University of Montana President Seth Bodnar invites the campus and Missoula communities to celebrate the University’s 125th birthday during the annual Charter Day awards ceremony and reception at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15, in the George and Jane Dennison Theatre.

Charter Day, which marks the anniversary of the University’s chartering by the Montana Legislature in 1893, celebrates the strong connection between the UM and Missoula communities. This year’s ceremony coincides with Celebrate 125, which will feature a week’s worth of events commemorating UM’s 125th anniversary, including a birthday party encompassing the entire University Center. More information on Celebrate 125 is available at

The Charter Day awards ceremony, sponsored by UM’s Office of Alumni Relations, will honor nine exemplary campus and community members who help further UM in its dedication to excellence. This year, the awards presentation will conclude with Bodnar’s introductory address to the UM and Missoula communities. The ceremony, which is free and open to the public, will be followed by a Celebrate 125 reception in the Gilkey Center for Executive Education.

The awards ceremony will honor the following individuals:

  • ASUM Student Service Award: Hannah Zuraff, UM senior, psychology and sociology. This award recognizes distinguished service and achievement.
  • George M. Dennison Presidential Faculty Award for Distinguished Accomplishment: Rosalyn LaPier, UM associate professor of environmental studies and research associate for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. This award recognizes distinguished accomplishments that have brought significant recognition to UM at the regional and national levels.
  • George M. Dennison Presidential Staff Award for Distinguished Accomplishment: Glenn Kneebone, Paw Print manager, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. This award recognizes distinguished accomplishment within the employee’s work unit that brings excellence, merit, distinction or glory to UM.
  • John Ruffatto Memorial Award: Beth Dodson, associate professor, W.A. Franke College of Forestry & Conservation. This award recognizes UM faculty who bring practical, applicable business principles into the classroom.
  • Montana Alumni Award: Patrick Weasel Head, active volunteer and former UM Alumni Association board member. This award recognizes a former UM student for extraordinary service to the University.
  • Neil S. Bucklew Presidential Service Award: Mickey Sogard, former chair, UM Foundation Board of Trustees. This award recognizes extraordinary effort to foster an understanding of UM’s needs and strengths throughout the community and the state.
  • Outstanding Community Engagement Award: Kelsey Stamm Jimenez, international exchanges program manager, Mansfield Center. This award recognizes important, innovative and mutually beneficial community engagement work at UM.
  • Robert T. Pantzer Presidential Humanitarian Award: Steve Schwarze, professor, communication studies. This award recognizes those who create a more humane learning environment at UM.
  • Tom Boone Town and Gown Award: Sarah Certel, associate professor, UM Division of Biological Sciences. This award honors faculty members who foster a deeper understanding between the University and Missoula.