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A University of, by and for the People - Montana State University - Happy 125th Birthday

February 16, 2018View for printing

In 1937, Maurice Hilleman had a job lined up as the assistant manager of the J. C. Penney in Miles City. In Depression-era Montana, Penney's was top-notch employment, especially to a senior at Custer County High who grew up raising chickens on the outskirts of town.

But Hilleman's older brother pointed out there was that college in Bozeman and suggested Maurice should at least try to get a scholarship. He did, finished first in his class and went on to a graduate program in microbiology at the University of Chicago. Of the 14 standard recommended vaccines -- including those for measles, mumps, meningitis, pneumonia and both hepatitis A and B -- Hilleman developed eight of them. In a century soaked in genocide, his work saved millions of lives, including, potentially, yours and mine. J. C. Penney's loss was humanity's gain.

Hilleman's college in Bozeman, Montana State University , turns 125 this month. It is one of the government-supported land-grant colleges established by the Morrill Act, which Abraham Lincoln signed into law in 1862 to educate the children of farm and factory workers, "the sons of toil." A statue of Lincoln sculpted by the alumnus Jim Dolan is to be unveiled on campus on Friday for the anniversary.

Sarah Vowell ... adline&te=1

(Many thanks to Ray Friesenhahn for sharing.)
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