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Rocky's Renaissance: The little college that could

By Jeff Welsch | Posted: February 17, 2017: Source  


Bob Wilmouth, president of Rocky Mountain College. Photo: Larry Mayer, Gazette Staff 

On any given day, the man presiding over unprecedented prosperity at Rocky Mountain College could be sporting a trendy and spendy Hugo Boss suit or a well-laundered hoodie with old-school Chuck Taylor high-top sneakers. 

Though Bob Wilmouth initially was leaning toward the latter on this wintry December day, his wife, Liz, persuaded him to seek middle ground to something a little more, well, presidential: An overcoat with scarf, pressed slacks, white button-down shirt and dress shoes.

“Notice I bagged the tie,” Wilmouth said with a chuckle.


The tie isn’t all Wilmouth bags during a 45-minute conversation in Prescott Hall about the former heart surgeon’s unlikely three-year tenure as president of Rocky -- and the small, private liberal arts school’s subsequent surge even as Montana State University Billings, its public neighbor a mile to the east on Rimrock Road, struggles.

Forget carefully scripted and wonky talking points provided by communications specialists. Forget the president looking and acting, well, presidential.

“There are many challenges in my position,” Wilmouth said, “and one of them is I’ve got to act more presidential. Right?”

Well, if it ain’t broke…

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