Insignis Award Honors Gene & Mary Lou Mallette

Friday, September 13, 2019

HELENA – The recipients of the 2019 Carroll College Insignis Award are Mr. Gene Mallette '71, and Mrs. Mary Lou Mallette ‘71. The Mallettes will be presented with this award on behalf of the college at the Founder’s Gala on November 1, 2019. The Insignis Award is the highest award bestowed by the college on an individual, couple, or family to honor extraordinary generosity in time, talent, and treasure to Carroll College.

Over the past 30 years, Gene and Mary Lou have been truly transformational to their alma mater through their generosity and enduring support. Here are some of the important highlights:

Proud Alumni

Both Gene and Mary Lou graduated from Carroll College in 1971. Following graduation, Gene embarked on a successful career in the aviation industry where he was the president and CEO of Alpine Air Express between 1986 and 2014. Alpine Air operated 29 aircraft in Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. Gene was honored as “CEO of the Year” by Utah Business magazine in 2006. Gene has also been recognized in the past as a member of the Saints Athletic Hall of Fame, 1994, and the Warren Nelson Award, 2003.

Mary Lou received her degree in Medical Record Administration and has stood side-by-side with Gene to be a Carroll College supporter in every way possible.

Student Scholarships and College Support

Gene and Mary Lou have supported Carroll in a myriad of ways, and one of the most critical has been their contributions to student scholarships. The Mallettes have established five endowed scholarships, and generously provided annual scholarships as well. Both Gene and Mary Lou have been long standing supporters of Carroll College Athletics as evidenced by their scholarship funding and gifts to restore the PE Center. In addition, the Mallettes were significant benefactors of the Hunthausen Activity Center, Nelson Stadium Fund, PE Center Renovation, and All Saints Chapel.

Perhaps what is most humbling about Gene and Mary Lou is their quiet way of supporting special causes and needs that arise at the college. They are often the first to come forward, ensuring that we know they are with us to continue Carroll’s vibrant tradition of excellence.

Chair of Governance Committee of the Board of Trustees

Gene recently completed his service on the Board of Trustees at Carroll College on June 30, 2019. During his tenure, which began in 2011, he served as the Chair of the Governance Committee. His passionate desire for the success of the college shone brightly by his many contributions and expertise. Gene once remarked that serving on the Carroll College Board was the most important board appointment he ever received in his life. His leadership and legacy of service will be recognized for years to come.

Gene and Mary Lou also graciously opened up their beautiful home west of Helena for numerous gatherings after trustee and athletic events, a gesture testifying to their hospitality and love for the college and all who are associated with it.

These two wonderful people live Carroll’s motto each and every day, “Not for School, but for Life.”

Reflections from Gene and Mary Lou’s Friends and Associates

“I have greatly enjoyed the opportunity to work with Gene and Mary Lou since my appointment as president of Carroll College. Literally from my first month as president-elect, they were engaged and working to help me make new contacts with the purpose of furthering Carroll College. Gene and Mary Lou are committed to their Catholic faith and have demonstrated that many times through their areas of focus at Carroll.”
~ John E. Cech, Ph.D., President

“The love Gene and Mary Lou have for Carroll College is selfless and unlimited. I have had the pleasure of knowing both of them for years and I have never seen Gene or Mary Lou without wearing something purple or demonstrating how much they love Carroll College and its students!”
~ Mr. Ray Kuntz ‘77

“Gene is a skilled pilot who is used to flying high in the sky. I have always admired him and appreciate his dedication and service to Carroll College and its students. Both Gene and Mary Lou deserve this recognition given their dedication to the college. They have shared deeply their time, money, and talent for the good of Carroll's students. Now they will fly high with Carroll's highest award!"
~ Earl Heller ‘58, M.D.

“How do you spell ‘charity’ and ‘caring’? G-e-n-e and M-a-r-y L-o-u. Two of the finest people I know.”
~ Mr. Ray Zinn

Founder's Gala

Please join us for the 2nd Annual Carroll College Founder’s Gala on November 1. It promises to be another spectacular evening celebrating both our students and Carroll’s 110th anniversary. The evening is dedicated to raising important scholarship support for the benefit of our outstanding students at Carroll College. To purchase tickets for the event, please visit or call 406-447-5185 for more information.