MISSOULA – The 2018 Spring Commencement ceremonies at the University of Montana on Saturday, May 12, will feature words of wisdom from speaker Eric Sprunk, the chief operating officer for NIKE Inc.

Eric Sprunk (UM Photo by Clay Gardner)

Sprunk, a 1986 UM graduate in business finance and accounting, leads NIKE’s manufacturing, sourcing, IT, and supply planning and procurement. He maintains the company’s robust and innovative supply chain.

Sprunk spent seven years at PriceWaterhouseCoopers before joining NIKE in 1993, working in a variety of senior financial, commercial, product and global-management roles. He became one of the youngest people to hold the position of NIKE vice president, and the chief operating officer position was created especially for him.

Sprunk said his UM education played a critical role in his career success, and he and his wife, Blair, have contributed generously to his alma mater in time and resources. The Sprunk family has deep ties to Missoula and UM, including his late mother, Rachel, who was an advocate for the performing arts; and his son, Cooper, who graduated from the College of Business last year and played on the Grizzly football team.

“We are thrilled to have Eric speak during our Commencement ceremonies,” UM President Seth Bodnar said. “He has incredible ties to the University, he has a world of experience to pass along, and he offers a prime example to our new graduates of what their UM education can do for them.”

Sprunk will speak at two main graduation ceremonies in the Adams Center.

A ceremony for the University’s professional schools will start at 9:30 a.m. The professional schools are the College of Visual and Performing Arts, the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences, the College of Business, the W.A. Franke College of Forestry & Conservation, the School of Journalism, and the College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences.

A ceremony for Missoula College and the College of Humanities and Sciences will kick off at 2:30 p.m.

Both ceremonies are free and open to the public, though students may be asked to RSVP with an approximate number of family members and guests expected to attend.

Unlike in recent years, all degrees will be conferred during the main ceremonies instead of at smaller departmental ceremonies. Graduates will have their names read, have their images projected on the screen at the Adams Center and then shake hands with UM President Seth Bodnar and their respective deans.

Many departments will hold individual, informal ceremonies and receptions to provide the opportunity for students to celebrate with their classmates. These events are scheduled for both Friday and Saturday, May 11-12. Please consult the Commencement website for full details.

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