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This weekend, we’ll celebrate a treasured Montana tradition: the Brawl of the Wild. Like many families across Montana, my family is a “house divided” – my wife is a Montana State University graduate, and I serve as president of the University of Montana. Saturday’s game should be a good one, as two dynamic football teams vie for the Great Divide trophy.

While only one team will celebrate a win on the field, the Brawl of the Wild gives all Montanans an opportunity to celebrate a tremendous asset of our great state: the Montana University System.

Montana’s universities are an engine of economic growth and social mobility, playing an undeniably critical role in ensuring the future prosperity of our state. Montana students benefit from a first-rate college education on par with or better than any institution in this country. At UM, we have the top-ranked wildlife biology program in North America, the top-ranked business school in the Big Sky Conference, and nationally renowned programs in forestry, journalism, public administration, and many others.

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Seth Bodnar is the 19th president of the University of Montana.

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