May 10, 2016



Bobby Anner-Hughes, Foundation Board Chair, 867-0007
Shannon Behounek, MSUB Foundation, 657-1626


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — The Board of Trustees of Montana State University Billings Foundation announced Tuesday it has hired Yellowstone County Commissioner Bill Kennedy[BROKEN LINK] to lead the organization.


He'll be the foundation's sixth top executive since its establishment in 1968, succeeding Chuck Wendt who retired in January.

A Billings West High School graduate and an Eastern Montana College alumnus, Kennedy begins his new job on August 1. He has served as Yellowstone County Commissioner since 1993.


The MSUB Foundation conducted a nationwide search for a new CEO, but found Kennedy to be the top leader with deep roots in the city, having served as commissioner for 24 years and on several local, state and national boards.


Foundation Board Chair Bobby Anner-Hughes made the announcement to a group of about 40 people during a press conference held at the foundation.


“The search committee was impressed by Bill’s commitment to and passion for MSU Billings and, in particular, his interest in increasing the impact the university has on Billings, the region and state. We believe he is the right fit for the leadership of the foundation,” Anner-Hughes said.


During an emotional address to the conference attendees, including Kennedy’s family and Billings Mayor Tom Hanel, Kennedy read aloud his letter of resignation to the county commission.

“It’s with mixed emotions but also enthusiasm that I am announcing my retirement from the Yellowstone County Board of Commissioners,” Kennedy read. “This community has become like a family to me and I am honored to haved served as your commissioner for so long.


“As an educator—what my background is in—education has been my first love. With the opportunity to grow our workforce and help our students in this community and communities across the state of Montana to achieve their lifelong goals, I’m excited to be a part of that. I am excited to once again serve our community as the new president of the Montana State University Billings Foundation.”


Kennedy received his bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Montana State University and his master’s degree in personnel and guidance from EMC.


Prior to his appointment as county commissioner, Kennedy taught seventh and eighth grades in Colstrip and K-8 grades in Billings at Billings Catholic Schools. He also served as Parish administrator for St. Thomas Church and as director of the Even Start Family Literacy Program for School District 2.


As president and CEO, Kennedy will play a key role in the overall efforts of the foundation to advance the goals of Montana State University Billings through the solicitation, investment and stewardship of financial support.


The foundation is in the midst of raising $5 million for an expanded and renovated allied health and science building that will house faculty from both the sciences and allied health professions when complete. The funding is required by the state legislature as a condition of a $10 million appropriation.


Learn more about Kennedy's career through last autumn's "Where Are They Now[BROKEN LINK]" alumni profile.


For more information about the MSU Billings Foundation please visit