124th Annual Commencement Ceremony

A Message from Chancellor Beth Weatherby

We are so proud of all of the accomplishments by our inspiring graduates. We are honored, more than ever, to come together and recognize the challenges and achievements that have faced the Classes of 2019-2020 and 2020-2021.

Please find on this webpage a variety of ways to celebrate, including ceremony live stream information, video messages from university community members, alumni, and special guests, and information about our Commencement speakers.

Wishing you all the best,

Chancellor Beth Weatherby


Ceremonies Schedule

Ceremony I: Friday, April 30th at 3:00 p.m.– Business, Health and Human Performance/Kinesiology, and Natural Horsemanship/Equine Studies majors

Ceremony II: Saturday, May 1st at 10:00 a.m.– Education majors 

Ceremony III: Saturday, May 1st at 3:00 p.m.– Modern History, Psychology, Anthropology and Sociology, English, Visual Arts, Interdisciplinary Social Science, Mathematics, Environmental Science, Environmental Interpretation, Environmental Sustainability, Biology, Ecology, and Associate of Arts/Science majors 


Commencement Live Stream

All are invited to watch the live stream of each ceremony by visiting the Southwestern Montana News Facebook page the day of the ceremony.


Commencement Program

Please click here to download our Commencement Program with a listing of all of our 2021 graduates and their degrees.

Please click here to download our Commencement Program with a listing of all of our 2020 graduates and their degrees.


Congratulatory Video Message to Our Graduates


This year’s Chief Marshals for Ceremonies I, II, and III will be as follows: Kevin Engellant, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Business, Laura Straus, Ph.D., Professor of Education, and Alan Weltzien, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of English


Ceremony I: Mike Ferretti

Mike Ferretti is the CEO and Chairman of Great Harvest Franchising based in Dillon, Mont. Under Ferretti’s leadership, Great Harvest has grown to approximately 200 locations and over $100 million in sales nationwide. One of Ferretti’s proudest achievements is the institution and expansion of “Charity Bake Days.” Stemming from post 9-11 relief efforts, all new Great Harvest franchisees work in the Dillon Great Harvest with proceeds going to local charities. Over the course of their 19 years, these bake days have produced close to $1 million for the Dillon community.

Ceremony II: Dr. David Yarlott

Dr. David Yarlott, currently President of Little Big Horn College, is Korean and Crow and grew up in Crow Agency, Mont., before attending college as a first-generation student in the early 1980’s. Yarlott went on to earn three degrees from the University of Montana. While attending graduate school at MSU, Yarlott was offered an opportunity to teach at Little Big Horn College and went on to become the college’s president in 2002. Priorities of his tenure as president included expansion of infrastructure, while emphasizing green technology, consistent with his value of “being kinder to the earth.” Yarlott was a founder of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium Athletic Commission, on the board of the World Indigenous Games, Chair of the Governing Board of Trustees for the American Indian College Fund, and Commissioner for the Northwest Commission on College and University Accreditation.

Ceremony III: Joe Morstein

Joe Morstein is a 1962 graduate of Western Montana College. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and spent his first years in education at Dillon Middle School before purchasing his own business in 1967. In 1982, Morstein was inducted into the Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame for his efforts with Bulldog Football. Joe was the NAIA leading punter nationally in 1960 and received bids from the NFL but instead chose a career in Christian youth work and ownership of the Dillon Disposal Service which he ran for 50 years. Morstein was awarded the Montana Western Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 2002 for his dedication and service to Montana Western and the Dillon community.


Alumni & Friends Newsletter

We would also like to take the opportunity to invite you to sign up for our Alumni & Friends e-newsletter so you can stay connected with Montana Western. Visit our Alumni & Friends website to learn more.

For questions about Commencement, please email reg_office@umwestern.edu.