High profile alumnus praises UM, tells students to get out of Missoula

MISSOULA COUNTY

By Kevin Bunch, KECI Reporter, kbunch@keci.com
POSTED: 4:16 PM May 18 2013   UPDATED: 5:16 PM May 18 2013
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Students and faculty braved the rain for over an hour and half Saturday morning.

They were rewarded with a speech from a very distinguished guest and Alumni.

Jim Messina was the campaign manager for President Obama’s reelection.

He took the stage for about 15 minutes to deliver four points of advice.

Leave your village, try your hardest at everything, be ready for whatever comes next and always remember to enjoy your work.

Messina referenced a famous quote by Norman Maclean, "The world is full of bastards, the number increasing rapidly the further one gets from Missoula, Montana."

Messina pointed out that Maclean could not have known this without ever leaving his village.

Messina took a similar rout to Maclean by moving from Montana to Chicago Illinois.

His reason? The President of the United States asked him to.

That goes along with another of his key points, 'Be ready for whatever comes next.'

He also took time to give praise to his Alma Mater.

"I had world class teachers, and I had small class sizes. And I had people who wanted to mentor me and help me out," Messina tells NBC Montana. "Montana's a family, and a lot of people convince me I could go do whatever I wanted. And so, all the things I was able to do wouldn't have happened if I didn't go to Montana."

Just under 3,000 students graduated today.

That’s about the same as last year.

Both years are close to breaking a university record for number of students receiving a diploma.