Two 1985 Montana Tech alumni, Gary and Janet Kolstad, have gifted $1 million to Montana Tech University.
Gary Kolstad is CEO of CARBO Ceramics Inc., a global oilfield services technology company providing industry leading production enhancement products and services to increase the recovery factor in oil and natural gas wells.
The proceeds from the Gary and Janet Kolstad Endowment will benefit the Petroleum Engineering Department and scholarships for petroleum engineering students. During the 2014-15 academic year, the Kolstad's Endowment will impact eight students.
"It is with great pride that Janet and I have established the Gary and Janet Kolstad Endowment at Montana Tech," Gary said. "We are inspired by the students and graduates of Montana Tech and their life's journey from ordinary to extraordinary, and the resulting impact they have in this world.”
“Montana Tech is well known in industry as the premier STEM institution in Montana. Fundamentally, we believe higher education is one of the primary tools needed to continue to improve the competitiveness and standard of living, of both America and individuals.” Gary said. “Education always helps people understand the basics of what it takes to be successful and responsible for their life's outcome."
"Gary and Janet are longtime supporters of Montana Tech," Montana Tech Chancellor Don Blackketter said. "This gift is significant not only for Gary and Janet but for the university because it is the first individual $1 million gift in Montana Tech's history. I want to thank Gary and Janet for their inspiring gift and leadership."
"Gary and Janet represent extraordinary individuals from ordinary upbringings that are living extraordinary lives and providing incredible levels of support," Montana Tech Foundation President Joe McClafferty said. "I thank them for their continued dedication to advance Montana Tech. The petroleum students receiving the awards from the Gary and Janet Kolstad Endowment now have opportunities to live extraordinary lives."
Janet (Tuss) is a native of Great Falls and started her career with ARCO Oil and Gas Company. During her eight years with ARCO, she served in several production operations positions in California, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Gary is a native of Glasgow and started his career as a field engineer with Schlumberger. Serving in numerous domestic and international leadership positions in operations as well as marketing and sales. Gary held positions with Schlumberger as Vice President, Oilfield Services-U S Onshore and Vice President, Global Accounts. His experience allowed him the opportunity of working in North America, Russia, Indonesia, and the Middle East.
In 2006, Gary was recruited by CARBO to be their Chief Executive Officer. In the seven years under his leadership, CARBO has more than tripled in terms of revenue, profit and market capitalization. CARBO'S primary mission is to improve production and recovery rates in oil and natural gas reservoirs, by providing industry leading technology through their Design, Build, and Optimize the FracTM technology platform. They are most widely known for being the world's largest supplier of high quality ceramic proppants, which are used in the process of hydraulic fracturing to stimulate oil and natural gas wells.
For his contribution to his career and his community, Gary was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from Montana Tech in 2002. He currently sits on the Montana Tech Foundation Board of Directors, the Montana Tech Petroleum Department Industry Advisory Board and is a Board Member for Spindletop Charities. Gary and his wife Janet are generous contributors to Montana Tech as members of the Council of 600 and the Gary & Janet Kolstad Endowed Scholarship.