Published Dec. 11, 2022


Dear Bobcat Community,

What to say at the conclusion of one of our most extraordinary years at Montana State University? As 2022 comes to an end and we prepare to celebrate our 130th anniversary next Feb. 16, there is an abundance of joy and pride among the Bobcat family. And with plenty of good reasons.

This fall, we welcomed the second largest incoming class in MSU history at 3,752 new students for a total enrollment of 16,688. We celebrated 50 years of the WWAMI Medical Education Program, which allows Montana students to earn MD degrees in collaboration with the No. 1 ranked family medicine program in the nation at University of Washington. Since WWAMI’s inception half a century ago, more than 1,000 students from Montana have enrolled, and more than 350 WWAMI graduates serve as physicians across the state.

As Montana’s premier university, this fall we announced a milestone in our research enterprise: For the first time at MSU, annual research expenditures from external grants and contracts topped $200 million, the fourth straight year we have set an all-time high. These are dollars that our faculty, students and staff compete for with the best universities in order to advance new knowledge and discoveries.

Moreover, it filled our hearts with jubilation to see two extraordinary faculty members, Joan Broderick (chemistry and biochemistry) and Dana Longcope (physics), elected to the National Academy of Sciences, while two equally amazing faculty members, Alexandra Adams (sociology and anthropology) and Peter Buerhaus (nursing), were previously elected to the National Academy of Medicine. Together with Cathy Whitlock (Earth sciences), who was elected in 2018, MSU has five elected members to the prestigious National Academies, an unprecedented distinction in our history and in the entire state of Montana.

Speaking of important accomplishments and meaningful anniversaries, this summer we marked 50 years of Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, an outreach program of the MSU College of Arts and Architecture that brings the Bard’s theater each summer to communities across Montana and the region. We also celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Montana Constitutional Conventional with an impressive panel of public servants who shared a memorable evening with a conversation about the value of democracy and civic life.

The year 2022 will go down in history as an unforgettable year for Bobcat Athletics. MSU started the year competing in the FCS National Championship and the Bobcats swept all titles at the men’s and women’s basketball Big Sky Tournament and the men’s tennis championship, as well. No wonder we called it the year of the Bobcat!

And now for the sequel: our Bobcat men’s cross-country team qualified to compete at NCAA Nationals in November, the same month that brought us a spectacular Cat-Griz week with a conclusive win in the Brawl of the Wild by our Bobcat football team and a victory off-the-field with Can the Griz! Thanks to all of you — the best fans in the world! — for your support and for your enthusiastic participation in all the events, including the fun-filled ESPN College GameDay, which made its first ever stop in Montana at, of course, this House of Blue and Gold. After an undefeated performance against the Big Sky Conference teams during the regular season, your Bobcats are this year’s football conference co-champions, and after the Bobcats’ decisive FCS playoff win Friday night, we can’t wait to cheer them on in the semifinals!

Our joy turned to grief last weekend, right after winning our ticket to quarterfinals, when we learned about the loss of Coach Sonny Holland — “The Greatest Bobcat of Them All.” Thanks to the power of his legacy, the name and the legend of the Montana State Bobcats ride high today. Go, ‘Cats, Go!

And, finally, this Friday we will come together for our main reason of being as we’ll acknowledge the many achievements of our graduates at fall commencement. Along with celebrating our graduating class, we look forward to honoring Alexander E. MacDonald with an honorary doctorate. MacDonald is an MSU alumnus and a pioneer in computer weather prediction who is internationally renowned for his research addressing climate challenges and for promoting global education. Please join us for this wonderful event.

So what do I say when I look back and take stock of this banner year for your university, Montana State? From the bottom of my Bobcat heart, I say: thank you. We would not be able to have these impressive accomplishments without your support. With gratitude, we wish you a very happy holiday season and a prosperous new year.


Waded Cruzado

Waded Cruzado
President, Montana State University