Posted: Feb 15, 2013 5:18 PM by Ben Trotter
The first classes at Montana State University, then Montana State College, were held in a skating rink...A roller-skating rink to be exact.
The rink was donated by Nelson Story when Bozeman was awarded a land-grant college, as they had no college buildings ready or available.
"They had a deadline to start classes." says John Russell, Executive Director of the Gallatin Historical Society. "Well, right after it was decided that Bozeman would be the site for this college, there wasn't any place to hold classes."
Even the way that Bozeman came to have a college is interesting. Russell says, since Bozeman had failed in it's bid to become state capitol, the college was something of a consolation prize.
And 120 years later, that consolation prize has grown into a cultural and academic jewel of southwest Montana.
"It's grown a great deal, gotten much bigger," says MSU coaching legend Sonny Holland, "however it has always maintained the core values of what it's all about."
Providing good education, he says, for generations of young minds.