BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Montana State University is preparing to send off thousands of students onto the next chapter of their lives

"This is the biggest, most important day of the whole year when all of these students finally get to celebrate their work for years and years and we get to celebrate with them," said Tracy Ellig, an MSU spokesman.

The bookstore has been slammed with grads and their families buying caps and gowns, and making sure they're ready for commencement.

"We had to make a trip over to Butte this morning to get more gowns because we were running out so hopefully we're good to go now," said Mandi Streich, an employee of the MSU bookstore.

Some students getting ready to graduate say they still haven't really processed the fact that they're about to step into the real world.

"It's knowing I don't have to go back to school next semester, so that's weird to think about, I don't think it has hit me yet," Lucy Fairbotham, a finance major getting ready to graduate, said.

Jake Jabs, a 1952 MSU grad, will be delivering the commencement speech. He'll also be receiving an honorary doctorate from the university.

Jabs donated $25 million to MSU to help build a new school of business.

"All of our commencement speakers really bring something special to the ceremony, but to have Jake Jabs, a Montana native, a Bobcat blue and gold through and through, speak to our students is so special," said Ellig.

With less than 24 hours left until graduation, students and faculty alike are looking back on what they've done, and ahead towards their futures.

"I've been in school since I was five and I haven't stopped and I'm 22 now and it's just crazy," Fairbotham said.

"We just hope that they really take all the lessons they've learned from college and apply them to be the best that they can be," Ellig said.

The first graduation ceremony begins at 9:00 a.m. at the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse. The second commencement ceremony starts at 1:30 p.m.