UM Plans for Rainy Commencement

May 14, 2015

MISSOULA – Maybe the heavens won’t open during the University of Montana’s 118th Commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 16, in Missoula, but the current forecast calls for rain.

The main ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. in Washington-Grizzly Stadium rain or shine. Audience members will be allowed to use umbrellas in designated areas, but graduating students will not be allowed to use umbrellas – their mortarboard caps will have to suffice.

In the event of a deluge, ushers will guide audience members indoors to watch the online live-stream of Commencement at

Several UM professional schools, colleges and departments hold their own ceremonies following Commencement. Tickets may be required for these ceremonies. Those ceremonies and their locations are online at

Because of the likelihood of rain, the following units will move to new locations:

  • Environmental Studies Program to the North Underground Lecture Hall.
  • Department of History to Gallagher Business Building Room 106.
  • Liberal Studies Program to Liberal Arts Room 11.
  • School of Journalism to the Urey Underground Lecture Hall.

The following units have chosen to keep their outdoor locations:

  • Department of Communication Studies on the Brantly Hall south lawn.
  • Department of Geosciences on the Clapp Building southeast lawn.

A live broadcast of the main Commencement ceremony will be available in the North Underground Lecture Hall, Urey Lecture Hall, Charles Clapp Building Room 131, Chemistry Building Room 123, Liberal Arts Building Room 11, Social Science Building Rooms 352 and 356, and McGill Hall Room 210.

Max Baucus, Montana’s longest-serving U.S. senator and now ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, will be the featured speaker. UM will honor Salish tribal elder Louis “Louie” Adams with an honorary doctorate of humane letters for his lifetime spent teaching others the stories, culture and language of his people.

No tickets or reservations are required for the main ceremony, and there is no rehearsal. The stadium will open at 8 a.m. and families and guests should be seated by 9:30 a.m. All degree candidates should meet on the Oval at 8:45 a.m. to line up with their departments for the processional into the stadium, which will begin at 9:30 a.m.

The UM Alumni Association will host the All-Alumni Celebration May 14-16, with special recognition of alumni from the class of 1965 and prior. For more information on reunion events, visit

For more information about Commencement, visit the Office of the Registrar website at or call 406-243-2995.

Contact: UM Office of the Registrar, 406-243-2995, .