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UMW Road Scholar Instructor Recognized for Dedication to Education

April 30, 2019

Lee Harry, Road Scholar instructor through the University of Montana Western’s School of Outreach, was featured in the March 2019 Road Scholar Newsletter for his commitment and passion to lifelong education through the outdoors and UMW. Harry first got involved with Road Scholar programs about 12 years ago due to his interest in teaching others about nature and the great outdoors.

Road Scholar was founded in 1975 as Elderhostel, a not-for-profit education organization focused on learning by experiencing the world. Road Scholar’s mission is as follows:

“Road Scholar inspires adults to learn, discover and travel. Our learning adventures open minds to new ideas and deepen understanding of oneself and of the world’s peoples, places, cultures, history, and environments. A true university of the world, not-for-profit Road Scholar’s meaningful – often transformational- educational adventures engage people for whom learning is the journey of a lifetime.”

Road Scholar and the University of Montana Western began their partnership in 1978 when the Division of Continuing Education became an early Elderhostel sponsor. Under the direction of Susan Jones, the University of Montana Western became a supersite and offered more than twenty programs per year. Today the University of Montana Western continues offering Road Scholar programs with a focus on providing quality educational experiences throughout the state of Montana and surrounding areas.

Road Scholars on the Trail

Harry teaches several classes each year that typically last for five or six days. These classes explore the Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and offer a selection of different experiences from hiking and horseback riding, to cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

“Each program starts with structured classroom learning — preparing the participants before they set out into the field, reviewing the details of the program. In addition, we discuss the ecosystems, geology and different types of animals they may encounter on the trail. In terms of hiking, the emphasis is not about getting places ‘aerobically.’ Instead, we take our time to experience what is happening in the world around us,” Harry states.

Harry’s connection to Road Scholar instructors, staff and patrons inspires him to continue educating and maintain active involvement in the program.

“One of the best parts of Road Scholar is that it brings me into contact with people of very wide interests and knowledge. People who come to Road Scholar programs are pretty intriguing folks. Our mission is to provide a fun learning environment and a chance to bind to a community of people who share those interests.”

To learn more about the educational programs and experiences offered by Road Scholar, visit or call 406-683-7333.