March 1- 3, 2006
ITEM 130-1017-R0306 Naming the Education Center the “Phyllis J. Washington Education Center”; The University of Montana - Missoula
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-Missoula to name the new Education Center the “Phyllis J. Washington Education Center”.
EXPLANATION: Phyllis J. Peterson Washington, a native of Great Falls, Montana, received her B.A. in Education from the University of Montana in 1964. She taught primary grades in Missoula for several years. Phyllis later employed her talent as an interior decorator and a discerning collector of art and antiques opening PJ’s Interiors in Missoula.
The Washingtons have for years maintained a close and supporting relationship with Montana universities and students. In 1988, the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation was created to coordinate philanthropic endeavors of the highly successful Washington Companies. Phyllis serves as its chairperson. With education being among its major beneficiary areas, scholarships from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation assist Montana students attending the state's public and private colleges and universities each year. One, the University's 53rd Presidential Leadership Scholarship, an award for a most promising entering student, provides $5,000 annually, renewable for three years. The Foundation sponsors the Horatio Alger Montana Scholarship granting $2 million to qualifying students. In 2005 the Washingtons announced a significant contribution to the University’s capital campaign Invest in Discovery—People, Programs and Place earmarking funds for The School of Education. Other giving to education has supported the Excellence Fund, the UM Foundation, renovation of the University Theater, the Jubileers, rodeo, and QAC Conferences.
Phyllis Washington has given valuable time assisting with the University of Montana with its other fundraising efforts. She served several terms on the UM Foundation Board of Trustees. She chaired the record-setting University of Montana capital campaign Ensuring a Tradition of Excellence, a five-year effort that raised $71.3 million for UM programs and current needs. For her work, the Phyllis Washington Award for Meritorious Service was created and she received the inaugural award. She also received the 1999 Neil S. Bucklew Presidential Service Award.