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Orientation Welcomes New Students to Start of Academic Year

August 26, 2020

The University of Montana Western hosted several activities for New Student Orientation to kick off the official beginning of the 2020-21 academic year.

Activities began on Friday, August 21, as students checked in for Orientation and moved into the Residence Halls. Orientation continued through the weekend with activities designed to be both fun and informative for incoming students.

This year’s Convocation, the ceremonial event held at the start of each academic year, didn’t take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, new students broke into small groups and chose from a variety of socially distanced activities that introduced them to their new community of Dillon and allowed them to meet fellow new students.

On Saturday morning, students hiked to the hillside “M” that overlooks the town of Dillon and explored other trails in the Dillon High Trails System.

To get familiar with campus, new students took part in a scavenger hunt around the grounds of UMW.

Students had the opportunity to get creative and bond with fellow classmates in a painting workshop hosted by local artist and graphic designer, Klaire Kramer.

As the afternoon heat set in, students joined the Residence Life staff for a float down the Beaverhead River, taking in the Dillon area’s beauty and its many recreational opportunities.

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 their next course.

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