MSUB Foundation toasts $1 million month of May

MSU BILLINGS FOUNDATION NEWS—April showers might bring May flowers, but nothing will rain on the MSU Billings Foundation’s parade this month. The nonprofit celebrates more than $1 million in funds raised so far this May after the conclusion of its annual Wine & Food Festival.

With yet another surprise donation during the festival finale, alumnus Carl Ueland wowed the crowd with a $600,000 contribution to MSU Billings scholarships for student-athletes and those pursuing science degrees. The pledge will provide $60,000 in scholarships per year for the next 10 years, beginning this fall semester in September. A 1970 graduate of then Eastern Montana College, Ueland also donated $500,000 at the 2018 festival toward the Yellowstone Science and Allied Health Building.

The six-figure announcement served as the exclamation point on an already successful event. Preliminary net figures amount to approximately $380,000 raised throughout the week-long festival. The Wine & Food Festival has now netted more than $6 million since its inaugural event in 1993.

Chancellor Edelman of MSU Billings said these funds assist students who might not otherwise be able to afford to attend college.

“I want to thank the community for their support of the Wine & Food Festival. Their generous contributions helped us reach one of the best fundraising years to date,” said Edelman. “Because of their support, we can ease the financial burden for many as they strive toward achieving their educational goals.”

Foundation President and CEO Bill Kennedy also thanked Carl Ueland and all Wine & Food Festival attendees for helping MSU Billings students achieve their dreams.

“Each and every one of these students has something in common – us. We’ve come together under this grand tent for 27 years to support them,” said Kennedy. “You are touched by their need and their ambition and their tremendous success against the odds. You help make their dreams a reality.”

Earlier this month, the foundation released news of $30,000 granted by the Charles M. Bair Family Trust. The award will fund 10 new $3,000 scholarships for students pursuing nursing degrees at MSU Billings in academic year 2019-20.

Hundreds of wine glasses clinked in celebration at the Wine & Food Festival finale event, toasting to the many supporters of MSU Billings students who come together to raise funds for scholarships. The annual festival is the largest scholarship fundraiser for the MSU Billings Foundation each year.

For more information about the dollars raised at the MSU Billings Foundation this month, contact Bill Kennedy at (406) 657-1622 or