MISSOULA – Most universities traditionally host a large, formal installation ceremony when a new leader steps into the role of president. University of Montana President Seth Bodnar has a different idea for his Oct. 26-27 inauguration.

Bodnar, who started work as UM’s 19th president in January, said a formal installation will be replaced by two days of events titled “Inauguration Weekend: A Celebration of Service.” Events will focus on the collective contributions that service brings to campus, the greater Missoula community and beyond.

UM President Seth Bodnar (UM Photo)
UM President Seth Bodnar (UM Photo)

“I believe it is more important with this transition to celebrate and nurture the collective impact of our campus and community, as well as to ensure that our valuable resources are focused on supporting the success and impact of our students, staff and faculty,” Bodnar said.

“Rather than hosting a series of events that recognize one individual, we will take this opportunity to recognize the positive work of the many individuals who make UM such an impactful institution.”

An inauguration website is online at http://bit.ly/2x5vzzR and will be updated regularly. Check the site for event times and details as they are finalized. The myriad activities that weekend will include:

Friday, Oct. 26

  • Installation ceremony – There will be a brief public service on the steps of Main Hall.
  • Service stories – UM will showcase stories featuring future and current students, alumni and employees who embody UM’s service-oriented, community-minded and impact-focused culture. These stories will highlight the broad and impressive ways UM serves our community, region and world.
  • High school broadcast – Bodnar will deliver a recorded talk for Montana high school students. This video will celebrate the roles of high school students as current and future citizens who lead through service.
  • Service activity – As a campus, UM will partner with a local nonprofit to join hundreds of local volunteers for an on-campus service activity that addresses food insecurity in the Missoula community.

Saturday, Oct. 27

  • Griz for Kids – UM will host the Griz for Kids toy drive, with donation bins at various locations during the football game. Griz for Kids is a communitywide drive created by a former UM football player as a way to provide for the needs of many local organizations.
  • Pre-game celebration – The University will host a pre-game brunch to celebrate local nonprofit leaders and honor our veterans and current military service members.

“We will use this celebration of service to highlight the impressive ways in which we look beyond ourselves to serve others,” Bodnar said. “We will reaffirm our commitment to serving our local community and the region.”

By Paula Short, UM

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