Carroll College celebrates 114th commencement ceremony

HELENA – Carroll College celebrated its 114th commencement ceremony Saturday.

The commencement ceremony began with a song honoring members of the Blackfeet Tribe of Montana. It was the first time in the school's history that a traditional indigenous song was included in the ceremony.

Carroll College celebrates 114th commencement ceremony

mtn news

Carroll's Class of 2024 includes 265 students from 22 states, including Montana, and eight different countries, including the United States.

The Class of 2024 faced many challenges, some unprecedented. Many graduating seniors started college at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was a challenge that Dr. Ashley Beck noted during her faculty address.

“As the global pandemic has taught us, no one knows what can happen from one minute to the next that will change someone's life,” says Beck.

The Class of 2024 navigated quarantine and remote learning. Saturday's celebration may be the first traditional graduation ceremony they'll get a chance to attend.

Josephine Howlett, who majored in communication studies, reflected on those early days and how they helped prepare her for the challenges ahead.

“So I started in the fall of 2022. Part of it changed how we were able to interact with each other. Freshmen and other students weren't allowed to mingle as much,” Howlett says. So I think that's really encouraged me to be more personable, open and sharing.”

During the ceremony, Carroll leaders recognized numerous student and faculty achievements.

They include biology major Ben Held, who received the 2024 Michael Murphy Award for outstanding collegiate citizenship.

Carroll College celebrates 114th commencement ceremony

mtn news

Held played football for the Saints and has been extensively involved with the Special Olympics.

Held told MTN, “If you really want to come here to Carroll there are all these special events you can get involved in. And that's what really prepared me for what's next, because I really Got the change to experience everything I wanted.”

The commencement ceremony also included special honors for members of the classes of 1964 and 1974.

Carroll President Dr. John Czech, in his address to students, reminded them of the difficult times we live in, from the pandemic to civil unrest, as well as conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine. Cech told the graduates that it is up to them to use the skills and knowledge they have learned to meet these challenges.

Czech told the crowd, “Science tells us how; humanities tell us why. I hope that each of you is graduating with an understanding of the how and the why, because that will mean that you really Not for use, but for life.”

Carroll College celebrates 114th commencement ceremony

mtn news

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