UM Prepares for Fall Commencement and Honors Anthony Johnstone
KGVO News spoke to UM’s Director of Strategic Communications Dave Kuntz as the institution prepares for the winter break.
“Regarding the census, we do have a growth in student enrollment year over year again this fall, as well as the fact that we brought in the largest freshman class this fall that we've had at the University of Montana in about seven years,” began Kuntz. “The enrollment trajectory continues to point up, and we don't see a reason why that won’t continue in the years ahead. It was a really successful semester here on campus. As we look to the Fall Commencement which is going to take place on Saturday, you will have about 1000 graduates this fall.”
Kuntz added more details about Saturday’s Commencement ceremony in the Adams Center.
“We're going to honor Emma Lommasson, which should be a name that you love and remember throughout her time here on campus,” he said. ‘She'll be receiving an honorary doctorate posthumously at the ceremony on Saturday. In addition, we're already starting to gear up for an exciting spring semester as we work towards that big spring commencement with a campus that's growing both in students and growing in infrastructure, knowing that these big building projects will come to fruition in the spring. Because of all that, it's just a really exciting time here at the University of Montana and we hope that folks can continue to visit campus and see the transformation that's underway.”
Kuntz also referenced the honor bestowed on UM Law Professor Dr. Anthony Johnstone, who has been nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
“We're excited that Professor Anthony Johnstone has been nominated to sit on the Ninth Circuit,” he said. “He is a professor here at the Blewett School of Law at the University of Montana. It's really exciting anytime that we have a Montanan, but specifically someone who's a part of the UM community being nominated for such an important role. We're all eagerly watching as the process plays out, and it just really speaks to the quality that we have here at the University of Montana at the Blewett School of Law that we'd have a faculty member on our campus who'd be nominated for such an important position.”
Kuntz added that the Blewett School of Law is continuing its search for a new dean.
“That search is still ongoing,” he said. “The current leader of the school is Elaine Gagliardi, who has been at the law school for many years, and she's doing a great job. Hopefully later on this school year we'll have a new permanent Dean that we can be able to announce. The Blewett School of Law is Montana's only law school, and it has produced some of the greatest minds in our state. We've had tons of applications and interest in this position and we're really excited to see who rises to the top.”
The Fall Commencement is Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. and the public is invited to attend.