UMW News BureauThe University of Montana Western honored J.D. Lynch with the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award. UMW NEWS BUREAU [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="162" caption="J.D. Lynch accepts the Distinguished Alumni Award at the 114th Montana Western Commencement."][/caption] University of Montana Western alumnus J.D. Lynch is the recipient of the 2011 Montana Western Distinguished Alumni Award. University of Montana Western Executive Director of Alumni Affairs Amberly Pahut presented the award to Lynch at the 114th Commencement on Saturday, May 7, 2011. Lynch is a fourth-generation Butte, Mont. native. He graduated from Butte Central High School in 1965 and Western Montana College (now the University of Montana Western) in 1969. While at WMC, Lynch served as the student body president. At age 22 Lynch was elected to the Montana Legislature where he, along with Bob Brown, served as the youngest legislator at the time. Lynch termed out of the Montana Legislature in 1999 after 30 years of service. He has since served as a lobbyist. Lynch also served as an educator at Butte High School and has taught adult education as well. Lynch is also active in the group BeaverBow, which works on behalf of Beaverhead and Silverbow Counties and provides support for Montana Tech and Montana Western. In presenting the award to Lynch at the 114th Commencement, Pahut cited Lynch's tireless efforts to support Montana Western, including his successful efforts to help keep the campus open when threats of closure loomed in Helena in 1974. Lynch's daughter Jennifer Lynch and his daughter-in-law Katelyn Fletcher and son-in-law Jesse Fletcher accompanied him at Commencement.