Montana State University

MSNBC profile: In Montana, small changes spur nation's biggest jump in college graduates

June 27, 2012 -- MSU News Service

In her remarks quoted in Time magazine, MSU President Waded Cruzado noted that it was a public, land-grant university - Montana State College - that gave famed vaccinologist Maurice Hilleman his educational start. Hilleman, a 1941 graduate, is known as one of the world's leading vaccinologists, having developed eight of the 14 vaccines routinely given for once-common childhood diseases. (Photo courtesy of Lorraine Hilleman).    High-Res Available

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Montana State University and the Montana University System are at the heart of a profile on MSNBC entitled "In Montana, small changes spur nation's biggest jump in college graduates," published Wednesday, June 27.

The story, by writer Jon Marcus, explores efforts being made at MSU and across the state to help students stay in school and graduate. As a result of those efforts, Montana is increasing "the proportion of its population with college degrees faster than any other state," according to the story.

The story quotes MSU President Waded Cruzado, Matthew Caires, dean of students, and Carina Beck, director of career, internship and student employment services, about ways MSU is encouraging education and supporting student success.

"It's focus, focus on why we're here and what are some of the things we can start doing now," Cruzado is quoted as saying. "What we have to do is to surround our students with a network of support, the tools to succeed."

Click here to read the entire story at

Cruzado was also quoted in Time on Wednesday in a story about the importance of public libraries in providing knowledge generations of Americans have used to improve their lives and their careers. Cruzado specifically spoke about another important educational institution, the public, land-grant university system, founded 150 years ago this summer by the Morrill Act.

"Montana State University President Waded Cruzado noted that without funding for land-grant institutions, one of her school's graduates, renowned vaccinologist Maurice Hilleman, might not have been able to afford higher education," the Time article said. "Hilleman developed eight of the 14 vaccines given to prevent childhood diseases, such as measles, mumps and pneumonia around the globe."

Cruzado is in Washington this week as part of MSU's presentation by the Museum of the Rockies of "Dinosaurs under Montana's Big Sky" at the 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. The festival celebrates the 150th anniversary of the nation's land-grant university system, of which MSU is a part.

To learn more about famed MSU alumna Maurice Hilleman, read "MSU grad's vaccines save millions."