Montana Tech of the University of Montana

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Montana Tech
File:Montana tech logo.png
Motto De Re Metallica
Literal translation: “Of The Metals”. This was the title of a book published by Georg Agricola (a.k.a. Georg Bauer) in 1556.
Established 1889
Type Public
Endowment $32.9 million[1]
Chancellor Donald Blackketter[2]
Students 2,945 (Fall 2014)[3]
Postgraduates 190 (Fall 2014 )[3]
Location Butte, Montana, United States
Colors Green and Copper         
Athletics The "Orediggers"
Nickname Orediggers
Affiliations University of Montana System

Montana Tech is a public university located in Butte, Montana.

Originally founded in 1900 as the Montana State School of Mines, the institution’s funding and land came from the Enabling Act of 1889, which admitted Montana to the Union and allocated 100,000 acres of public land to establish a state school of mines.

The School of Mines opened its doors with only one building, Main Hall, holding 21 students. The School of Mines offered only two degrees: mining engineering and electrical engineering.

Today, Montana Tech has nearly 3,000 students, 13 campus buildings and offers 73 undergraduate degrees along with 18 minors, 14 certification degrees, and 10 pre-professional career programs. Montana Tech also offers 21 graduate degrees and a Ph.D. in Materials Science.

History Timeline

1897: The School of Mines Building Main Hall becomes the first building constructed on campus. Today, Main Hall houses the Electrical Engineering and Liberal Studies departments.

1900: Montana Tech opens its doors as the Montana State School of Mines.

1919: A bill enacted by the Legislative Assembly of Montana in 1919 created the Montana State Bureau of Mines and Metallurgy. The Bureau had two main functions: first, developing the mineral resources of the state; second, improving the safety and efficiency of mining related operations. Today, the Bureau is the principal source of earth science information for the citizens of Montana.

1943: Montana School of Mines becomes a Naval College and offers the V-12 program, which guarantees an officer replacement program for the Navy and Marines during World War II.

1962: Lighting of the M on Big Butte.

1965: The Montana School of Mines becomes the Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology. Shortly after WWII ended, acting School of Mines president Francis Thompson, embarked on a program destined to modernize the Montana School of Mines’ curricula. The School of Mines added humanities and social sciences options to the technical electives.

1965: Montana Tech opens Alumni Coliseum which was first intended to be used for football games and American Legion baseball games. The Butte Copper Kings, a professional baseball team, also used the field during their years playing in Butte. The stadium was renovated in 2007 and has been used for Oredigger football since. The facility now features new stadium seating, a Jumbo-Tron scoreboard, and newly installed field turf on Bob Green Field.

1994: The Montana University System is restructured, and Montana Tech becomes affiliated with the University of Montana, becoming Montana Tech of the University of Montana. Additionally, the College of Technology (formerly Butte Vocational-Technical Center, came under the administrative umbrella of Montana Tech.

2010: The Natural Resources Building (NRB) is opened. The NRB houses Montana Tech's largest department, Petroleum Engineering, as well as the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology. The NRB features state of the art labs that allow students to work with industry standard and specialty equipment, including a Fracture Conductivity Measurement System, a Vertical Flow Loop, a Cement Slurry Property Testing Lab, and Fracture Stimulation Equipment. In addition to this equipment, the NRB has two smart labs that allow world-renowned experts to give real-time presentations from anywhere in the world to Tech's students and faculty.

2011: Chancellor Frank Gilmore retires after 13 years at Montana Tech. Don Blackketter is hired as the new chancellor.

2012: The Frank and Ann Gilmore University Relations Center (URC), is opened. The URC is the first building on campus to be funded entirely with private donations and houses the Montana Tech Foundation, Alumni Affairs, Public Relations, and Career Services.

2012: Montana Tech’s two-year campus is renamed Highlands College of Montana Tech.

2013: The Montana Board of Regents approves a materials science doctorate for Montana Tech.

2014: The Materials Science Ph.D. Program’s first students begin studying at Montana Tech.

