Join us at Homecoming in celebration of these terrific alumni and friends of MSU!
We're honoring Leaders & Legends this fall at Homecoming (October 4-5). In addition to our traditional Blue & Gold Award, we'll be recognizing a distinguished professor, distinguished staff member, alum of achievement, and honorary alum in each college. Do you know a person who has demonstrated great lifetime service to MSU? Or maybe you know an outstanding professor, staff member, alum or friend of MSU who deserves recognition. The deadline for all 2013 Homecoming award nominations is May 15, 2013. Please click here for more information and to download the nomination packet.
2012 recipients of the Blue & Gold Award
Todd Eliason, Class of 1974, Business. After graduating from Montana State University in 1974 with a commerce degree and a short stint at a bank in Great Falls Todd Eliason left Montana and had a robust career in the telecommunications industry, working for GTE (now Verizon), GTE TSI (now Syniverse), Contel Cellular and Watchmark. In 2004, he formed Rock Creek Associates, a consulting and investment business primarily involved in early stage business planning and preparation for private financing. In 2007, Eliason returned to Bozeman. Since his return, he has embraced all that the MSU community has to offer and has jumped in with both feet.
Eliason is a frequent guest lecturer on campus, serves on President Cruzado’s Blue and Gold Marketing Commission, is a Leadership Institute Advisory Board member and has participated in the MSU Sustainability Campaign. Eliason also serves on the College of Business Advisory Board, is a member of the Sigma Nu Fraternity Alumni Advisory Board and served on the IFC expansion task force, through the Dean of Students’ Office. His former leadership roles have also included being a member and chair of the MSU Alumni Association Board of Directors, a major player in the creation of Alumni Plaza, as well as a leader in the dedication of the Alumni Legacy Lounge in the SUB. He has served on three search committees for our university including that for the assistant dean of students, the dean of the College of Business, as well as the presidential search committee that resulted in the hiring of President Cruzado.
Eliason is a generous donor to MSU, consistently earmarking monies for individual colleges and alumni projects, as well as for the EZ Campaign. He is also a generous host, inviting friends and fans to his customized motorhome tailgate every home football game.
Eliason is a member of the Sunrise Rotary Club in Bozeman, is a Big Sky Mountain Host, as well as an accomplished marathon runner. His service and leadership stem from his college days when Eliason was a Fang, a leader in Sigma Nu fraternity, High School Week chair, Homecoming Chair and on ASMSU’s Finance Board. Todd was also as a member of Septemviri, which designated MSU’s top seven students.
Eliason was arguably “born a Bobcat,” as his father, Leonard Eliason, was class of 1936 and was a campus leader as well. Brothers Monte, Kim and Lon Eliason also attended and graduated from MSU. The Eliason family was raised in Deer Lodge, Montana.
Eliason is married to MSU alumna Arlene (Williams), Class of ’77, Home Ec. They have two children; Marcus and Amy.
Thomas (Tom) Parac, MSC Class of 1954, Secondary Education grew up in Lewistown, Montana and attended Montana State College, where he was a star quarterback and basketball guard for the Bobcats. He earned all-conference honors in both sports and lettered in baseball as well. Parac graduated from Montana State in 1955 with a degree in secondary education, then moved to Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, where he served in the U.S. Army. After returning to Montana he pursued a master’s degree in education administration and earned his degree from Montana State in 1967. Parac’s master’s thesis was a computerized football scouting analysis that was one of the first of its kind. His thesis was used by the Dallas Cowboys to computerize their scouting system. They were the first professional team to do so.
Parac served as an assistant football coach at Montana State shortly after graduation and then became the freshman team coach for the Bobcats. He was elevated to varsity backfield coach in 1958, then named first assistant coach in 1963. Parac became MSU’s 23rd head football coach in 1968, a year in which the Bobcats earned a share of the Big Sky Conference title. After a successful and respectful tenure of coaching, Parac was named director of athletics at Montana State in 1971, a position he held until 1985. Parac hired Sonny Holland to succeed him as the head football coach, which turned out to be an incredibly successful hire.
Parac developed a close rapport with MSU students, faculty, staff, alumni and fans alike. He was a driving force in the construction of MSU’s Reno H. Sales Stadium, now Bobcat Stadium, one of the greatest venues in the Football Championship Subdivision. Tom was instrumental in the first remodel of Brick Breeden Fieldhouse and credited with much growth and prosperity of MSU’s Athletic Scholarship Association, now the Bobcat Club.
Parac has been part of the Bozeman business community for over two decades. He was a licensed real estate agent with Century 21 Summit Realty for a number of years, where he was named to the Million Dollar Sales Club. Parac and his wife Arty (Foster) owned Bozeman’s Bargain Mart in the 1980s and they currently own Falcon Storage.
Parac is a past president of the Bozeman Noon Rotary Club, and had the opportunity to represent his local chapter at the Rotary International Convention in Seoul, South Korea. In 1992, he was named Rotarian of the Year for outstanding service to the community and to Rotary.
From student to student-athlete, to coach, to administrator, Tom Parac has served in all capacities unselfishly his entire life, and helps to illustrate his commitment and passion for Montana State University and the Bobcats.