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Dan Spencer x͏ʷic̓ɫt Land Honoring Scholarship

Raised toward our $29,000 Goal
47 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on June 30, at 11:55 PM MDT
Project Owners

Dan Spencer X͏ʷic̓ɫt Land Honoring Scholarship in Honor of Agnes Vanderburg

YOU DID IT! Thanks to you and your support of Dan Spencer, we were able to inspire over $30,000 in private funds to bring the Dan Spencer Land Honoring Scholarship past our endowment goal to ensure it can support students in perpetuity! 


Update 5/20/2022 


We are amazed and eternally grateful for the support this crowdfunding project has received from across the country in honor of the beloved Dan Spencer. Generously, Dan's college roommate has pledged an additional $10,000 match. All gifts made between now and June 30th will be matched dollar for dollar up to a total of $10,000. Thank you again for your commitment and support as we work to bring the Dan Spencer  X͏ʷic̓ɫt Land Honoring Scholarship in Honor of Agnes Vanderburg to endowment level! 


After more than 20 years of service to the University of Montana, its Environmental Studies program, and the Davidson Honors College, Dr. Dan Spencer is retiring. To honor Dan's legacy at UM, a scholarship has been established to support student field experiences relating to the environment and Native American issues - the Dan Spencer x͏ʷic̓ɫt Land Honoring Scholarship in Honor of Agnes Vanderburg. This scholarship will support students in the Davidson Honors College who are involved in field studies and honor the work that Dan and Agnes did to give back to the land. 

Dan spent much of his career taking students into the field to gain first-hand experience with the land and its inhabitants on issues related to ecological integrity, sustainable development, and climate justice. As a practitioner and ethicist of ecological restoration, and as a former geology field instructor for the Wild Rockies Field Institute, Dan has helped students develop their own land ethic and respect for the original inhabitants of these lands. This scholarship also honors Agnes Vanderburg – a Salish tribal elder who was devoted to passing on her people’s language and culture to future generations. Agnes taught several generations of young people and adults, both indigenous and non-native, traditional Salish ways of living respectfully with the land, and was committed to a life ethic based on reciprocity between the land and its indigenous inhabitants.

Dan has worked closely with tribal community members to ensure this award is made in a culturally appropriate and respectful manner. x͏ʷic̓ɫt is the Salish word for giving something to someone. In this case, it recognizes the gift of the land that makes field studies possible, and is a form of reciprocity to honor and give back to the land, while also recognizing the original indigenous members of the land.

We invite you to make a gift that will help us to endow the scholarship, thus providing support for transformative student field-based learning experiences in perpetuity and continuing the inspiring impacts of Dan and Agnes for generations to come.

Please contact Alex Rich with any questions by email at