James "Jim" A. Parke $2 Million Dollar Bequest Announced




To say that Jim Parke’s bequest to the Glasgow High School Educational Trust is a generous gift from a generous individual is a serious understatement. It is so much more. It is a reflection of a life defined not only by intellectual and professional excellence, but also by an abiding faith, loyalty, and concern for others that guided his every move, from his earliest days in a small town on the Montana prairie to the pillars of the American and international business world in his career to his active and philanthropic retirement.

James “Jim” A. Parke began life in Glasgow, Montana, the son of Arthur and Audrey Parke, a banker and the city-county treasurer, respectively. His values were acquired early from his devoted and loving parents and shared with his younger sister Ardis, who both adored and delighted him. The feeling was mutual. His participation at First Lutheran Church in study and worship, in Boy Scouts, earning the rank of Eagle Scout, in Key Club, serving as Montana’s Governor, and in football, playing quarterback and serving as co-captain, all helped cement his values and displayed and developed his leadership potential. He graduated from Glasgow High School with the class of 1964 and retained and nurtured the friendships he formed there throughout his lifetime.

He continued his education and honed his leadership skills at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, serving as student body president and graduating in 1968 with a triple major in economics, political science, and history. He later became a generous supporter of the college, both financially and with his professional guidance, serving on the Board of Regents and other councils, where his expertise and sound judgment were deeply appreciated. In 2017, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Concordia and delivered the commencement address. It was revealing that at the conclusion of his address, Jim Parke, then battling stage-IV lung cancer, raised his fist up high and in a strong voice recited Concordia’s motto: “Soli Deo Gloria”—Glory to God alone.

Jim Parke began a 37-year career with General Electric Company following his graduation from Concordia College. His financial acumen, hard work, collaborative style, and high ethical standards propelled him through various enterprises within GE’s global interests, resulting in his rise to the highest level of management in GE. He retired from GE as Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer of GE Capital Services and Senior Vice President of General Electric Company in 2005.

True to his nature, after his retirement, Jim remained actively engaged in improving the lives of others by enhancing financial services and promoting educational opportunities. He served as a director of Genworth Financial for 14 years and as a director of First Community Bancorp in Glasgow, where his father and his wife, Marilyn Sellers Parke, had worked decades before. For 27 years, Jim served on the Board of Directors of buildON, a nonprofit that builds and operates schools in impoverished areas of underdeveloped nations. On his passing in 2018, a school in Delva, Haiti, was built in his name.

Through all of his successful endeavors, Jim moved with a humility and humor that made him a cherished friend and beloved family member. Taking time for recreation was essential to him and experiencing other cultures through his extensive travel was a priority and a joy. It is clear by his gift to the Glasgow High School Educational Trust, however, that no matter where he went or what he achieved, he still loved his home town and wanted to help its students to a brighter future.

The Glasgow High School Educational Trust was established in 1964 by the Glasgow High School Class of 1938. Gifts of cash, stock, and real estate from supporters across the nation have grown the corpus of the trust to over $7.9 million dollars. Interest earned on its investments is awarded to eligible applicants through a semi-annual process administered by the trustees. Application deadlines are July 1st and October 15th of each year.

All Glasgow High School graduates who have completed one year of college or one semester of trade school, are in good academic standing, attending full-time (12 semester credits minimum) either on campus or online, and showing steady progress toward completion of a degree or certification are encouraged to apply. The application, which lists additional requirements that must be met, is available at It must be completed properly, thoroughly, and submitted on time to be considered. Financial need has always been a primary consideration; therefore, the trust has established levels of support to meet students’ diverse needs, and it distributes the funds available accordingly.

Students may reapply for additional aid for a total of eight semesters if they meet all of the eligibility requirements. To date, the trust has made 2,397 awards to 734 different students totaling $2,309,500.00. The trust has also made 122 awards to Glasgow High School providing enrichment activities and advanced equipment to every department. The dollar value of these gifts totals $247,779.09.

Whenever the trust receives donations that total $500 in the name of a particular individual, a gift is given to a student or to Glasgow High School in honor, memory, or recognition of that person. Gifts of $10,000 or more in the name of a particular individual allow for an annual naming opportunity.

James “Jim” A. Parke led an extraordinary life. It serves as an inspiration to all students to dream big, work hard, stay true to themselves and their values, and serve others. The Glasgow High School Educational Trust is honored to include the first gift in memory of Jim with those recently awarded for the 2019-2020 school year.

