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University of Montana commencements set for May 13 in Missoula

UM will hold commencement events for the over 2,000 graduates of the class of 2023 on May 13.
UM 2023 Commencement
Posted at 2:58 PM, May 04, 2023

MISSOULA – The University of Montana will celebrate the over 2,000 graduates who make up the class of 2023 during its spring Commencement celebrations on Saturday, May 13.

UM will be hosting two on-campus ceremonies. The first at 9 a.m. honors graduates from the College of Humanities & Sciences, Phyllis J. Washington College of Education, Missoula College and the Master’s in Public Administration program. The 2 p.m. ceremony includes graduates from the W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, College of Health, College of the Arts and Media and College of Business.

Both events will take place in the Adams Center.

“The University of Montana is excited to celebrate the class of 2023,” said UM President Seth Bodnar. “Each one of our graduates has a unique story and persevered through so much to earn their degree. We are incredibly proud of their accomplishments, and I have no doubt that these graduates will leave their mark on society, just as they have on our University.”

UM will also present two honorary doctorates during the ceremonies.

During the first ceremony, UM alumna Mandy Smoker Broaddus will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. Smoker Broaddus was born on the Fork Peck Indian Reservation and is a member of the Assiniboine and Sioux tribes. She earned a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from UM in 2002 and has published multiple novels. She also served as Montana’s first Indian student achievement specialist in the Indian Education Program at the Office of Public Instruction.

John Shaffner, a famed set designer, will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts during the second ceremony. Shaffner is recognized as one of the most celebrated and influential production designers in history. He graduated from UM in 1974 with a degree in drama and went on to serve as a designer for 135 television pilots and 54 series.

Guests attending the ceremonies do not need tickets. Parking will be free, and shuttles will run from Missoula College and the Lewis & Clark Villages.

UM is providing additional ADA parking spaces and seating areas for each ceremony. Other accessible accommodations are available on a first-come basis. People who need other accessibility accommodations can email Brandon Kress at or call 406-243-5357. Visit the Accessibility and Special Accommodations page for more information.

People can also view a live stream of the events on the Spring 2023 Commencement website.

Additional information about the events can be found at 2023 Spring Commencement or by emailing questions to