Realizing a long-time goal, the University of Montana Western has created a space for students of diversity.
The Multicultural Center, officially opened on Monday, April 3, 2017, includes decorations donated by various campus members.
Montana Western Chancellor Beth Weatherby said the center’s vision is to encourage inclusiveness at the university. “The center will be a welcoming place for students to gather, study, relax and meet other students,” she said.
Director of Student Success Ilene Cohen said, “Many individuals and groups have worked very hard to create a place where students of cultural diversity can feel comfortable and welcomed at Montana Western.”
The center is collaborative effort of the Associated Students of the University of Montana Western (ASUMW), the Native American Scholars Program and university administration.
During the recent opening ceremony Skip Bybee, self-described veteran, hippie and Crow Indian, blessed the center and all attendees. He also shared a ceremonial prayer to help anyone who enters the center to prosper and succeed not only in their college career but also in their daily lives.
Bybee presented a hand-made medicine wheel to ASUMW President Delaney Hanson and a written background story of why the wheel is important to Native Americans. The medicine wheel is the circle of life and will be hung in the center.