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$50 million gift from Greg and Susan Gianforte for school of computing
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$50 million gift from Greg and Susan Gianforte for school of computing

Montana State University will break ground this month on a new building, Gianforte Hall, that will house the Gianforte School of Computing.

The three-story building was made possible by a $50 million gift from the Gianforte Family Foundation and is expected to open in 2026.

“I am grateful for the generosity of the Gianforte Family Foundation and for the opportunities this new facility will create for students,” said MSU President Waded Cruzado in a statement.

The building will have two large classrooms and laboratories dedicated to robotics, cybersecurity, augmented and virtual reality, data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and video and audio production studios, according to MSU.

Gianforte Hall will be designed to target a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, silver certification for sustainability. It will be MSU’s first mass timber structure, a sustainable choice of materials, according to the university.

The groundbreaking will take place from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, adjacent to Norm Asbjornson Hall and MSU’s parking garage. Gov. Greg Gianforte and MSU administrators will attend.

Naming the building after the Gianforte family was controversial in 2022 because Board of Regents policy typically prohibits naming gifts for people employed by the state, and Gianforte’s term as governor is 2021-2024.

However, the Regents said the policy allows exceptions for gifts that merit recognition and for “extenuating circumstances,” and the $50 million donation was tied for second largest in MSU history.

Greg and his wife Susan were married in 1988 and have called Bozeman home since 1995. They are parents to three boys and a girl whom they raised in Montana. Greg is a serial entrepreneur and has mentored hundreds of Montana entrepreneurs.

Greg Gianforte founded RightNow Technologies in Bozeman in 1997, which grew to more than 1,100 employees worldwide. RightNow was the largest commercial employer in Bozeman and the only publicly traded technology company headquartered in Montana before being purchased by Oracle in 2012. Greg has served on numerous local, national, public, private, for-profit and not-for profit boards.

In 2017 Greg was elected to the U.S. Congress as the sole representative for Montana, returning to Montana each weekend from Washington, DC to visit with neighbors and constituents throughout the state. He successfully ran for Governor of Montana in 2020 and was sworn in on January 4, 2021. Greg is proud and humbled to serve Montanans in this role.  He is an avid sportsman and loves to cook.


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