MISSOULA – The Davidson Honors College at the University of Montana recently announced recipients of the 2024 Presidential Leadership Scholarship, the University’s most prestigious academic recognition for incoming students.

The scholars will enroll in UM’s Davidson Honors College alongside their chosen undergraduate disciplines. They will contribute to interdisciplinary scholarly and creative innovation at UM, garner personal and professional development opportunities, and enhance their leadership skills.

“These scholars chose to attend the University of Montana because of the institution’s academic reputation and the enhanced opportunities and support offered through our engaging honors community,” said Tim Nichols, the DHC dean. “We are thrilled to welcome these leaders to Missoula and UM, where they will learn, grow and make meaningful progress toward their career and life goals. They will be well-positioned for future success and will strengthen UM’s vibrant campus community.”

The Presidential Leadership Scholarship is a four-year scholarship for incoming UM students. Students’ applications and interviews are reviewed by a committee of honors faculty, students, alumni and campus partners. Student recipients are recognized for their meritorious academic achievements, demonstrated leadership skills and professional potential.

“This fall’s diverse and dynamic class of Presidential Leadership Scholars includes future scientists, physicians, journalists, lawyers, educators, business leaders and performing artists,” Nichols said. “They are valedictorians and varsity athletes, student council officers and all-state musicians. They are advocates for diversity, the environment and social justice. They already have and will continue to make a difference in their communities.”

The Presidential Leadership Scholars will enroll at UM in the fall and represent 16 states, including 15 from Montana. The Scholars are supported by many generous donors to UM and its Davidson Honors College.

Congratulations to our local 2024 UM Presidential Leadership Scholars follows:


  •  Ian Benjamin of Sunburst is interested in studying biology. He is a highly dedicated student-athlete, competing at the state level in cross-country, track, science and music. He placed fourth overall at the regional science fair, earning the Naval Research Award, Yale Science and Engineering Award and NASA Earth Systems Award. He was a senior patrol leader of Boy Scout Troop 1556. Benjamin is enthusiastic about the future of education and scientific research – especially Mars colonization.
  •  Tanner Ironpipe of Browning, is interested in studying forestry. Ironpipe is vice president of the senior class and involved in school service activities, speech and debate, and drama clubs. He is part of Upward Bound, MT AIMS and Gear UP. Additionally, Ironpipe is doing an independent study with the Blackfeet Native American Studies director of Browning Public Schools to develop a curriculum for the Blackfeet language.
  •  Victoria Newmiller of Choteau plans to major in psychology while also studying creative writing. She plans to attend graduate school for forensic psychology wants to become a published author. Newmiller has been involved in Girl Scouts since she was 5 and organizes a yearly haunted house for the younger members of her troop and her community. As a Scout, she has earned her Bronze and Silver Awards for planning and implementing community improvement projects, as well as her Silver and Gold Leadership Torch Awards. She serves as the president of National Honor Society and the secretary/treasurer of her class. She has been involved in Speech and Drama, the Science Olympiad, FCCLA and the Academic All-Star Team in her high school career. Newmiller believes strongly in giving back to her community and has volunteered in both the Backpack Buddies and Reading Buddies programs at her school, as well as served as a math tutor for middle school students. She also has been involved in various community service projects, such as food drives and highway clean-ups. Newmiller served as a Montana House of Representatives page during her junior year. In her free time, she loves to read and write.

The 43 Presidential Leadership Scholars were chosen from a competitive pool of more than 800 applicants from across North America and represent the pinnacle of academic excellence, leadership and service to the community.

- UM News Service -


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