President's Perspective

UM President Seth Bodnar shares University highlights.


Dear Griz Family,

I write this shortly after the University of Montana celebrated its most important tradition: Commencement. Handing diplomas to students crossing the graduation stage embodies for me UM’s commitment to launching our world’s next generation leaders.

I am confident these newly minted graduates already are turning toward their futures, capable of not only navigating a constantly changing world but also shaping that world in ways that will make our UM family proud.

UM President Seth BodnarSpring semester at UM saw many success stories  ̶  in and out of the classroom and research lab. In March, Griz Nation cheered in unison for our men’s basketball team as they won the Big Sky Conference for a second consecutive year and competed in March Madness. But the real point of pride rests in the classroom: During their season, the team produced a statistic that’s arguably more important – setting a Grizzly Athletics academic record for GPA.

We also saw the birth of an innovative partnership with Cognizant, a global technology company with new headquarters in Missoula. In response to their need for an immediate infusion of talented employees, UM quickly stood up a training program that gets students Cognizant-ready within three months. Each student in the first graduating class of what we’re calling our “All In Missoula” program now has a guaranteed job doing work that matters. We are proud of the many examples of UM faculty proactively seeking to be adaptive in response to workforce needs.

And as just one example of UM’s distinctive skill in addressing big social challenges through interdisciplinary work, we developed a robust teaching series on the nation’s opioid crisis, welcoming diverse experts to campus to share in-depth experiences with UM students in pharmacy, medicine, counseling and public health. The wildly popular series showcased UM’s capacity to deliver whole-person learning at the cutting-edge of knowledge applied to social challenges.

Most recently, we proudly celebrated Fred Allendorf, a faculty emeritus who received the rare distinction of induction into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, only the second in Montana’s history. Meanwhile, we marveled at the string of awards and accolades our students in journalism, environmental studies, public policy and business earned on a national stage.

Finally, our research highlights this spring translated into a meaningful difference in human lives – from new findings about antibacterial resistance and chronic cough, to how data can influence land conservation and the impact of climate change on one of the world’s oldest forests.

Your UM is transforming lives and generating ideas that will enhance and sustain our world. As your University takes bold new steps into the future, so has your Montanan alumni magazine with a refreshed design and new look. We’ll continue to publish examples of how UM is expanding the boundaries of knowledge and developing next-generation leaders. Follow along with us.

Yours in maroon and silver,



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