicated to 75 high school hallof-fame athletes. For more information, contact Robert Beers, RMC athletic director, (406) 657-1124, FRIDAY, JANUARY 29, 2010 2ND ANNUAL RMC INVITATIONAL HONORS CONCERT RMC hosts the second annual High School Invitational Honors Concert, bringing 250 students from across Montana to perform with the RMC Concert Band and Choir in a special presentation at the Faith Chapel Worship Center at 7:00 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Jesse Murphy, RMC outreach and development coordinator, (406) 208-2429, FRIDAY, JANUARY 29 & SATURDAY, JANUARY 30, 2010 RMC NATIONAL ADVISORY COUNCIL RMC National Advisory Council meets on campus beginning Friday, Jan. 29, 2010 at 8:30 a.m., with breakfast in the Great Hall. RMC President Michael Mace will deliver a “State of the College” address and Peter Bryant, a senior vice president with Noel Levitz, will speak on “Enrollment Challenges for Small Private Colleges.” Focus groups will meet, followed by campus tours, a reception, dinner and the honors concert. Saturday, Jan. 30, will include reports from the focus groups. Members are invited to attend the Battlin’ Bears basketball games when the the NAIA Championship banner will be unveiled. Members will also be introduced at half time. A full schedule is available from the Development Office by calling Vicki Davison, alumni relations director, (406) 657-1005,

$3,530 $5,647 $9,117

Two Annuitants 65 @ 4.9%




$2,260 $3,672

70 @ 5.2%

$1,300 $7,205


$2,882 $4,683

75 @ 5.6%

$1,400 $8,904

$2,226 $3,562 $5,788

80 @ 6.1%



$2,687 $4,299 $6,986

85 @ 7.0%



$3,037 $4,859 $7,896

For a free consultation, contact Obert Undem, director of planned giving Email: Phone: 406-657-1142

FEBRUARY 11, 2010 BILLINGS CANDLELIGHT DINNER The 101st Billings Candlelight Dinner in the Great Room at Prescott Hall at 5:30 p.m. Come help us commemorate the first campus dinner in 1909. We will honor Sven Eklof, RMC ’69, with the Alumni Association Outstanding Achievement Award. Dinner/$15 per person. Please RSVP to Vicki Davison, RMC annual fund and alumni relations director at (406) 657-1005, Luminaries glow along the sidewalk and up the stairs to Prescott Hall during the annual Candlelight Dinner. Photos: Dave M. Shumway, RMC

RMC alumnae Olivia Johnson, Brockton principal (front, far left), and Tiffani Anderson, library media specialist (back, far left) directed a program with Brockton students who volunteered to help younger children read. Not pictured are RMC alumnae Laurie Wilson, kindergarten teacher, who initiated an after school literacy project, and Jennifer McClure, art teacher (who is pictured on the front page).

Students (Continued from front page)

She knows she may not get the job right away – she’ll only be 20 years old – but she is determined. “It may take awhile, but I’ll get there,” she said. What attracted her to Rocky keeps her anchored here. “The campus life is perfect for me. The small class sizes make it so much easier to learn from our professors.” Anu also praises the RMC Institute for Peace Studies, where she is a workstudy student. Cindy Kunz, IPS administrator, makes sure all her international students enjoy American culture and holidays while sharing the culture of their native lands. Anu is the first student from Mongolia. “This is our first exposure to her country and her culture and we’re loving it,” she said. Anu, whose father manages a construction company while her mother works for the World Health Organization, is one of the better aviation students, Hargrove noted. “She writes better than many of the American students,” he noted. For Anu, Rocky is a home away from home. “People are so helpful and friendly, it’s easier to not be homesick,” she said. She also “has constant communication with my family and friends via emails and phone calls,” she added. “If I do have problems, I’ve met so many great people and made so many friends, there is always someone to help me.” One of Anu’s most recent pleasures, because she is the youngest student, was to light the yule log for the annual dinner and festivities. “I don’t even feel 16 because I am not treated like I’m 16,” she said. “That’s another great thing about Rocky. I am treated like an adult as long as I behave like one.”

Books / Continued from front page “They (our students) want to be able to go to homes, read to children, and also leave books with them so that they will continue to read,” said Jennifer McClure, who teaches K-12 art. “They know if the they can get this done that children who come to school for the first time will be exposed to reading and be more prepared.” For Brockton’s only principal, Olivia Johnson, recognizing the reading problems without being able to address them was frustrating. “We have an after school reading program for children up to seven years old and we knew there were a lot of children who wanted to come. The problem was having parents to bring them,” Johnson said. Laurie Wilson, who teaches kindergarten and administers the family story hour (the after hours program), echoes her principal’s concern. For 15 years as a kindergarten teacher, Wilson had her hands full and felt wearied by students who were not receiving early literacy training. “I have dedicated much of my continuing education towards early literacy,” she said. “Finally, this year, I got motivated and started a family story hour one night a week for families and children up to age 7. But, it’s been slow going.” The idea for the students after the “learn and serve” workshop was “like a light bulb” coming on. “This would work so much better if, first, we had books to actually give to the kids, and, second, if we had students willing to go to the homes and read with the kids,” Wilson said. It has the additional advantage of utilizing the respect many of the younger kids show toward older students, McClure noted.

“Our younger children really look up to the high school students so it is also a mentoring program,” she said. Addressing one of the main problems began with a unique relationship McClure, Anderson, Johnson and Wilson all shared. They are graduates of Rocky Mountain College and value the connections RMC alumni and the community has forged. “I knew if I called on the Rocky community to help, we would be on the right track,” McClure said. McClure, who was a work-study in the equestrian program when she attended Rocky, contacted her former employer, Barb Skelton, owner of the Intermountain Equestrian Center and the current RMC Chairman of the Board. “What’s great at Rocky is you make friends with teachers, not just other students, and calling on Barb was just like calling a friend,” McClure said. “It felt natural. Since RMC is like an extended family, I felt I could ask for assistance. RMC faculty, staff and students have always been giving.” Soon the call went out to Rocky faculty, staff, alumni and friends, and, just as quickly, donated books started arriving, said Shari VanDelinder, RMC executive director for development. During the holidays, KULR-8 aired a story, “Books for Brockton,” interviewing McClure and Skelton, and The Billings Gazette published a feature article. Those stories generated an avalanche of books. “We had boxes and boxes coming in. People really responded to the need,” VanDelinder said. The help with this project has been a blessing, said Johnson, and “being on the receiving end of it definitely proves what I always believe: Once a Battlin’ Bear, always a Battlin’ Bear.”

Rocky Now - January 2010  
Rocky Now - January 2010  

RMC newsletter for the college community.