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Orientation and Convocation Open the New Academic Year

August 30, 2019

The University of Montana Western held several special events for new student Orientation and Convocation, to celebrate the official beginning of the 2019-20 academic year.

Student Checking in at Orientation

Activities began on Thursday, August 22, 2019, as students checked in for Orientation and moved into the residence halls. Orientation is a four-day event mandatory for all first-year and transfer students. The activities are designed to be both fun and informative for incoming students.

Students Moving into Resident Halls

This year’s Convocation, the ceremonial event held at the start of each academic year, was held on Friday, August 23. New students, faculty, staff and parents gathered at the Keltz Arena to hear from several speakers including a special keynote by guest presenter Justin Jones-Fosu.

Justin Jones-Fosu

Jones-Fosu is a husband and father who also happens to be an inspirational speaker, award winning entrepreneur and author. His encouraging and dynamic speeches motivate and inspire students by getting them excited, energized and ready for the challenges ahead. He has spoken in 4 countries for over 250 organizations and has given more than 450 presentations.

Faculty and Justin

Following Convocation, faculty, staff and students gathered at the Legacy Plaza for the ceremonial unveiling of the official Class of 2023 brick. Lunch followed the ceremony provided by UMW Dining Services and staff.

Legacy Plaza Ceramony

A scavenger hunt for new students was also on the agenda for Friday. Students broke into teams and took to downtown Dillon to explore local businesses and get acquainted with their new home.

UMW Students Explore Downtown Dillon

On Saturday, August 24, this year’s new students, with Resident Assistants, faculty and staff hiked to the hillside “M” that overlooks the town of Dillon.

Faculty and Students Hike the "M"
Students Pose for Picture at the "M"

The start of a new block kicks off another year of possibilities and opportunities for students at Montana Western, the only public university offering a block scheduling program in which students take one course at a time. This innovative approach is called Experience One (X1). With X1, students concentrate on one course for 18 days, take a short break, then move on to the next.

For more information about Experience One and the University of Montana Western, or to schedule a visit, call 877-683-7331 or visit