Dona Hagen: A Connection for a Lifetime

A letter to friends of the MSU Billings Foundation by Dona Hagen

I recently decided to organize my files, as it was becoming more difficult to
find my desk. Although I’m happy to report I’m making progress, the process
was delayed when I came across a former campus publication named
Connections. To my surprise, several articles I authored as the foundation
president many years ago were featured in the issue! I just couldn’t resist the
temptation to read and reread my writing. As I reviewed the articles, my mind
flooded with memories of volunteering at the foundation and alumni association, and also my days at Eastern Montana College.

I transferred to EMC in 1962, far from my family in Calgary, Canada. I knew
no one – I was totally disconnected! Enter a cheerleader who introduced
herself and said, “I understand you are a transfer student. Let me show you
around.” This kind gesture, my first connection of many, made me quickly
fall in love with EMC. My new-found friend and I still see each other, and we
laugh and share stories of our college life.

Here I am, more than 50 years later, writing another article about campus. A
lot has changed since I attended, but I still love the university. My love stems
not only from my student experience, but also my continued connection to
the foundation and alumni association. I know everyone on campus strives
every day to challenge, support, and enhance the lives of current students
and their outreach into the world – just like they did when I was a student!