The annual scholarship honoring the accomplishments and memory of George R. Bandy will be endowed through a gift from his son and daughter-in-law, Tom and Linda Bandy. The George R. Bandy Memorial Endowed Scholarship will benefit graduates from Montana high schools as they pursue an engineering degree at Montana Tech. Tom and Linda Bandy have made their pledge of support as part of Montana Tech’s current comprehensive campaign.
George R. Bandy’s life was devoted to education. He graduated from high school in 1944 and served his country in the U.S. Navy. Upon his return from the service, he completed his bachelor’s degree in 1950 and master’s degree in 1953 at Sacramento State College.
George Bandy began his teaching career at Grant Union High School in Sacramento in 1952, later moving to Montana to coach and teach at Belgrade High School. In 1956, he began his career in higher education when he joined the faculty at what is now Montana State Northern. During his time at Northern, Bandy became the first Light’s football coach and also served as baseball coach, assistant men’s basketball coach, and athletic director. Completing a doctorate in education at the University of Montana in 1967, Bandy’s career as an academic leader continued to flourish. He became the director of the graduate school, dean of education, vice president, and ultimately was named acting president of Northern in 1975.
In 1976, Bandy became the interim president of Western Montana College, serving in that capacity until 1978. He left Western to become the Chief Deputy Commissioner of Higher Education in Montana and served as acting Commissioner of Higher Education from September 1978 until June of 1979 when he retired. That retirement was tragically cut short when he died in a boating accident on Canyon Ferry Reservoir in 1983. George Bandy’s contributions to higher education in Montana and his love of athletics have been recognized through the Frontier Conference’s George Bandy Memorial Conference All-Sports Award.
Tom Bandy graduated from Montana Tech in 1976 with a degree in Petroleum Engineering and played football for the Orediggers. Tom has enjoyed a long and successful career in the oil and gas industry, working for both large and small companies, and he has had a hand in several successful start-ups. Tom Bandy’s contributions to industry and his service to Montana Tech were recognized when he received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1997. His service to campus continues through his leadership of the Montana Tech Foundation Board of Directors.
“As I reflect back on my life growing up in Montana and in my career as a whole, I often think of how fortunate I was to have been given the opportunity to get my education at Montana Tech,” said Tom Bandy. “The quality of this education, the friendships I’ve made through Montana Tech, and the doors that were opened for me by Montana Tech have had a profound impact on my life. It truly has been a joy to stay involved with Montana Tech and try to give back as best as I can. I hope this scholarship can play a small role now and into the future to enable other students to enjoy the same type of rewarding experience that I had at Montana Tech.”
“Montana Tech’s comprehensive campaign is designed to put more students on the pathway to their own extraordinary futures,” said Michael Barth, Executive Director of the Montana Tech Foundation. “When you reflect on the impressive accomplishments of George R. Bandy and Tom Bandy, their success was made possible through their own hard work and enabled by education. We are thrilled to see the Bandy legacy continue on our campus through this scholarship endowment, knowing that Montanans now and far into the future will have better access to education through this scholarship.”