In honor of students returning for fall classes at the University of Montana, officials have designated Tuesday as ‘Paint Missoula Maroon’ day, to show UM pride and the support of the entire community.

Director of Strategic Communications Dave Kuntz has more.

“We're really excited to welcome a new class of UM students to town here in the coming weeks,” said Kuntz. “We also welcome those returning students back as they work towards graduation, and in anticipation of their return, we're really working to paint Missoula maroon the rest of August to make sure that we welcome folks back to this very vibrant atmosphere. You know, last year was really tough on our students, and we really want to turn this fall into a celebration of their return as well as those Griz fans as they start coming in for games on Saturday afternoons.”

Kuntz described what the ‘Griz Kits’ will contain.

“We’re handing out over 1,000 of what we're calling Griz Kits to our neighbors here in the university district, as well as local businesses,” he said. “Each of these kits will include things like signs, flags, banners, window clings, and we’re encouraging folks to get those up and really paint the town maroon as students start arriving here on campus on August 23rd. Also, if you don't live here in the vicinity of university, we're asking other folks to dust off those maroon flags and their Griz gear and get them up to help celebrate the start of the semester.”

Kuntz reiterated the precautions against COVID 19 and the Delta variant being taken on the UM campus for the fall.

“Every day your university leaders are meeting with Missoula City County Health officials to better understand how the Delta variant is impacting the community and the campus,” he said. “We're going to continue the mitigation efforts that we know that worked last school year. UM successfully was able to mitigate large scale COVID spreads, and we did this through our partnerships with local health officials by clearly communicating our expectations to students and employees.”

Regarding the wearing of masks or face covering on campus, Kuntz had this to say.

“It's recommended that when you're in public indoor spaces, such as some of our large classrooms, that you do wear a mask,” he said. “We know that masks worked last fall prior to us having the ability to vaccinate students. And so we're going to do that again. But really, we're excited because this school year, we do have that most effective tool in the vaccine to help prevent spread. So we're going to continue to communicate to students as they're getting ready to head into town so they understand the benefits of having the vaccine and the kind of safety measures that they have with it.”

For more information on the “Paint Missoula Maroon” project, call UM Strategic Communications Director Dave Kuntz at 406-243-5659 or email


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