A special graduation week event, Founders' Day at Montana State University-Northern, recognizes and honors individuals who promote the ideals of service and excellence.
MSU-Northern Founders' Excellence Awards will be presented to Bob Bachini, Jim Hall and Kirk Miller. They have received outstanding recognition within their own professional fields and/or contributed to the growth and development of the campus.
The presentations will take place during the Founders' Excellence Dinner on Friday, in the Student Union Building Dining Room at 7 p.m. Tickets for the event are $17.50 a person and are available through the MSU-Northern Foundation by calling 265-3711 and must be purchased by 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Bob Bachini was born in Havre where he attended both elementary
and high school and graduated in 1952. In 1956, he married Shirley Levengood, who was a student from eastern Montana attending Northern Montana
College. He and Shirley have one daughter, Linda Miranti, and three college-age grandchildren.
In 1957, Bob began working for the Great Northern Railway, where he worked until he retired from Burlington Northern in 1995. While with the railroad, he worked as a brakeman and conductor. He served as a legislator in the Montana House of Representatives for six terms from 1982 to 1995, where he was a strong supporter of education. He was the chairman of House Business and Industry Committee for one term and the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee for one term. Bachini currently serves as a legislative lobbyist in Helena for several trade associations. He also does voluntary lobbying for senior citizen groups and MSU-Northern.
One of Bachini's interests is the development of academic and vocational programs at MSU-Northern, and he became involved in fundraising for the college and served as a Foundation trustee. He has always been an active supporter of Northern.
Jim Hall was born in Golden Valley
County, northwest of Billings. His parents moved to Havre when he was a child. Jim grew up and was educated in Havre, where he graduated from high
school in 1952. After attending Northern Montana College for two years, where he majored in business administration, he attended the University of Montana for one year. In 1957, he married Helen Pankratz, whom he met at Northern. He and Helen had three children, two of which attended Northern.
After school and during the summer, Hall spent time working in the auto parts business. Eventually these jobs led him to being chosen president of Valley Motor Supply and Motor Parts Warehouse. He oversaw 34 Valley Motor Stores in Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota. In the 1980s, the Halls moved to Billings, where Jim was the head of purchasing for Carquest Auto Parts stores, which he continued to do until 1990. He then retired after 46 years of work in the automotive parts business.
Hall was a member of the NMC Booster Club, selling advertisements and working during basketball tournaments. He spent time working with instructors and students during VICA contests held at Northern, which brings students from all over Montana and introduces them to Northern. He and Helen have established an automotive scholarship for upper classmen.
Kirk Miller, Ph.D., is a professional educator serving the students of Montana for the past 25 years as a teacher, coach, and administrator. He has been a member of the Montana Board of Public Education since appointed by Gov. Racicot in 1995. In 2002, he was reappointed to the board for a second
seven-year term by Gov. Judy Martz. He was elected Chairman of the Board in 1999 and continues to serve in that role. Miller is currently the superin-
tendent of Havre Public Schools, serving the Havre community since 1996. He began his education career as a seventh grade math teacher at Livingston Jr. High in 1981. Miller earned his mathematics and chemistry education degree from Northern, a masters from MSU-Bozeman, and a doctorate from MSU-Bozeman.
Miller has been a member of the Northern Montana Health Care Corporate board of directors, the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors, and the Local Emergency Planning Committee for Havre and Hill County. He served as president of the Northern Montana College Alumni Association from 1985 to 1990. He is one of the founding directors of the Havre Public Schools Education Foundation.
Miller married Nancy Clawson and together they reside in Havre and have three children. He is committed to serving the citizens and students of Montana in both the public school environment and through his work on the state Board of Education.