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Montana Western to Hold 123rd Annual Commencement

May 4, 2020

The University of Montana Western will celebrate its 123rd Annual Commencement Ceremony virtually this spring on Saturday, May 9, 2020. The ceremony will be available starting at 9 a.m. on the Montana Western website at this link: The entire community is invited to join in the celebration!

The University of Montana Western

Montana Western also invites you, wherever you are, to make some noise at 11 a.m. on May 9 by “Barking for Bulldogs.” You can participate by stepping outside and clapping, cheering or making noise any way you would like to support the graduates.

372 Montana Western graduates will be awarded at least 465 degrees by the end of the 2019-20 academic year. Of the 372 students, 69 have completed two or more degrees, and over 64% of the graduates are receiving honors by achieving a GPA of 3.33 or higher.

The Virtual Ceremony website will feature special video messages for the graduates from Montana Western Chancellor Beth Weatherby, Board of Regents member Robert A. Nystuen, ASUMW President Ethan Powell and Commencement keynote speaker, Kelly Cresswell. Each graduate will also have an individual diploma presented digitally as their names are read aloud. These digital diplomas will include the graduate’s name, degree, and major as well as a photo of the graduate if they chose to submit one. The website will also feature students who have earned special recognition, including the Rush Jordan and Zella K. Flores awards. UMW will share these items on the Montana Western Facebook page ( to allow for families and friends to wish their graduate well and congratulate them on completing their degree.

Commencement Speaker Kelly Cresswell is a University of Montana Western alumna, graduating in the Class of 1997. As Executive Director of Reach Higher Montana in Helena, Cresswell is responsible for directing Reach Higher Montana’s philanthropic giving, programs, fundraising and community outreach activities. Cresswell joined the team at the Student Assistance Foundation in 2004 and was promoted to the position of Vice President of Foundation Activities in 2005. The organization restructured in 2016, resulting in the formation of Reach Higher Montana as a public benefits division within the Montana Higher Education Student Assistance Corporation.

“We are so proud of all of the accomplishments by our inspiring graduates. 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 the Class of 2019-2020. While the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we are celebrating, we couldn’t be happier for our graduates,” said Chancellor Beth Weatherby.

The University of Montana Western also plans to host a fall commencement ceremony to recognize the achievements of the Class of 2019-2020. Details regarding the fall ceremony will be provided over the summer as the University weighs recommendations regarding COVID-19 and the ability to assemble together in future months.

For more information about Commencement, please email [email protected] or call 406-683-7371.