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112th commencement ceremonies

UMW News Bureau

Montana Western's class of 2009 is the second class to graduate fully under Experience One. This year's graduation ceremony featured author John Maclean, and honored educator Angela McLean as 2009's Distinguished Alumni.

putzer girlsMay 9, 2009 marked the graduation of the second class to graduate under Experience One at the University of Montana Western. Experience One is the innovative approach to learning offered at Montana Western in which students take one class at a time. In the fall of 2004, Montana Western adapted Experience One and it has been a tremendous success. Students take one class at a time three hours a day for 18 days. Taking only one class at a time allows students the opportunity to put all of their focus on the subject they are studying. Experience One also lets Montana Western students experience real-world, hands-on education that fully prepares them for graduate school or their chosen career paths. (Pictured: Montana Western graduate Sarah Putzer poses for a picture with her mom and little sister.) The Class of 2009, having experienced their education at Montana Western, received their degrees at the 112th commencement ceremonies this spring. Best-selling author and award-winning reporter John Maclean made the commencement address. Maclean's address was entitled "A Corner of Montana" and it encouraged the graduates to hold on to the experiences they've had in southwest Montana to get through tough times. The son of famed Montana author Norman Maclean, John Maclean spoke about what Montana means to him and his family's history. He then challenged the graduates to use their education to make their lives useful and fulfilled by focusing on "work, family and faith." After Maclean's address, Montana Western's Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to Angela Mclean. Mclean is a high school teacher in Anaconda, Mont. and a graduate of Western Montana College. The ceremony concluded with Stetson Wilson, ASUMW Vice President, congratulating the Class of 2009 (of which he was a part). When the ceremony was over and the recessional had played, the graduates and their escorts were given a T-shirt to commemorate their accomplishment. The shirts read, "I'm Experienced" to signify the type of education the graduates received and also to show the preparedness of the graduates to enter the workforce or graduate school.