Update from the MSU Leadership Institute- Lots going on!!

* The semester’s first film of the Leadership Film Series, Thunder In Guyana, had an unexpected but pleasant attendance surprise: a large percentage of community members. We have decided to step up our advertising on the billboards maintained by many local businesses as a result. Those who attended expressed awe-inspired comments such as, "I had no idea that little country has been through so much" and "Janet Rosenberg Jagen was so inspirational. Thank you for showing this movie!" Our next film will be on April 14th.

* The biggest challenge on our plate at the moment is the main speaker event on March 8th: "Sons of the Everest Pioneers" Jamling Tenzig Norgay and Peter Hillary are coming to MSU, and we expect the turnout to be phenomenal. Bozeman is an up-and-coming town in the world of climbing, and is already overrun with outdoors people; the preliminary marketing feedback was overwhelmingly receptive. Josh has taken a lead in getting the details of the lecture hammered out; here are some of the steps he and our staff have been taking in preparation:

Ø SUB Ballrooms A, B, C and D have been reserved, seating up to 1500 people.

Ø Josh designed the tickets and contracted the sales with the MSU Ticket Offices and all Tickets West outlets as well as several local businesses, including Barrell Mountaineering and the Northern Lights Trading Company.

Ø The first of two 8 ½ x 11 posters are designed and Justin is hard at work distributing them, among many other things. They look fantastic! The second poster will be larger and feature Everest; we expect to have it produced and posted by the end of next week.

Ø Several articles have already been printed in the Tributary, This Week, The Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Explore Magazine……. And, of course, MSU’s Exponent, which printed Nick’s story on the front page’s feature spot, with a color photo.

Ø Mr. Mike Mansfield of the MSU Experiential Education, in collaboration with the Leadership Institute is hosting a two-part discussion with his book club February 19th and March 4th.

Ø TIAA-CREF, the lead sponsor of this event, has ordered 75 copies each of Hillary and of Norgay’s books through the MSU Bookstore for a signing. The book club along with other invited parties will attend a pre-event signing, and a signing for the general public will be held on March 8th from 1-1:45 pm at the MSU Bookstore.

Ø Aside from the posters, the MSU Bookstore has agreed to advertise the lecture on the large plasma screens behind the cashiers’ stations, a great visibility spot! PSA’s for KGLT (the college station), KBMC (Yellowstone Public Radio) and several of the local TV stations have been recorded, and Tiffany has taken advantage of many coveted advertising sites around campus and in local businesses. A paid ad for the Chronicle and the Exponent has been produced, and will run approximately next week.

* Our website has been updated to give the public more information about the Hillary & Norgay lecture. Please visit the link at:

* It’s that time of the year: ASMSU has been working on budgeting issues for the past few months, and due to the fact we have been operating this year on a 1998 budget, Carmen has submitted a request for more funding. Because of the tremendous visibility and impact we’ve been working to achieve this past year, the request has passed the initial review and been endorsed by the Budget Committee. Carmen will be making a presentation for the senate on February 21st to reaffirm our needs.

* We are working on a somewhat larger grant to help supplement our operating expenses. The institution is called the Kongsgaard-Goldman Foundation, and they have a history of supporting organizations with similar goals and methods as the Leadership Institute. We’re pooling our resources for a positive outcome.

* Nick recently applied for a small grant through the Montana Campus Compact (MCC)…and succeeded! The $300 will be put to use the week of April 26th through the "Got Apathy?" campaign during ASMSU elections. He has already succeeded in extending the voting period from two to three days, and is working on a "Rock the Vote" concert.

* The Leadership Montana organizational meeting took place on January 12-13. Curriculum and locations were finalized for the 2004 class. Carmen met with Rolf Groseth in February to finalize details of the September 2004 Bozeman meeting. Input from Advisory Board member’s Julie Hitchcock and Russ Fletcher was incorporated into the draft recommendations for Bozeman/Big Sky location, and the state issue for the Bozeman/Big Sky location will be "Tourism and the Montana History Timeline".

* Carmen has also been selected as an advisor for Mortar Board, a prestigious honor society that has been on the MSU campus for over 50 years.

* March 2nd will be the day of our first Brown Bag Leadership Topics lunch, and Nick is working on the details for bringing in a guest speaker, Casey Rudd. Ms. Rudd will be speaking on the difficulties convicts experience during their reentry into society. She and her husband, ex-cons themselves, have begun a local organization to assist former inmates, and have taken more than one hundred into their home. Apparently, there is a connection between student dollars and the Montana prison system, about which this presentation will enlighten MSU students.

* The eNewsletter has been put on hold due to more pressing time constraints. The current staff hopes to pass this task, along to next semester’s fresh and energized staffers.

This semester has been focused on two major goals: partnership and presentation. Through our senate liaisons, the Leadership Institute is attempting to explore more avenues of collaboration with other committees, although we have enjoyed significant successes so far. Because of our heightened visibility with the Hillary/Norgay lecture and the barrage of publicity we have unleashed for every event, we are moving forward as a viable, sustainable organization that is becoming an irreplaceable part of the campus and community. We are looking forward to many more challenges this semester, and would like, once again, to invite any suggestions from our esteemed board members as to how we can further our mission: to make a difference. Please stay in touch!

Erin Westwater
Staff, MSU Leadership Institute

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