Montana State University has announced a $3 million gift from alumnus Norm Asbjornson in support of a master's program designed to help recent graduates develop the professional skills needed to succeed in their careers.
The gift will provide support for a new Master of Science in Innovation and Management program and assist students with tuition and other costs. Designed to provide professionals starting their careers with skills that make them more effective as leaders, innovators, and team members, the one-year, non-thesis program is open to recent graduates with any degree but will be targeted to graduates with a STEM degree.
Asbjornson is the founder and president of AAON, a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning manufacturer based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A loyal supporter of the university, he previously provided gifts to MSU to establish the Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering and fund other campus priorities.
"To say that this program would have benefitted me would be an understatement," said Asbjornson. "All too often in industry, we face a significant gap in our search for talent — those with technical backgrounds [need] the expertise to bring a great idea to market, while those with business backgrounds need a stronger grasp of the technologies that drive innovation. The Master of Science in innovation and management will help close this gap."
(Photo credit: Montana State)