July 8-9, 2004

 

ITEM 124-1601-R0704                Authorization to Name the Office Classroom Building the Daniel G. Block Hall, The University of Montana – Western

 

THAT:                                       Consistent with Board of Regents’ Policy 1004.1, Naming of Buildings, the Board of Regents of the Montana University System authorizes The University of Montana – Western to name the Office Classroom Building the “Daniel G. Block Hall.”

 

EXPLANATION:                        This action is proposed by The University of Montana-Western in recognition of Daniel G. Block and his service to the University and its students.

 

Dr. Block’s influence on his students included experiential education and a lifelong appreciation of Montana’s beautiful wilderness, serving as a mentor and role model to his students, and encouraging the quest for knowledge that influenced many of his students to pursue graduate studies.

 

He was brilliant, diligent, and absolutely consistent, and students received his very best every day. Only occasionally does one find a professor at the university level who is willing to counsel students and provide leadership beyond the conveyance of basic subject matter to the degree that Dan Block did.

 

He was knowledgeable, enthusiastic, energetic, dedicated, and creative. He was very concerned about his students, not just the best and brightest, but the struggling students as well, which allowed them to discover their own strengths and to experience success in the educational setting. He was a gifted teacher with the ability to make his subject matter exciting, enjoyable, and relevant to the modern day world. His classes were tough but he was always fair, and students knew what he expected of them. His sense of humor also added to the learning process.

 

He was a pioneer in outdoor classroom teaching, with biology labs and field trips, and was an integral part of the growth in programming at the Birch Creek Outdoor Education Center. He was kind, caring and patient, even with those students not comfortable in the outdoor environment. He was instrumental in establishing a four-year Natural Heritage degree program at Western.

 

In the 1970s, Dr. Block obtained a grant to establish an Emergency Medical Technician program on Western’s campus for local law enforcement, volunteer fire department, ambulance service, and Forest Service personnel in the Dillon community. He also established the first Drug Education class at Western.

 

Dan participated in college dramatic productions, assisted elementary and high school students with science fair projects, and occupied a major role with the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship group on campus. He has taught Elderhostel classes in various locations and was selected by the faculty association to be the first emeritus speaker to give the commencement address. Dan served as senior editor of the Western Montana College Centennial History Book 1883-1993, and was chosen as “Emeritus Professor of the Year” for his work on the history book. He was active as coordinator and curator for the Seidensticker African, North American, and Asian Wild Game Trophy Collection for Western. He was recently one of three candidates nominated for a position on the Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks Game Commission.

 

He has authored the following:

·         Finding Birds of Beaverhead County

·         Furlough in Scotland, published in Gray’s Sporting Journal last year, about mountain climbing and salmon fishing during World War II

 

Due to his long-standing support, innumerable contributions, and dedication to Western and the Dillon community, it is recommended that the Office Classroom Building on the campus of The University of Montana-Western be dedicated as Daniel G. Block Hall.