Elizabeth McNamer


Elizabeth McNamer, assistant professor and Zerek chair in Religious Studies at Rocky Mountain College, will receive the 2017 Philip N. Fortin Humanitarian Award at a celebration during the YMCA’s Heritage Club dinner at the Yellowstone Country Club on Wednesday, Dec. 6.

The annual award is presented by the Billings Family YMCA in recognition of a lifetime of distinguished volunteer, civic and professional achievement which has improved the quality of life within the Billings community.

McNamer’s contributions to the community include producing public radio shows in her academic areas, as well as poetry, theater and literature; performing in plays at Billings Studio Theater; a 15-year history of writing columns for the Faith & Values section of The Billings Gazette; and implementing the Adult Great Books Discussion Group and the Junior Great Books Discussion Group.

Additionally, she has helped raise money for many organizations and served on the board of the Billings Symphony and Chorale, and as a founding board member of Rimrock Opera, Montana Public Radio and the YMCA.

A professor at Rocky for the past 27 years, McNamer has educated members of the community and taken many to excavate in Bethsaida, Israel, for 20 years. She has brought world-renowned scholars to religious symposia at Rocky. She also organized a group of foreign-born women to be available as translators at local hospitals.

McNamer has been a member of St. Patrick’s Church since 1961, serving as lector, minister, teacher, member of the choir and hostess to visiting priests and nuns. She also created and published the Bible study, “Scripture from Scratch.”

The community is invited to attend the celebration at this year’s Heritage Club dinner. For tickets, call Kelly Lillie at 294-1622.