The University of Montana on Thursday afternoon dedicated its newest campus building, the Harold and Priscilla Gilkey Building, which will house the Global Leadership Initiative and the UM Foundation.

Retiring head of the UM Business School, Dean Larry Gianchetta, said the building was over 11 years in the planning and construction.

Larry Gianchetta

"The Gilkey's actually started a lecture series that they endowed," Gianchetta began, "That series has always been talked about as being a precursor to a facility to house an initiative that could bring in leaders from all over the world, so this is the building that will house a center for leadership, entrepreneurship and executive education."

Gianchetta said the fundraising began before the recession of 2008, and took a few years to gather all the necessary funds.

"It's just under $9 million, and it took from 2007 when the recession hit, about 10 years to raise all the private funding."

Gilkeys

Harold and Priscilla Gilkey said they were proud and humbled to have a building named in their honor, after making a generous gift to support the project. Both were proud to be UM alumni.

"We're both graduates from here," Gilkey said, blinking back tears. "And to look up and see your name, it gives you a little pride. It takes us back to the humble stage when we were students here."

Priscilla Gilkey spoke of their Montana roots.

"We were both born and raised in Montana," she said. "We've always been so proud of Montana, and we just feel blessed that we were able to give something back to the University of Montana where we got our good, solid education."

Both the Gilkeys were 1962 graduates of the University of Montana.