President Wilmouth hopes for improvements to The Fortin Education Center, article by Editor-in-Chief Riley Howard

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Rocky Mountain College’s Fortin Education Center. Photo courtesy of Rocky.edu.

Rocky Mountain College’s Fortin Education Center. Photo courtesy of Rocky.edu.

“A culture of mediocrity,” this phrase has been a topic of discussion in Montana for the last week, since Glendive High School boy’s basketball coach, Wade Murphy, sent an email that went viral on social media outlets around the country. The email described “a culture of mediocrity” as the reason for an unsuccessful athletic program.

One of the reasons the email went viral was that many people felt like they could relate. One of these people was Bob Wilmouth, President of Rocky Mountain College.

Wilmouth explained that he feels positive about the direction of the college, but that he plans to continue to focus on his goal of improving the experience of the students.

Since Wilmouth became President of Rocky Mountain College in 2013, he has made many improvements to the college. The most recent have been the ongoing construction of the new Laboratory Science Building and improvements to Herb Klindt Field that included a turf field and lights. These projects were largely funded by donors and were the product of thousands of hours of work by countless employees at Rocky.

Even with this success, Wilmouth says that he can relate to the idea of a culture of mediocrity.

“We need to, at the least, meet the expectations of our students, and the expectation is that they will have a nice place to go work out. We don’t have that. Some people would call that mediocrity.”

Wilmouth went on to note the importance of the Fortin Education Center to the Billings Community.

“The other thing about the Fortin Center is it’s also how we relate to the community. It’s used by a tremendous amount of people in the community. The people of Billings have been wonderful to Rocky Mountain College for the last couple of years, I’ve really seen that. Rocky Mountain College is at every table, it has been invited to all sorts of discussions, and it now has a voice in the community and a pretty powerful one at that. But, we’ve got to have reciprocal accountability to the community. It has got to work both ways. Fortin is the community’s home, not just our home, and I don’t believe that we are servicing the community well.”

Wilmouth explained that the college is in the beginning stages of planning for improvements to The Fortin Center.

“We have a plan; it’s in its initial stages. It’s important for everyone to know that we are not going to neglect it, but it’s going to require a tremendous amount of resource to match the ambition that we have for the building. So my message is that it’s coming, and I’m a little bit apologetic in the fact that the building has deteriorated.”

Wilmouth concluded by thanking the members of the Rocky Community for their support and patience.

“We appreciate the community’s patience with us with respect to the Fortin Center. As I said before, we are all about reciprocal accountability. The community has expectations of us that we have to meet, and we’re not doing that with the Fortin Center.”

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