MSUB Honors Advocate
Montana State University Billings has honored eighty-three-year-old attorney Maria Elena Beltran, who taught herself to speak and write English, and then worked her way through law school as a single parent of six children. For Beltran, who was honored as one of six outstanding MSUB alumni on Friday, the lawyer who gave her inspiration was Charles “Timer” Moses, who died in 2014. Moses took on Beltran’s divorce case years ago for very little money, and his kindness inspired her.
Former MSU Billings faculty member Ted Jensen, who was Beltran’s adviser at then-Eastern Montana College, nominated her for the alumni honor. He remembers her walking to school, then walking home to take care of her family. The Gazette reports she’s still in private practice, but works for others through the state public defenders office. She’s not thinking about retiring.