Montana Resources Opportunity Scholarship Created to Provide Full-Ride Scholarships to Butte Students Attending Montana Tech

The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, in conjunction with Montana Resources, announced a $597,000 gift to Montana Tech to create the Montana Resources Opportunity Scholarship for students who graduate from high schools in Butte.

This gift will provide more opportunities for Butte students to pursue their education by funding three full-ride scholarships for graduates of high schools in Butte to seek any four-year degree program at Montana Tech.

“Montana Resources wouldn’t be what it is today without the support of the Butte community, and we are honored to have the opportunity to help open the door to college for Butte youth” Montana Resources president Rolin Erickson said. To be a recipient of the scholarship, the students must demonstrate need, be a first-generation student, and graduate from a Butte high school. Each award will be up to $16,600 per year and will go toward tuition, books, room and board, and fees, for up to four years.

“This is an incredible gift that will transform the lives of Butte students,” Montana Tech Chancellor Don Blackketter said. “I am grateful to the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation and Montana Resources for providing the path for more Butte kids to receive a great education at Montana Tech.”

Montana Resources has been a staple of the Butte economy since 1986, continuing the copper and molybdenum mining tradition that Butte is known for. Montana Resources employs approximately 350 people, many of whom are graduates of Montana Tech.   “As a young kid in Butte, I didn’t always know what my future would look like,” Montana Tech Foundation president Joe McClafferty said. “The decision to attend Montana Tech truly changed my stars. It paved a path for success for myself and my wife Therese, which flowed down to our three children. I would like to thank Montana Resources and the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation for believing in a Montana Tech education and for providing kids in Butte the opportunity to improve their lives by educating them at the top university in the nation for creating the greatest benefit to the country’s economic progress.”

It is vital to the success of Montana Resources and the Butte community that Montana Tech produces highly educated, skilled workers who will continue the mining tradition into the future.    "The Institute for Educational Opportunities at Montana Tech is proud to be a partner in this wonderful scholarship program,” Executive Director Amy Verlanic said. “Our Upward Bound and Talent Search programs at Butte High School serve as a perfect recruiting tool for first generation Butte students building relationships early on and helping students navigate the college entrance process. In addition, our Student Support Services program will be there to support them throughout their undergraduate career at Montana Tech and ensure they have the resources needed to be successful. The scholarship isn't just about paying tuition, but ensuring the scholar has support from as early as their high school entry completely through college graduation."   The Montana Tech Foundation will seek to permanently secure this opportunity for students of promise who have financial need by building an endowment through other gifts. For more information, contact the Montana Tech Foundation at 406-496-4276 or visit

For more details about the many charitable works of The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, visit For more information about Montana Resources, visit