Next week will be a colorful celebration to honor Missoula area high school seniors that will be capped off with commencement ceremonies inside Washington Grizzly Stadium.

UM Communications Director Paula Short has details.

“The University of Montana wants to send heart congratulations to the class of 2020 for Missoula area high schools,” said Short. “We thought that a fun way to honor our graduates and celebrate as a community would be to light the ‘M’ for a series of nights, and at the same time illuminate Main Hall in the school colors of our local high schools, so that’s what we’re going to do for eight straight nights, starting Monday, June 1.”

Short listed the schools that will be honored with their official colors at Main Hall.

“They will include Missoula County Public Schools high schools,” she said. “Hellgate, Sentinel and Big Sky High Schools, as well as Seeley Swan High School. We’ll also have the private schools with Loyola Sacred Heart and Valley Christian High School, and we are including Frenchtown High School as well. There will be eight schools honored over eight nights.”

Short provided more details of the eight day event.

“Each school will have a designated night where they’re invited to come to the campus,” she said. “We will be setting up signage and appropriate social distancing, but if someone wants to come by and take a photo on the Oval in front of Main Hall illuminated in their high school colors. We will also be lighting up the ‘M’, but that will be in white lights.”

Commencement will be Friday, June 5 for Hellgate, Sentinel and Big Sky inside Washington Grizzly Stadium. There will also be a ceremony for Willard Alternative High School on Thursday, June 4.