MSU Billings Foundation

The Impact of Private Support

Ed Garding: Effective Leader, Dedicated Volunteer, Generous Donor


Ed Garding’71 is a superb role model for all alumni.  Ironically, being singled out as a good example is the last thing on his mind – he avoids fanfare and quietly goes about living his values regardless of who is watching.  Since his graduation from then Eastern Montana College, Ed has been a devoted advocate for his alma mater, giving his time, talents and financial resources in equally generous measures.


Ed came to Eastern because it was affordable.  Happily, he found talented faculty, rigorous coursework, and excellent real-world preparation.  He worked while he went to school and majored in Business Administration with the goal of eventually working in the banking industry.  In 1971, he graduated, bought a suit, and went to Security Bank.  He introduced himself to the president and said, “I own one suit and I am going to put it on and visit you every Friday until you hire me.”  Two months later, he was hired as Security Bank’s first-ever management trainee.  Security Bank has since become First Interstate Bank and has expanded tremendously. Ed Garding is still there, only now as a Senior Vice-President. 



Ed Garding


Because Ed is committed to education being affordable, he has chosen to give both time and money to MSU Billings.  He has served as Chair of the College of Business Advisory Board and is currently serving on the MSU Billings Foundation Board of Trustees.  Not only does Ed believe that education changes peoples lives, he also sees how it makes Billings a better community, “I can’t think of a better economic development activity than higher education.  People come, intelligent and informed people, and this creates economic impact.” 


Ed has chosen to give his gifts to the College of Business Faculty Excellence Endowment.  These dollars supplement faculty salaries at the College of Business, allowing MSU Billings to hire highly qualified business professors.  Because this is an endowed fund, the university and the College of Business will continue to benefit from Ed’s gifts forever.  Ed also benefits by taking advantage of the Montana Tax Credit for Gifts to Endowed Philanthropy.  Ed says, “It feels good to give.  I would encourage everyone to give in relationship to their ability.  It’s not right to wait for someone else to step up or wait for the state to handle all the needs of a university.”


The Montana Tax Credit for Gifts to Endowed Philanthropy is a powerful tool to dramatically reduce your state income taxes while you help MSU Billings.  For information on the tax credit, contact the MSU Billings Foundation at 406-657-2244 (toll free: 888-430-6782) or e-mail

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