2014 Graduation Ceremony

The School of Journalism celebrated Commencement on Saturday, May 17, awarding bachelors and masters degrees on a beautiful spring day. Parents, family and friends gathered outside Don Anderson Hall to hear an address by Interim Dean Denise Dowling and speeches from four students selected by the faculty. Student speakers Jonina Sveinson, Meghan Nolt, Stacy Thacker and Conor Balantyne spoke of the "family" they will leave behind as they make their way out of the academy and into the working world. Faculty members Jule and Lee Banville read the names of all the graduates and shared the grads' favorite memories of their time at the J-School. Most of those favorite memories involved late nights and road trips working on capstone projects like Montana Journalism Review, the Native News Honors Project or the Student Television Documentary. 

Nina Sveinson addresses fellow School of Journalism graduates during the 2014 commencement ceremony.

Photo: Nina Sveinson addresses fellow School of Journalism graduates during the 2014 commencement ceremony.

The school continued its tradition of awarding diplomas with a red or white balloon. The white balloons honor and lift up the memory of students, faculty, staff and alums who have passed away. The red balloons represent the academic color of journalism reflected in the hoods worn by those receiving masters degrees.

The J-School held its ceremony immediately following the university's ceremony which was conducted in Washington-Grizzly stadium. Governor Steve Bullock delivered this year's commencement address, telling graduates he hopes they remember one thing about his speech: to buckle up each time they're in a vehicle. Governor Bullock also shared five life lessons and encouraged students to honor what's important to them, which he did by insisting on wearing a Mickey Mouse watch. He also encouraged the grads to disappoint their parents by finding their own path, even if that takes them to the Florida Keys and Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville. 

Dowling asked the students to make a trip back to Missoula in September to be part of the J-School centennial celebration. Alums and friends will gather September 26 and 27 to say happy 100th birthday to the school. 

- posted on 05/20/14 -