F. "Chris" Christiaens - Alumni Action During COVID-19
Dear Fellow Alumni,
During this unsettled time of COVID-19 with social distancing, self-quarantine, and classes being converted to all online courses, we want to challenge each of you, as alumni, to reach out via the telephone, email or social media to potential students and their families. The university needs your help to recruit new students for the upcoming summer and fall semesters at UP and to retain students currently enrolled. Please check out the University of Providence website, https://www.uprovidence.edu/coronavirus/, for background information on how COVID-19 is affecting our students, staff, and faculty.
As a 1962 graduate, I believe now is a crucial and good time for alumni to step in and give a hand in recruitment. Many of us decided to attend the College of Great Falls, University of Great Falls, or University of Providence because a teacher or family friend shared their experiences at their alma mater with us. Coming from a small high school and fortunate to find small classes in the college setting lead by professors who became friends and helpers made for a smooth transition for me. The professors, coupled with the long tradition of helpful staff, made college a memorable experience and upon graduation we utilized newfound skills to better our lives and contribute to our communities and employers.
Each of us can be successful at recruiting high school graduates, neighbors, and friends who can benefit from higher education on campus in Great Falls and worldwide through online learning. We have strong ties with our neighbor, the McLaughlin Research Institute and UP’s new science and healthcare courses which serve to challenge students for the changes and workplaces of today and into the future. If you have questions about enrollment, athletics, cost of tuition, etc., please call Kelsey Hassinger, Student Services Specialist, 406.791-5221. Please know that Trace Richburg, our new Alumni Relations Manager, is always available to help guide you. She would love to connect with you via phone: 406.781-5511, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As alumni know, we are spread throughout the states, nation, and the world. We can be a strong force in recruiting with an opportunity for us to “pay it forward”. Thank you so much for choosing to join me in this effort to help grow and sustain the University of Providence…GO ARGOS!!!
All My Best,
University of Great Falls Class of 1962 and 1994
Chris Christiaens had a heart of service long before graduating from the College of Great Falls, now the University of Providence, with a B.A. in Chemistry in 1962 and a Master of Human Services in 1994. “As a student and graduate of the College of Great Falls, I was exposed to community service and became involved early on working with minorities in our community and across the state. I learned that those who are given much, should return the same to their community and those in need. In light of those experiences, I returned to the College of Great Falls to complete a Master of Human Services degree. I now serve on several local boards and started a program called Opening Doors in 1995, assisting individuals returning to the community from jails and prison with the essentials to enhance their success. I continually give thanks to the outstanding faculty during my time on campus.”
Dr. Norman Erie
Dr. Norman Erie graduated in 1953 with a degree in Science and X-ray Technology. His wife, Irene graduated in 1947 with honors with a degree in English. Norman and Irene met at Lincoln County High School where Irene was an English and Literature teacher. Irene encouraged Norman to continue higher education and helped him receive a scholarship from what was then College of Great Falls. Norman had dreams of going into the healthcare field, and Irene furthered that dream by also helping him attain a position at Columbus Hospital as a student X-ray Technician. Norman and Irene married on July 30, 1951 at St. Ann’s Cathedral in Great Falls, he was 19 and she was 25.
Norman applied for the University of Washington Medical School after graduating from the University of Great Falls. Norman and Irene moved to Seattle, WA with their newborn child and another on the way in 1954. Irene worked as a social worker at King County Hospital while Norman continued in Medical School. Norman went onto serve with the Navy, completed internships and training, and graduated in 1958. Norman and Irene opened a solo practice in Richland, WA. Norman focused on his patients and Irene managed the office.
Norman and Irene lived a wonderful life together. After their 61st wedding anniversary, Irene passed away. She was 86 years old and left behind Norman, four children and eight grandchildren. The Irene Konecny Erie Memorial Endowment was established by Norman in 2012 to help students achieve an education rooted in the values by which Norman and Irene lived.
Norman spoke to the importance of scholarships and why he chose to establish a scholarship to support University of Providence students.
Harry Guetherman - 2019 Distinguished Alumnus
Past distinguished Alumni Award winners are:
Sr. Rita Mudd
Karl F. Jorda, J.D.
John Waldhausen, M.D.
Angus Fok, Ph.D.
Tu-Hi Hong, M.D.
Shirley Polejewski, Ph.D.
Kennard Kapstafer, M.D.
William F. Whitsitt, Ph.D.
Kevin Powers (posthumously)
Rose Many Lonczakv (posthumously)
Raymond E. Vath, M.D.
Minnie Spotted Wolf England
1955 & 1976
John D Conners
Gerard Van Houdt
Norman Erie, M.D.
Irene Konecny Erie
Sr. Kitsy Rutan
Class of 2018 (First call from UP)