MSU Receives Largest Donation in History - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

MSU Receives Largest Donation in History

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BOZEMAN -

Montana State University and the College of Engineering receive the largest donation in the school's history at $50 million.

The donation comes from multi-digit millionaire and MSU alumni Norman Asbjornson-- the founder, president and CEO of AAON, a Tulsa, Okla.-based heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) manufacturer with annual sales of $280 million and which is traded on the NASDAQ.

MSU President Waded Cruzado says the school will be opening the Norm Asbjornson Innovative Center, an innovative laboratory and classroom facility.

Asbjornson, 77, is originally from Winifred, Mont. and received a mechanical engineering degree from MSU in 1960.

The record-breaking donation is not the first act altruism Asbjornson has shown to MSU.

In 2003, Asbjornson endowed a $1 million scholarship fund for graduates from Montana high schools with 100 or fewer students. He also has created an endowed scholarship specifically for graduates of Winifred High School who attend MSU, and created an endowment for the Burns Technology Center to develop innovative distance learning programs for rural Montana schools.

In 2006, he gave more than $600,000 in cash, equipment and technical advice to create a one-of-a-kind HVAC laboratory in MSU's College of Engineering.

AAON gives research grants to the College of Engineering on a continuing basis.

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