April letter to alumni from Gillette Vaira

As I’ve been working with alumni from across the U.S. on various programs – I’ve noticed a trend. Alumni love sharing their stories from their days at our alma mater. (And I love hearing them, of course!)

I’ve heard from alumni who are Outstanding Alumni Award nominees and recipients. I’ve heard from Golden Graduates who made their mark on campus more than 50 years ago. Further, I’ve heard from alumni who’ve attended various events throughout Montana – and all the way to Phoenix. Some of the stories I’ve heard come from alumni who now live in Connecticut, Arkansas, New Jersey, Arizona, California, Washington, and of course, the Big Sky State. They’ve all had such interesting careers and lives – with many stories to tell. Many times, their life stories start with their college days in Billings.

These stories aren’t only from Eastern Montana College – but also from the eras of Eastern Montana College of Education and Eastern Montana State Normal School. I’ve learned of first teaching jobs after leaving our alma mater – and struggling through WWII. I’ve learned of grads meeting their spouses on campus and celebrating marriages while finishing degrees. There are stories of experiencing a first love on campus – or fun social experiences in the residence halls. They’ve shared about their experiences in the classroom – and on the baseball and football fields. In addition, I’ve met families of alumni who are proud to say that generation after generation has attended our alma mater. These grads have gone on to be educators, coaches, business leaders, accountants, attorneys, doctors, realtors, spouses, parents and, most importantly, productive citizens.

To all of the alumni who have shared stories with me – thank you! The more I learn about your deep connections to campus, the more I love our alma mater. Most importantly, your stories inspire others – so please keep sharing! If you have an interesting story about your days on campus, please let us know. We’d love to chat with you, and we’re always looking for interesting stories to share with our alumni.

With enthusiasm,

Gillette Vaira, M.A.
Director of Alumni Relations
MSU Billings Class of 2009
(406) 247-5781 | gillette.vaira@msubillings.edu