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Montana Western 116th Commencement May 11

UMW News Bureau

commencementFormer Montana State Senator and Senate Minority Leader Carol Williams and her husband, former U.S. Representative Pat Williams, will both address the 2013 graduates at the 116th University of Montana Western Commencement on Saturday, May 11, 2013.

Carol Williams is a Montana Western alumna, earning an education degree from Western Montana College (now Montana Western) in 1966. In 1990, Montana Western honored her with the Distinguished Alumni Award. She immediately began working as a Head Start teacher in Butte, Mont. before serving as the Secretary to the Chief Clerk and as the Bills Coordinator in the Montana House of Representatives. She also served as a member of the Council on the Status of Women.

She served as the executive director of Peace Links, an international women’s organization based in Washington, D.C. She was also a delegate to the United Nations conference on the Status of Women in Beijing in 1995. Williams represented Senate District 46 in the Montana State Senate from 2004 to 2012.

She is a fifth-generation Montanan.

Pat Williams attended the University of Montana, William Jewell College, the University of Montana Western and the University of Denver. He served nine terms as a U.S. representative for Montana, including service as the chair of the Post-Secondary Education Committee. He also served leadership roles with the National Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, the National Association of Job Corps, the Student Loan Marketing Association and the President’s Advisory Commission for Tribal Colleges.

Williams spent 30 years as a classroom teacher and education administrator. After retiring from Congress, he taught at the University of Montana and is an O’Connor Center Senior Fellow Emeritus.

University of Montana Western Chancellor Richard Storey said he is proud the distinguished couple will be addressing the class of 2013.

“Last summer, I asked the Williams’ to give our 2013 Commencement address,” Storey said. “I’m happy to say that we will not have one but two distinguished Montanans sending off our graduates.”

The Montana Western 2013 Commencement will begin at 11 a.m. in the Straugh Gymnasium in the Bulldog Athletic and Recreation Center (BARC) on the UMW campus. A reception will follow on the lawn outside the BARC or in the adjacent Keltz Arena in case of inclement weather.