A Year to Remember
April 24, 2014
Aaron Clingingsmith, University Relations, 657-2269
MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Montana State University Billings faculty and students are putting the finishing touches on the 2013-14 academic year. The year culminates with convocations and academic awards ceremonies on May 1-2, with commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 3.
The five academic colleges at MSU Billings will host individual convocations on Thursday and Friday, recognizing students for academic achievement and service within their major fields of study.
Undergraduates who will be graduating with honors during the MSU Billings Commencement ceremony on Saturday will receive honor cords during their college’s convocation ceremony. Top graduate students will also be recognized.
All events are free and open to the public.
Commencement ceremonies are scheduled for Saturday, May 3, at 10 a.m. in Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark with undergraduate and graduate diplomas given to 915 students.
The commencement speaker this year is Mr. Norm Clarke. The eye-patched Montanan - now a man-about-town columnist who covers the celebrity scene in Las Vegas - will share his story of success and life-lessons with the class of 2014.
As a boy, Norm Clarke etched the Olympic rings in snow on his paper route while dreaming
of seeing the world beyond Montana’s borders. Years later the Terry native made it
to the Olympics, one of many dreams fulfilled during an award-winning career in journalism.
Clarke became one of the Billings Gazette’s youngest sports editors in 1968 at the age of 25. His career included a 12-year stint as a reporter for The Associated Press, with stops in Cincinnati, San Diego and Los Angeles. While at Cincinnati, he headed an AP team that was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. After serving as AP’s coordinator of coverage of the Los Angeles Summer Olympics in 1984, Clarke joined the Rocky Mountain News in Denver as a baseball writer. In 1991 he was named “reporter of the year” at the Rocky Mountain News after reporting the birth of the Colorado Rockies. He joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 1999 to cover the entertainment scene. Soon he was breaking world exclusives about the short-lived wedding of Britney Spears and Michael Jackson’s move to Las Vegas to launch a comeback. He was voted “print journalist of the year” in 2013 by Review-Journal readers.
Clarke and his wife, Cara, live near Las Vegas Boulevard with their Silky Terriers, Rumor and Scandal.
Commencement will be followed by the traditional Graduates’ Reception at the University campus, 1500 University Drive. The reception will be held in Rimrock Café at the Student Union Building.
Meanwhile, convocation ceremonies will also take place next week for each of the academic colleges. Those events celebrate the success of the graduating students and also include special student awards from departments and divisions.
Convocation for the City College at MSU Billings will be on Thursday, May 1 at 6 p.m. in the Health Sciences Building on the City College campus, with a welcome by Dean Dr. Marsha Riley and a reception to follow. City College will confer 255 degrees during the Commencement ceremony on Saturday. An Outstanding Graduate award will be presented to Tarah Michelle Jurenka of Rudyard, Mont.
Convocation for the MSU BillingsCollege of Allied Health Professions will be on Friday, May 2, at 8:30 a.m., in Cisel Recital Hall, with a welcome by Dean Dr. Diane Duin and a reception to follow in Rimrock Café. The College of Allied Health Professions will confer 123 degrees during the Commencement ceremony on Saturday, including 36 master’s degrees. An Outstanding Graduate award will be given to Jennifer Larson from Mesa, Ariz.
Convocation for the MSU Billings College of Business will be on Friday, May 2, at 11:00 a.m. in Cisel Recital Hall, with a welcome by Dr. Barbara Wheeling, Dean of the College of Business. A reception will follow in McDonald Hall. The College of Business will confer 99 degrees during the Commencement ceremony on Saturday. An Outstanding Graduate award will be presented to Jack Hepp of Worland, Wyo. and Thomas Staffileno from Billings, Mont. Staffileno will also be presented with the Golden Merit Award for outstanding scholarship, leadership and community involvement.
Convocation for the MSU Billings College of Arts and Sciences will be on Friday, May 2, at 1 p.m., in Petro Theatre, with a welcome by Dean Dr. Tasneem Khaleel and a reception to follow in Rimrock Café at the Student Union Building. The College of Arts and Sciences will confer 295 degrees during the Commencement ceremony on Saturday, including 22 master’s degrees. An Outstanding Graduate award will be presented to 2013 Goldwater Scholarship nominee Corey Lovec from Ekalaka Montana.
Convocation for the MSU Billings College of Education will be on Friday, May 2, at 4 p.m., at Petro Theatre, with a welcome by Dean Dr. Mary Susan Fishbaugh. A reception will follow in Rimrock Café at the Student Union Building. The College of Education will confer 143 degrees during the Commencement ceremony on Saturday, including 69 master’s degrees.
For more information about the five MSU Billings convocations, or the commencement ceremony on May 3, call the University Relations Office at 657-2243 or see the university’s special event web page at www.msubillings.edu/commencement
PHOTO ABOVE: Norm Clarke