Messages for May 1, 2020, regarding novel coronavirus (COVID-19):

Sent on Behalf of Chancellor Weatherby: Conclusion of Spring Semester and Virtual Commencement

To the University Community,

As next week approaches, the final week of classes for the spring semester, I want to take a moment to reflect on the changes that have occurred on our campus, in our city of Dillon, the state of Montana, our country and our world.

We have seen great courage in the face of the unknown, and a tremendous ability of our university community to adapt to meet the needs of our students and to keep everyone around us safe. Our students continue to inspire us to find new and creative ways to engage with them and celebrate their accomplishments. Thank you to our students, our faculty, and our staff for their efforts in working together to successfully conclude this unique and challenging semester.

On Saturday, May 9, starting at 9 a.m., we invite all of you to visit our website to celebrate the accomplishments of the graduating Class of 2019-2020 for our 123rd Annual Commencement Ceremony. While this year’s spring commencement is held virtually, we are honored, more than ever, to come together and recognize the challenges and achievements that have faced this year’s graduating class. While the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we are celebrating, we couldn’t be happier for our graduates.

As we celebrate the accomplishments of this year’s graduating class, we are also planning for the future. At Montana Western, our students’ education, health and safety are our top prioritiesTo that end, we will do everything possible, as conditions allow, to resume face-to-face courses in Fall 2020 and to safeguard the health of our students and campus community.

Several working groups are meeting on a regular basis to plan for the enhanced hygiene and cleaning practices and social distancing that will be necessary this fall to keep our campus community safe. Our planning efforts are in concert with our colleagues in the Montana University System under the direction of Commissioner Christian and his leadership team as well as with state and local government and public health and law enforcement. These collaborative efforts will allow us to make the best choices to ensure the safety of our campus and community.

I would also like to thank all of the members of our entire Bulldog community for your unwavering support. Though there will be some changes in place on campus this Fall, our commitment to providing our students with impactful experiential learning opportunities remains the same and we couldn’t do it without you! Let’s finish the semester together by celebrating the challenges we’ve overcome and by looking forward to the future. Go Bulldogs!

Wishing you well,
Chancellor Beth Weatherby