Montana Tech to Award Highlands College Honorary Degree to Governor Bullock


The Montana Board of Regents has authorized Montana Tech to award an Honorary Associate of Science degree from Tech and Highlands College to Governor Steve Bullock at Tech’s Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 18, 2013 in Alumni Coliseum.  Gov. Bullock will receive his honorary degree as part of Montana Tech’s 113th Commencement Exercises.  Additionally, the Governor will present the Commencement Address to the nearly 4000 people anticipated at the event.  Along with the Governor, 528 other Tech graduates will receive their degrees.
“Montana Tech is honored to have Governor Bullock be the first Montanan to be recognized with an Honorary Associate Degree from a Montana institution of higher education,” said Dr. Donald Blackketter, Chancellor of Montana Tech. “The Governor’s acceptance of the degree recognizes the Governor’s strong commitment to education and in particular his support of two-year education in Montana. We are proud to now officially call Steve Bullock an Oredigger.”
"In the 21st Century, Montana needs an educated citizenry more than ever," said Gov. Bullock. "A college education remains one of the best pathways to a financially secure future for all Montanans, especially in the increasingly complex and competitive world that awaits our graduates.  I am committed to education at all levels, including two-year higher education -- and I am honored and humbled that the Board of Regents and Montana Tech and Highlands College have recognized that commitment in awarding this honorary degree."
“The Board of Regents was happy to unanimously approve Montana Tech’s awarding of the honorary associate of science degree to Governor Steve Bullock,” said Angela McLean, Chair of the Regents. “We truly value the Governor’s partnership with the Board of Regents in guiding the future of Montana’s colleges and universities and the special emphasis we are giving to the two-year units.”
Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian said the role of two-year colleges is more important now than ever before in preparing a skilled workforce and providing students with pathways to four-year degrees. “Our state’s economic health needs more people with college degrees and credentials,” Christian said.  “Highlands College and the other two-year colleges in Montana offer excellent educational opportunities at the most affordable price.”
John Cech, Deputy Commissioner of Two-year and Community College Education said, "The Montana University System thanks Governor Bullock for his demonstrated support for the comprehensive two-year education mission at our colleges across the state.  His commitment has already been instrumental in moving new projects and initiatives forward that will have a great impact for the future students of our two-year colleges."  
“We are very proud and honored to have Governor Bullock receive the first Associate of Science honorary degree ever awarded in Montana,” said Dr. John M. Garic, Dean of Highlands College. “Two-year education in Montana has evolved in significantly positive ways over the past few years. Since the Governor has demonstrated by his policies and his action that he both understands and embraces our new excellence in two-year education in Montana, it is most appropriate that this ‘first-ever’ honorary degree be presented to him.”
For any further information about this issue or any issue pertaining to Montana Tech or Highlands College, please contact Amanda Badovinac at 406-496-4828 or Dr. John M. Garic at 406-496-3714.