2015: Montana Tech breaks ground for the newest building on campus, the Natural Resources Research Center (NRRC). The NRRC will provide laboratory space for natural resources and energy undergraduate and graduate education and research on campus. The three-story, approximately 32,000-square foot building will create state-of-the-art laboratories, workspaces and support spaces. The addition includes a petroleum research lab, Nano research lab, energy lab, strengths & materials testing lab, composites & wood testing lab, occupational safety and health lab, campus-wide student project studio area, dedicated equipment and machinery rooms, student support areas, office space, general support space, and unfinished space for future growth.


Montana Tech offers approximately 50 undergraduate degrees along with over 15 minors, 11 certification degrees, and 10 pre-professional career programs. Montana Tech also offers 13 graduate degrees and a Ph.D. in Materials Science.

Montana Tech consists of four colleges: the School of Mines & Engineering; The College of Letters, Sciences and Professional Studies; Highlands College; and the Graduate School.


The Diggers football team is led by head coach Charles Dahl. Montana Tech teams, nicknamed athletically as the Orediggers, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Frontier Conference. Men's sports include basketball, football and golf, while women's sports include basketball, golf and volleyball. Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler's brother Tanner Osweiler played football there.

Montana Bureau of Mines & Geology

The Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology is the principal source of earth science information for the citizens of Montana. Since 1919, it has been mandated to conduct research and assist in the orderly development of the State's mineral and water resources.

The MBMG's basic support comes from a biennial legislative appropriation. Additionally, the MBMG seeks funding for extensive research from outside sources. Many of our projects are conducted jointly with various State and Federal agencies, county governments, municipalities, and other local groups. Operating out of two offices in Montana, in Butte and Billings (located on the Montana Tech campus and downtown Billings, respectively), the Bureau employs 59 full-time staff, including 31 research professionals and 24 in technical/clerical positions. Products of the MBMG's research are published by our Information Services Division or through the scientific literature.

Montana Tech Alumni Affairs

The mission of the Montana Tech Alumni Association is to promote the interests of the College to the alumni, community, state, nation, and world. The Montana Tech Alumni Association is striving to cultivate networking and unity among the graduates of the College as well as exchange ideas and information on alumni and educational matters that help stimulate individual alumni groups.


Montana Tech was ranked as the #1 school in the United States by the Social Mobility Index college rankings.[4] Montana Tech has been nationally recognized as the fourth best value in higher education (Ranked in 2005 Edition of America's Best Universities and Colleges). This school is also among the Princeton Review's best colleges in the country, and the fourth best public college in the West (2011 Edition of America's Best Universities and Colleges). Montana Tech has a very high job placement rating for graduating students.

The Wall Street Journal ranked Montana Tech ninth in the nation for best public universities for return on investment. Read the full story on the Wall Street Journal website.[5]

Montana Tech is ranked 6th in the nation for graduates earning the highest salaries, according to a recent Washington Post article.[6]

Montana Tech Computer Science faculty have partnered with NASA to foster the growth of NASA related funded research at Montana institutions.[7]

Montana Tech was ranked eighth in the nation for Highest Earning Engineering and Computer Science Degrees in a 2013 NerdWallet list.[8]



  1. As of June 30, 2014. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2014 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2013 to FY 2014" (PDF). 2014 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved February 9, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Chancellor named at Tech". The Montana Standard. Retrieved July 7, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1
  7. NASA news - Richard Joyce - Montana Tech
  • 25 Statutes at Large, 676; 1 Supp. Rev. St. U.S. pp. 645, 648.
  • Laws of 1893; Section 1572, Political Code of Montana
  • Laws of 1895; Sections 1591, 1594, 1595, 1600, Political Code of Montana
  • McGlynn, Terrence D. Montana Tech 1893-1984. Butte, MT: Montana Tech Foundation, 1984.
  • Munday, Pat. Biographical entry for C.H. Clapp (1883-1935), geologist and Montana School of Mines President. American National Biography, ed. John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, 24 vols. (Oxford University Press: 1999): v. 4, pp. 900–1.

External links

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