BUTTE - The cost of college tuition is high, but students at Montana Tech in Butte have more opportunities for scholarships thanks to record-breaking contributions made by alumni.
“I remember when I started at the foundation, we were right around $700,000 in annual scholarship support, and in the last 14 years, that’s grown to $1.9 million,” said Luke Meyer of the Montana Technological University Foundation.
Arthur “Art” Ditto recently pledged $1 million over the next two years to go to an endowment in his name for scholarships to students studying in the field of the mining extraction industry.
“If I can help in any way to enable the school to attract people I think that’s of value, not only to the school but to the world at large,” said Ditto.
As a 1964 graduate, Ditto worked his way through school — known then as the Montana School of Mines — by working as an underground miner at the Steward Mine.
“Hard, dirty work, but I was able to earn good pay, relatively speaking, and it provided the financial wherewithal to supplement what else I had to get through school,” said Ditto.
The Montana Tech Foundation says they’re seeing more alumni contributing to the school.
“We have a number of young alums who are even supporting the school, while probably paying off their student loans at the same time, which is incredible,” said Meyer.
Ditto credits the training he received at Tech for his long, successful career in the mining industry.
“Without the experience I had here — and the learning opportunities I had here — I wouldn’t have been able to do what I did. And, I think, every graduate here would say the same thing,” said Ditto.
Montana Tech is often rated as one of the top schools for students going into high-earning jobs after graduation.