University of Montana alumnus Jim Hilleboe has signed a $1.5 million bequest to be used for athletic facility improvements after his death.

Hilleboe, a 1967 graduate, used his degree in business, along with his experience working in construction to found Hilleboe Construction in Billings, and has been building his business from the late 1960's until today.

University of Montana Assistant Athletic Director for Development Dan Ingram said the funds will be available after Hilleboe's death to be used for whatever facilities the athletic department needs at that time.

"These are funds that will go towards the greatest need," Ingram said. "As an estate gift we don't know when that time will be, hopefully not for a very long time, there will be $1.5 million that will be greatly appreciated by the athletic department, due to Jim's generosity and forethought."

Current needs in the athletic department include the design and construction of a new $1.5 million softball complex.

"The new softball complex project goes before the Board of Regents tomorrow, (Friday, May 23) for approval," Ingram said. "It will go out at our south campus fields right next to where our current soccer facility is located. That's going to be a great addition as we start our very first softball season next year."

The university will also be starting the new academic center to be located between the current recreation center and the Hoyt Athletic Center complex.

"Along with the softball complex and the academic center in the fold, our main focus right now is on our new weight room and and locker room facility," Ingram said. "It'll be a weight room for all of our student athletes a new football locker room which is sorely needed."

“We certainly appreciate Jim’s willingness to step up and make a provision in his estate to help support us in our ongoing need for facility improvements,” UM Director of Athletics Kent Haslam said.

“There is no way we could function without such valuable private support, and estate planning is certainly a key part of the long-term success of our department. It’s a way people can support us and leave a legacy long after they’ve passed away.”

University of Montana Assistant Athletic Director for Development Dan Ingram

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