‘Back to Business Barbecue’ emphasizes student involvement, local partnerships

ROAM Back to Business BBQ

Sept. 8, 2017

The Gallagher Building courtyard came alive Sept. 7 as the University of Montana School of Business held its first-ever Back to Business Barbecue. The event, which attracted more than 400 students, faculty, and staff members, highlighted the importance of student involvement as well as partnerships with local businesses.

“We wanted to create an event where students could engage and feel really connected to the supportive culture we’ve built in the school,” said School of Business Dean Christopher Shook. “It was wonderful seeing such a positive turnout with our whole community coming together.”

Making the event possible was a new partnership with ROAM Student Living, a mixed-use student housing project set to open in summer 2018 adjacent to Kiwanis Park in the heart of downtown Missoula.

“We are so pleased to be able to partner with the business school in a way that helps it meet its mission as we also build awareness about ROAM,” said Jim McLeod, a School of Business alum and co-founder of Farran Realty Partners, the owner and developer of ROAM. Mr. McLeod stated “ROAM will provide students with a new, safe, amenity-rich place to call home while pursuing their education at the University of Montana.”

Attendees enjoyed free food, music, lawn games, networking, and giveaways. The event also included the unveiling of the school’s new stock ticker, which streams stock updates and customized messages into the Gallagher Building lobby. Financial services company D.A. Davidson gifted the electronic sign to the school.

Speaking at the event, Frank D’Angelo, senior vice president with D.A. Davidson in Missoula, thanked UM for the opportunity to work together. The company is a consistent supporter of the University of Montana; for example, it provides business students in a senior-level investment course with $50,000 to invest in the stock market each year. Stock Ticker

“The ticker tape represents our company’s belief in the most important investment of all — the investment in students’ minds and in their education by providing up-to-date information,” said D’Angelo, a UM School of Business alum.

Public-private partnerships like the ones on display at the “Back to Business Barbecue” benefit everyone, Shook said.

“We are so grateful for the support we’ve received from these companies to help benefit our students,” he said.

Standing with fellow students at the event, Helena native and third-year business major Austin Steiner reflected on those benefits.

“This is a great event. The business school always does things in the lobby, like live music, and they have stuff like this,” she said. “This is so nice to take advantage of the good weather and free food, and it’s nice to see all the student organizations out and to get to check them all out.”