September 18, 2018 by asmeltz

Jim and Wanda Hollensteiner Donate $1 Million to FVCC College Center Project

Longtime Rollins residents Jim and Wanda Hollensteiner have donated $1 million to support the development of an art and exhibition gallery in the new College Center on Flathead Valley Community College’s Kalispell campus. The College Center is part of FVCC’s ONE Campaign, a privately funded philanthropic effort to better serve students and the community with the addition of new spaces for learning, creativity and innovation.

“The generosity of Jim and Wanda Hollensteiner will provide endless opportunities to our students and the community,” FVCC President Jane Karas said. “This special space will allow FVCC to exhibit local, regional and national art.”

In addition to the Wanda Hollensteiner Gallery, the 50,000-square-foot College Center will include a large performance and lecture hall, a multi-purpose activity complex with two full basketball courts and an outdoor amphitheater. Construction of the College Center will begin in the spring of 2019 with plans to open the facility in the fall of 2020.

The Wanda Hollensteiner Gallery is the second art gallery to be named in honor of Wanda Hollensteiner, a dedicated patron of the arts, accomplished pianist since age 5 and a piano teacher for 35 years. The Wanda Peterson Hollensteiner Gallery at Wanda’s alma mater, Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin, is home to a collection of noteworthy paintings, including several Middle Age masterpieces that have been restored over the past decade thanks to the generosity of the Hollensteiners.

“Education has always been an important part of our family activities,” Jim Hollensteiner said. “We have followed the evolution of Flathead Valley Community College from year one.” FVCC founders Owen Sowerine and Bill McClaren, as well as FVCC’s first president, Larry Blake, were close friends of the Hollensteiner family.

“We are very pleased to do this,” Wanda Hollensteiner said. “Our family has always been close to Kalispell.”

The Hollensteiners will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary in December. They have five children and eight grandchildren and reside for part of the year on the Flathead Lake property that has been in their family for six decades.

Jim Hollensteiner’s great grandparents arrived in the Flathead Valley in the 1880s as one of the valley’s pioneer families. His grandmother’s brothers were the first brick masons in the valley and made and laid the bricks for a number of historic downtown Kalispell buildings, including Central School.

In addition to the College Center, the ONE Campaign includes the construction of a new Library & Learning Commons adjacent to the existing Rebecca Chaney Broussard Center for Nursing and Health Science. FVCC broke ground on the Library & Learning Commons this summer with plans to open the facility in the spring of 2019.

The Hollensteiners’ $1 million gift is the latest in a series of large gifts pledged to the ONE Campaign from families and individuals who are connected to FVCC and the community, including $2.5 million from the Broussard family, $4 million from Paul Wachholz, $2 million from Al and Lisa Stinson and $2.5 million from an anonymous donor. To date, approximately $16 million has been raised toward the campaign’s $18 million goal.

For more information about the ONE Campaign or to make a charitable gift in support of the campaign, visit www.fvcc.edu/one or contact FVCC Foundation Executive Director Colleen Unterreiner at (406) 756-3914 or colleenu@fvcc.edu.