Message from President Cruzado in remembrance of March 5 explosion

March 4, 2010

"Warm, vibrant, friendly, welcoming. The Bozeman community buzzes with a spirit of adventure that is surpassed only by the kindness of the people. Last March 5, the peacefulness was disrupted by a blast that took a precious life and leveled half a city block. The tragedy will forever be etched in our history books. But it is the courage and resiliency of our people that has most touched my heart. Our unique downtown is one of the features of this area that lured me to accept my new position at Montana State University. It is truly a special place, a place where campus and community connect, where memories are made.

As we mark the one year anniversary of the explosion, I encourage faculty, staff, students and alumni - wherever they are - to join in a moment of silence, Friday, March 5 at 10:00am. Montana State University cherishes our relationship with our downtown neighbors and we stand in solid support of our business partners and friends whose lives changed forever that day."

Waded Cruzado
Waded Cruzado
MSU President

Testimonials from MSU students, faculty and staff

In the days following the March 5, 2009 explosion MSU students, faculty and staff submitted their thoughts about the importance of Downtown Bozeman to MSU. These are some of their comments:

For MSU's faculty, staff, students, visitors and parents, Downtown Bozeman offers the romance and intimacy of a small town that is laced with history and tradition - quaint shops, fabulous galleries, stunning jewelers and extraordinary museums; while at the same time, it's jazzed with a big city savory faire of hip joints, luscious eateries, practical markets, and wonderful wineries and pubs. Yes, Downtown Bozeman offers a comfortable, small town atmosphere, but it is infused with big city elegance and flair!

Downtown is the center for most of our holidays. It serves to reinforce the unity of my family. We run in races, we walk along parades, we sing Christmas carols, we listen to music and dance and we eat…downtown Bozeman is a precious gem and it is so sad to me that it has been damaged.

The first thing that attracted us to MSU was how friendly the town seemed and how integrated MSU was in the culture of Bozeman. Even as a student you were viewed as part of the town and welcomed. The people in Bozeman are very social and the downtown is one of the primary areas where social interactions occur. We still remember our first Christmas Stroll. That connection between university and downtown is special and not one you find in every college town. It is one of the reasons we chose to come to MSU.

Downtown Bozeman is the center of my weekend existence. It is an amazing place to play, work and be entertained. For me, it is a comfortable place to shop and socialize.

One cannot have a true MSU experience without our downtown, which serves as a thriving backdrop to the University's activities. Whether it is providing individualized customer service to select the perfect ski equipment, employing and housing numerous students, providing a venue to celebrate the completion of finals week or another 'Cats victory, the businesses of downtown transform Bozeman from a small town into a genuinely shared and united community.

I live in the residence halls at MSU and Downtown has everything the halls don't –happy families, cute dogs, and good beer!

The availability of a walkable vibrant downtown fosters social interactions and feeds the creative minds which make academic communities thrive.

Many Montana towns have mountain scenery, most have friendly people. A few towns and cities have fine restaurants, art galleries, interesting stores and fair trade coffee. Our Bozeman has it all, and its walkable distance from MSU's campus. It's a place where a student can still tie his dog to a light post, get Wi-Fi access and visit with a long-time resident who remembers the old rodeo parades. Downtown defines us as a city, and expands the life of every MSU student who takes advantage.