MSU Wild

Montana State University

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Montana State University will celebrate its 125th anniversary on Friday and Saturday with the MSU Bobcat Birthday Bash.

The two-day public celebration will commemorate the Montana State Legislature’s establishment on Feb. 16, 1893, of what was then called the Agricultural College of the State of Montana, now MSU.

The bash is part of a year-long celebration that will spotlight the accomplishments of each of the university’s colleges and divisions. These month-long celebrations will draw attention to each college’s impact on Montana and the broader world.

“One hundred twenty-five years ago, the citizens of the state of Montana joined the bold and auspicious project that transformed the nation when Congress endorsed the democratization of higher education by approving the Morrill Act. From that moment, the sons and daughters of the working families of the state positively changed their lives by having access to their own land-grant university,” said MSU President Waded Cruzado. “Since 1893, the university has educated thousands of students and helped improve the lives of many generations of Montanans.”

The celebrations will begin at noon Friday with food trucks, ice skating (weather permitting), hospitality tents and more. The food trucks will include Fork in the Road, Chef’s Table, Sauce, Grill 406 and Thai Basil.

At 2 p.m., a new Abraham Lincoln statue will be unveiled and a time capsule dedicated, followed by a track and field event at 3:30 p.m. At 5 p.m., the annual Awards for Excellence dinner, an invitation-only event that honors the top MSU seniors and their mentors, will be held in the Strand Union Building.

The opening ceremony, hosted by the Associated Students of MSU, will begin at 7 p.m. at Spirit Plaza, followed by a fireworks display. There will be a Ferris wheel on the Centennial Mall from 7:30 to 10 p.m., and a DJ will provide music from 8 to 10 p.m., south of Hamilton Hall.

The ASMSU-led festivities will continue at 10 a.m. Saturday with live music by student groups on the Hamilton Hall lawn, free bowling and billiards in the Strand Union Building’s rec center, wagon rides on the Centennial Mall, student scholars poster displays, food and refreshments and the Innovation Road Show, which will feature 10-minute faculty lectures.

There will also be various sports demonstrations and competitions throughout the day, including Nordic skiing, curling, figure skating, human bowling and fat tire bicycling. At noon there will be an MSU hockey club alumni game (weather permitting). And, at 2 p.m., the MSU women’s basketball team takes on Eastern Washington University in the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse. Ticket are available through Tickets West, at

At 7:30 p.m., the MSU School of Music, part of the MSU College of Arts and Architecture, will offer a concert at the Willson Auditorium in downtown Bozeman. The concert will feature MSU trumpet professor Sarah Stoneback and her sisters as the World Class Triumphant Trumpeting Triplets. (Stoneback and her sisters are identical triplets.) The concert will also feature performances by the MSU Wind Symphony, directed by Nathan Stark, MSU’s director of bands. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults and will be available at or at the door.

Parking for the Birthday Bash will be available for free both days, Friday and Saturday, in campus lots labeled S/B, E, F. MSU recommends parking in the South Fieldhouse lot and parking garage. Those needing accessible parking should use the Hamilton lot. No parking allowed in service drives or reserved spots. A parking map is available at

For more information and to see the entire schedule of events, visit

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