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$31 million gift for scholarships to Montana Tech from Ryan and Lisa Lance
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$31 million gift for scholarships to Montana Tech from Ryan and Lisa Lance

$31,000,000 is the biggest donation ever given to Montana Tech in its history, and with the success of the basketball team, recent Goldwater scholarships, and this generous donation, you’ve got to ask if 2023 is turning out to be a banner year for this small Butte university.

Montana Tech alum Ryan Lance and his wife Lisa gifted the massive sum to go to educational programs, research, workforce training, and scholarships for Montana students. The Lance Scholarship will offer Montana students a four-year, $4,000-per-year scholarship.

Ryan M. Lance has served as chairman and chief executive officer of ConocoPhillips, the world’s largest independent exploration and production company, since 2012.

Ryan is a petroleum engineer with 39 years of oil and natural gas industry experience in senior management and technical positions with ConocoPhillips, predecessor Phillips Petroleum and various divisions of ARCO.

His past ConocoPhillips executive assignments included responsibility for international exploration and production, regional responsibility at various times for Asia, Africa, the Middle East and North America, and responsibility for technology, major projects, downstream strategy, integration and specialty functions.

Externally, Ryan is a board member of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and a trustee of both the George H.W. Bush Library Foundation and PGA Reach. He is also an advocate for charities benefiting youth through his service on the board of Spindletop International.

He is a former chairman of the American Petroleum Institute currently serving on its Executive Committee, and currently chairs the National Petroleum Council’s Agenda Committee.

Ryan is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in petroleum engineering from Montana Technological University in Butte in 1984.

Associated Students of Montana Tech President Kylie Godfrey said, “The scholarship is a gift that will allow Montana students to study, learn and grow with less worry of the financial burdens that come with the cost of a higher education.”

The Lances spoke over a video call during the event. Ryan Lance is a 1984 graduate who went on to become CEO of ConocoPhillips. Montana Tech will rename its School of Mines and Engineering to Lance College of Mines and Engineering.

“With Ryan and Lisa’s gift, we will join the most elite engineering colleges in the country,” said Cook.

The money will also create an endowed Energy Chair to lead Tech in the future of energy, environment, and sustainability projects.

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