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Montana Western to honor education alumni at Night of STARS

UMW News Bureau

night-of-stars-2012 The University of Montana Western Education Department and UMW Foundation are partnering for an inaugural event to honor education alumni on Friday and Saturday, April 20 and 21.

The event, Night of STARS (Student Teacher Alumni Recognition), will feature the presentation of a lifetime achievement award and the induction of four education alumni into the Montana Western Education Department Hall of Fame. A standout academic experience at Montana Western will also be showcased in recognition of Montana Western’s unique block scheduling program, Experience One, in which students take one class at a time.

Friday’s events will be highlighted by honorary guest speaker Tara VanDerveer, the Setsuko Ishiyama Director of Women's Basketball at Stanford University and a 2011 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inductee. The 2012 Lifetime Achievement winner is Godfrey Saunders, who graduated from Montana Western in 1976 with a B.S. in secondary education, majoring in biological science with a minor in social science. He also went on to earn his master’s in education from Western Montana College (now Montana Western) in 1984.

The Education Hall of Fame inductees for 2012 include Aaron Sieminski, Patty Butler, Chris Fisk and Angela McLean.

Sieminski graduated in 2005 with a B.S. in secondary education, majoring in physical education and health K-12.

Butler originally took early childhood education classes at Western Montana College in 1992 before working in the field of early childhood education for 14 years. She eventually returned to Montana Western to earn an A.A.S. degree in early childhood education in 2008 and then a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education in 2010.

Fisk earned a B.S. in secondary education, social science in 1992.

McLean earned a B.S. in secondary education, social science in 1994.

Friday’s events will begin at 6 p.m. in the newly renovated Beier Auditorium of Main Hall on the Montana Western campus. After the presentation of the awards and VanDerveer’s speech, guests will move to the Lewis and Clark Room of Mathews Hall for refreshments and hors d'oeuvres at 8 p.m.

On Saturday, the foundation and education department will present an alumni tour of the Main Hall renovation from 9 to 11 a.m. The tour will include hospitality rooms themed after individual decades of Montana Western’s history.

The alumni weekend events continue at 11 a.m. with a Montana Western Rugby Club competition at the Beaverhead County soccer fields followed by a noon Bulldog football team scrimmage at Vigilante Field. The events will conclude with the sixth annual Montana Western Polynesian Luau dinner and performance. A traditional Hawaiian dinner begins at 5:30 p.m. followed by the 7 p.m. performance, which will include authentic dance from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Hawaii, New Zealand, Samoa, Tahiti, and Tonga.

Dinner and show tickets are $30 for students and $40 for non-students. Table tickets for the dinner and show are $300 for a table of eight and a premier table of eight is $400. Show tickets are only for a $10 for students and $20 for non-students.  For tickets, call the Montana Western Foundation at (406) 683-7306.

Tickets for Night of STARS are also available through the Foundation office by calling (406) 683-7306. Prices are $25 for students, $35 for singles and $60 per couple.

All proceeds from Night of STARS benefit the UMW Education Department.