August 12th, 2021
Dear Bobcat parent and family members,
Greetings to all parents and family of new students at MSU, and welcome back to those of you with returning students! You are receiving this email from me today because you are connected to a currently enrolled MSU student. It's my pleasure to welcome you to MSU's 2021-22 academic community and to a new fall semester.
If we haven't had a chance to meet in past years or at a recent orientation session, my name is Matthew (Matt) Caires, and I serve as Dean of Students at MSU. It's hard to believe that I've been serving in this position for over a decade now -- time really does fly by. But no matter how long I work at MSU, the start of the fall term continues to be my favorite time of year. The anticipation on campus is palpable as students get ready for classes with renewed energy and as they look forward to meeting new friends and faculty or reconnecting with old friends and acquaintances.
As Dean of Students, it is my job to help create a safe, healthy and engaging student life experience for your student. One of the ways we work to do that is by offering engagement opportunities for our parents and family members. At Montana State, we consider you an essential partner in supporting your student's success through their college years on their path to graduation and their journey toward adulthood (more on the latter in a future email).
In the spirit of partnership, I will be sending you email updates throughout the academic year about resources available to students, academic-related deadlines and campus activities. If we can offer any further guidance, do not hesitate to reply directly to my emails, visit our Bobcat Parent and Family webpage or call 406-994-2826.
We are here to support you and your student. And please know that all information I share with you is also communicated to your student and distributed through a variety of channels.
First, if you or your student has questions about class registration, please contact the Office of the Registrar. Tony Campeau and his staff are there to answer questions and help with the process.
Also, for families using financial aid, the Director of Financial Aid Services, James Broscheit, encourages you and your student to check in with his office before the term begins (if you haven't already). We understand negotiating the investment in college can be challenging. James and his staff of advisors are there to help you and your student understand your options and make sure there are no surprises. Call the office at 406-994-2845 or email [email protected].
I have more topics to cover as the start of classes approaches and will be in touch next week.
Before I sign off, I want to acknowledge that this can be an emotional time for parents and family members -- especially those sending a student off to college for the first time. Know that you're not alone in navigating the tide of emotions you may feel. I think you'll find Michael Gerson's op-ed piece on his experience of this milestone, though published in 2013, is still timely, funny and poignant as ever.
I hope you, your student and family have had time to enjoy some summer adventure or lazy days together in the last few months. For my family, this summer has been a blast. Our two daughters are still growing -- almost four years and 18 months -- and this summer, we've been so fortunate to plant a garden, learn how to ride a bike, and to camp and float rivers in several wonderful Montana locations.
Matthew R. Caires
Bobcat Parent and Family Program, Montana State University