FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RMC director of major gifts announces new endowments
BILLINGS, December 11, 2014 – RMC’s Director of Major Gifts Peter Bolenbaugh announced two new endowments for Rocky Mountain College. In honor of RMC’s previous director of planned giving, Obert Undem, Rocky Mountain College established the Obert M. & Virginia H. Undem Scholarship Endowment. The endowment was set up by Rocky Mountain College to honor Obert’s dedication and nearly 20-year commitment to helping students receive an excellent education.
“Seeing a room full of people at Obert’s retirement reception and receiving numerous letters of appreciation is a testament to the hard work Obert has put into RMC and its students,” said Bolenbaugh. “It’s an honor to announce this endowment in Obert’s name, as a way to thank him for the many years he has helped people to honor their parents, family, and friends with endowed scholarships at Rocky Mountain College.”
Bolenbaugh also announced the Jim Schaff Memorial Scholarship Endowment, which was set up in honor of RMC graduate Jim Schaff. After serving four years in the U.S. Navy, Schaff attended Rocky Mountain College and graduated in 1977. During his time at RMC, Schaff not only excelled in his classes, but also received numerous honors for his athletic talent on the Battlin’ Bears football team. Schaff was inducted into the RMC Hall of Fame in 2006.
Schaff’s successful career in the oil and gas industry included serving as the Vice President of Land for Petroleum Development Corporation. He also worked for Nova Natural Resources, Bill Barrett Corportation, and Williams Energy Company.
After Schaff passed away unexpectedly in June 2013, Schaff’s family, friends, and business associates helped to create an endowment in Shaff’s name. This endowment will help to provide scholarships for students attending Rocky Mountain College who aspire to work in the oil and gas industry.
“This endowment was created in honor of Jim Schaff’s commitment and dedication to his family, his education, and his career,” said Bolenbaugh. “Jim was just one of many oil and gas executives who received their degree from Rocky. His family, friends, and business partners wanted to help keep Jim’s legacy alive on the RMC campus and provide the opportunity for success to other students interested in the oil and gas industry.”
Bolenbaugh, who joined Rocky Mountain College as director of major gifts in May 2014, hopes that these and the many other endowments at Rocky Mountain College will continue to grow and thrive, as approximately 99 percent of students at RMC receive some type of financial assistance.
“Many people may not be aware of the significant impact these scholarships can have in a student’s life,” said Bolenbaugh. “One of my goals is to help connect donors with the students they are supporting.”
Bolenbaugh explained how even simple things such as a thank you card can help make that connection stronger. He said that a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, students were given the opportunity to write a thank you card to the people who funded their scholarship.
"Students wrote over 150 cards to the donors who have supported our endowments, explaining how grateful they were for the scholarships and why having the chance for a higher education was important to them," said Bolenbaugh. He hopes to double that number at the start of the 2015-2016 academic year.
“Having donors receive a student’s appreciation card allows them to see the unique way the money they have donated has had a direct impact in the lives of these students,” said Bolenbaugh. "Hearing that first-hand from the students themselves is far more meaningful than anything we could say. It's important that those who have put the money into these endowments know that the legacy of their loved one lives on through the opportunity they've given to the students here at Rocky Mountain College."
Those who are interested in contributing to RMC endowments can contact Peter Bolenbaugh at email@example.com or 406.657.1106 for more information.