End of Year Letter from the Wheeler Center, 2020
Dear Friend of the Wheeler Center,
As we near the end of a year that I think everyone will be glad to see behind us, we wanted to share some of the efforts we’ve continued to working on this year, and thank you for your continued support of the Center.
Despite the uncertainty and turbulence we have encountered this year, the Wheeler Center has continued to work on projects and programs that advance our mission to promote the public discussion, analysis and eventual resolution of critical issues facing Montanans. Most notably, we partnered with MSU Extension, the Montana Community Foundation and others to produce a series of virtual events that have continued the success of the Reimagining Rural programs from 2019. The three-session series began with a conversation featuring Ben Winchester from the University of Minnesota exploring some of the trends that show growth and revitalization in rural communities. With more than 20 communities and XX attendees taking part, the next sessions featured Becky McCray and Deb Brown from Save Your Town, and then concluded with a facilitated working session where community members worked on their own plans and projects.
As we look to the new year, we’re excited to continue working with our partners to continue the momentum of these three sessions. Stay tuned in the coming weeks as we’ll soon announce plans for a Spring 2021 conference that will extend and advance these efforts further. While we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to return to our live, face-to-face conference format for this event, we’re preparing for all eventualities.
We are also excited to announce the addition of several new members to the Wheeler Center’s Board of Directors. In late 2019 Frederica Wheeler Johnson, Wayne Stein, Dave McAlpin and Zach Brown became members, and in 2020 Bruce Wittenberg and Ian Snow joined the Board. We are deeply saddened to note the passing of Doug Young, who had recently joined the Center’s board. Doug was a long-time supporter of the Center and a passionate and tireless advocate for any efforts that contributed to the health and vitality of the citizens and state of Montana. He will be greatly missed.
Like so many organizations this year, we’ve had to shift many of our program plans. While we’re disappointed that we were unable to offer many of our planned programs, we’ve used this time to launch those programs with renewed energy as soon as operations return to normal. As that happens, we’ll be announcing a series of lectures, round-table discussions and other programs and events that we are extremely excited about. As the outlook for 2021 continues to look more promising, we encourage you to keep an eye on your inboxes and check back to our website and Facebook page for program and event announcements.
We are enormously grateful for your support of the Center and our mission. As you consider making end-of-year contributions, please keep the Wheeler Center in mind. Your donations, of any amount, enable us to continue offering high-quality programs that promote the public discussion, analysis and eventual resolution of critical issues facing Montanans. To make a credit card donation, simply follow this link, or use the following URL: https://ecommerce.montana.edu/wheelercenter/
From all of us at the Wheeler Center, I wish you the happiest of holidays and a prosperous new year!
Burton K. Wheeler Center for Public Policy
Montana State University
1102 S 6th Ste. 1
Bozeman, MT 59717
“An informed people is the basis of, and a necessity for, successful democratic government. The people of the United States are entitled to hear all sides to a question…” – Burton K. Wheeler
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