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Jesperson honored at MSU


November 30, 2018

courtesy photo

Robert Jesperson and family members pose for a picture after his induction into the Academy of Distinguished Alumni at MSU in October.

Ekalaka native Robert Jesperson was recently honored during this year's homecoming at Montana State University by receiving the Alumni Achievement Award. In addition to the award, Jesperson was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Alumni at MSU.

Jesperson graduated from Carter County High School in 1966 and worked in the oilfield near Belgrade, Baker, Bowman, North Dakota and other locations to pay his way through college. He graduated from MSU with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1971. A chance encounter while on a fishing trip in Colorado where he admittedly "got caught fishing where [he] wasn't supposed to," led to a job with Meredith Drilling Company.

Within a few years, he had been promoted to CEO. In 1984 he partnered with a utility company for construction of high-voltage transmission lines. After three years, he traveled to Israel and worked as a consultant with the Israeli government on the Maor David Generating Station. Interestingly enough, when he first arrived in Israel he ran into another CCHS graduate, Mark Gundlach, who happened to be working on the same project.

Then, in 1988, Jesperson founded Evergreen Caissons, Inc., (ECI) which constructs foundations for high voltage transmission lines and substations. His education, hard work and knowledge of the region has resulted in the firm's ability to construct foundations throughout the Rocky Mountain West and beyond.

"We've worked all over this side of the big river," he said. ECI has spent time working in the Dakotas, Texas, Oklahoma and even on a bridge in Puerto Rico. The company designs and fabricates many of its own tools.

Jesperson's wife, Sylvia, and daughters are also very active in the company. They reside primarily in Denver but also spend time at their property near Whitefish. Jesperson is currently on the engineering advisory council at MSU, a position he has held for over six years. He also finds satisfaction in his work with Engineers Without Borders, an organization that he deeply respects and that they continually support. Engineers Without Borders serves the needs of disadvantaged communities and people through engineering projects across the globe.

"Every student I talk to says it is the best experience they had while going to college," he said. "It's such a good thing."

Jesperson said that he was told about the award a few months ahead of time and that he was very surprised to get it.

"They usually only give out three or four a year to graduates that are still involved with the university. It's nice that they could recognize someone who is from such a small community."

courtesy photo

Robert Jesperson was recently honored during this year's homecoming at Montana State University.

About the award

Each year, the Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering identifies a select group of Alumni who have distinguished themselves professionally and have a record of exemplary service to the community and/or Montana State University to be inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Alumni. These individuals also receive the Montana State University Alumni Achievement Award.

The Honorary Alumni Award recognizes individuals whose extraordinary service has advanced the college or MSU and has made significant and lasting contributions to the University. The honoree's professional, personal, civic and philanthropic pursuits must reflect the high standards and values associated with Montana State University, the MSU Alumni Association and higher education.


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