First Time Recipients: Alexander Fransen, Dickinson State University, IMO Harold H. & Irene W. Smith (fall semester) IMO Harry Rybock (spring semester); McKenna Gagne, Minot State University, IMO Class of 1969 (fall semester) IHO Stan Andersen Family (spring semester); Bailee Holstein, MSU-Bozeman, IMO Leonard H. & Kathryn L. Langen (fall semester) IMO Ronald A. Combs (spring semester); Jesi Kennedy, Montana Tech–U of M, IHO Dorothy Kolstad (fall semester) IMO Vern & Edna Richardson (spring semester); Kaylee King, ND State University, IMO Leonard A. & Margery A. Bollinger (fall semester) IMO Maxine Fiedler (spring semester); Madison Knodel, MSU-Bozeman, IMO Lois Wilson Markle (fall semester) IMO Lois Wilson Markle (spring semester); Sophia Koessl, MSU-Bozeman, IHO Class of 1978 (fall semester) IMO Horace O. & Emma C. Gamas (spring semester); Sarah Law, Miles Community College, IHO Everett & Elizabeth Breigenzer (fall semester) IMO Marsha Cotton Hall (spring semester);

Bryce Legare, MSU-Bozeman, IHO James & Ailene Dokken Olk Family (fall semester) IMO James “Jamie” K. Fewer (spring semester); Benjamin Phillips, ND State University, IMO Steven “Steve” C. Bell (fall semester) IMO Arthur & Audrey Parke (spring semester); Deann Rasmusan, Minot State University, IMO Ardis Parke Fuhrman (fall semester) IMO James F. & Anne Hoffmann (spring semester); Alexis Stahl, MSU-Billings, IMO Kathleen “Kathy” Logan Block (fall semester) IMO Gary & Idella Mott (spring semester).

Second Time Recipients: Kiauna Barsad, Rocky Mountain College, IHO Bill & Peggy Pattison Endowment (fall semester) IRO Herb & Lucille Friedl Family (spring semester); Luke Breigenzer, MSU-Bozeman, IMO James “Jim” A. Parke (fall semester) IMO James “Jim” A. Parke (spring semester); Des’Rea Dible, Arizona State University, IHO Gayle Wagenhals Sage (fall semester) IMO Hovland Family (spring semester); Teagan Fossum, University of Mary, IMO Curtis “Curt” Wesen (fall semester) IMO Cecil & Chloe Toftness (spring semester); Khloe Krumwiede, University of North Dakota, IMO Dean Rusher (fall semester) IRO Leroy & Bess Lockwood Family (spring semester); Jordan Kulczyk, Williston State College, IMO Verda Hoffarth Stewart (fall semester) IRO Stannebein Family (spring semester); Taylor Padden, MSU-Bozeman, IMO O. E. & Lois Wilson Markle (fall semester) IMO O.E. & Lois Wilson Markle (spring semester).

Third Time Recipients: Andrea Hansen, MSU-Bozeman, IHO Sever & Esther Enkerud (fall semester) IRO John & Catherine Etchart Family (spring semester); Karissa Liebelt, ND State University, IHO Beryl Pehlke (fall semester) IRO Paul & Joyce Ruffcorn Jacobson (spring semester); Jacob Page, U. of Montana, IMO Dr. F. M. & Bernice Knierim (fall semester) IMO Lila M. Sanders & IHO Phyllis Moen Sanguine (spring semester); Brett See, MSU-Bozeman, IHO Charlotte Bruce (fall semester) IRO Willard & Charlotte Bruce Family (spring semester); Alexa Shipp, MSU-Billings, IMO Karen D. Newton (fall semester) IRO Beatrice Trites & Family (spring semester); Alexandrea Simensen, MSU-Bozeman, IMO Donald J. “Don” Baker (fall semester) IMO Donald J. “Don” Baker (spring semester); Kendra Vaugh, MSU-Billings, IMO L. J. & Jean Baker (fall semester) IRO Glenn R. & Carolee Grina Wallem (spring semester).

Fourth Time Recipient: Kaleb Cole, MSU-Bozeman, IMO Aaron “Chappy” Chatten (fall semester) IMO Wallace L. Johnson (spring semester).

The following equipment was also purchased for Glasgow High School:

GBC Heatseal Ultima 65 Roll Laminator, IMO Robert “Bob” E. Rennick, Jr. , for the Library ;

Boomerang Collaborate Desks, IRO Ione & Phyllis Kleppin, for the Social Studies Department;

Framing Saw, IRO Tom & Flora Coghlan Family, for the Industrial Technology Department.