The Montana Board of Regents approved changing the name of the MSU Center for Western Lands and People to the Ivan Doig Center for the Study of Lands and Peoples of the North American West on Friday.
According to the MSU News Service, the name change was inspired by support from Carol Doig, including $1 million to support the center in honor of her late husband, $1 million to the MSU Library for the Ivan Doig Archive, annual contributions to support the center’s operating costs, and additional support to the MSU Library.
“I think Ivan would be smiling, as I am, about his name being attached to MSU’s Center for the Study of Lands and Peoples of the North American West,” stated Carol Doig. “It joins the Doig Archive in enriching the experience of students, faculty, researchers and all others interested in the places we live.”
Doig grew up in White Sulphur Springs, and his family also ran sheep in the Bridger Mountains. They later moved to Valier, where he graduated from high school before attending college at Northwestern University.
He and Carol later moved to Seattle, where the beloved author wrote the majority of his 16 fiction and nonfiction books, which were primarily set in his native state.
Doig won the Wallace Stegner Award in 2007, was a finalist for the National Book Award, received the National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, won the Western Heritage Award, won the Western Literature Association’s Distinguished Achievement Award and earned many other honors. His books are still found on best-seller lists.
Shortly after Doig died in April 2015, Carol Doig chose MSU as a repository for his letters and other memorabilia, selecting MSU over other universities including Stanford and the University of Washington. MSU established both an archive in the library and programming for the College of Letters and Science.
Today, the Ivan Doig Archive is maintained as both an online and physical archive at the MSU Library, according to the MSU News Service.