|Membership level: Hall of Fame
Dr. William J. Tietz
Inductee Year 2011
|A 1945 graduate of HTHS, Bill Tietz participated in Mr. Buck's band, (lightweight) football, and the middle distances in track. After a brief stint in the Navy he enrolled at Swarthmore College receiving the BA degree in 1950. His MS degree in zoology was awarded by the University of Wisconsin following tow years of physiological research in the Arctic.
After finishing his degree at Wisconsin, Bill worked for Baxter Laboratories in Morton Grove, Illinois as a research associate.
Working with laboratory animals was the incentive to pursue training in veterinary medicine. He received his DVM from Colorado State University and then enrolled in a graduate program at Purdue University. The PhD was awarded in 1961.
Bill stayed at Perdue as an assistant professor for a brief time before returning to CSU as the head of the physiology section of a federal radiation project. At CSU there followed successive appointments as head as the department of veterinary physiology and biophysics, vice president for student and university relations and finally as dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. His team in the later position was marked by curriculum reform in veterinary medicine and the encouragement of integrated research with faculty from various disciplines including chemistry, mathematics, philosophy, engineering, and radiation biology. Veterinary technical programs were extended to a Navajo community college and to the faculty of veterinary medicine at the University of Nairobi, Kenya. The Kenya project was shared with faculty from Scotland, Norway and Germany as well as the resident faculty in Nairobi.
During a 1947 summer vacation trip Bill, with three other HTHS graduates, hiked and camped along Montana's Gallatin River. The experience spawned the desire to return to Montana and in 1977 that desire was realized when Bill was named president of Montana State University. He held that position for 13 years, retiring in 1990. During his tenure, major advancements were made in research activities. These advancements succeeded in bring research systems into the undergraduate curriculum. In addition, the university took advantage of its remarkable geographical and climatologically situation to positively influence the economic development of Montana and the region. Further, MSU took advantage of the opportunity to assist students of Native American tribal colleges to transfer to MSU and to subsequently assist those students in adjusting to an unfamiliar culture.
Recognition of Bill's efforts were expressed by the awarding of the honorary degree of Doctor Science by Perdue University, honor alumnus status by CSU and MSU and by named faculties at the later two institutions.
Bill and his wife Gwen live near the foothills outside of Bozeman, Montana.