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Jamie Willis, left, and Amber Cox carry umbrellas to ward off a light rain as they and other University of Montana graduates cross campus on their way to commencement Saturday. Willis and Cox both received associate degrees in radiologic technology from Missoula College.

TOM BAUER/Missoulian

About 3,600 graduates and degree candidates will officially become alums of the University of Montana at the 117th commencement ceremonies Saturday in Washington-Grizzly Stadium.

Events kick off at 7:30 a.m. with a free continental breakfast for degree candidates, graduates, their families and faculty hosted by UM President Royce Engstrom in the University Center Atrium.

The general ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. in the stadium. The stadium opens at 8 a.m., and guests should be seated in the westside seating area by 9:30 a.m. No tickets are required.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock will deliver this year’s commencement address.

During the ceremony, Terry Payne, founder of the independent insurance company Terry Payne & Co. Inc., will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters; and John “Jack” Poe, former CEO and chairman of the semiconductor company Semtech, will receive an honorary doctorate of business.

“We couldn’t be more proud and excited to confer honorary doctorates on Terry Payne and Jack Poe,” Engstrom said. “Both of these men became giants in their respective industries, and they continually have provided their expertise and financial support to improve the University of Montana, which they acknowledge helped launch their amazing careers.”

Students will meet at 8:45 a.m. on the UM Oval to line up for the general ceremony and should look for signs to locate their departments. Faculty members, students and the platform party will begin a formal march from the Oval to the stadium at 9:30 a.m.

The ceremony will be live streamed at umt.edu/commencement/. A link will also be posted on Missoulian.com.

Following the general commencement ceremony, attendees will disperse to various campus locations for individual departmental and college ceremonies. Individual ceremonies for professional schools begin at noon. Individual ceremonies for the College of Humanities and Sciences and Missoula College begin at 2 p.m.

UDASH shuttles to and from campus will run from 7:25 a.m. to 4:25 p.m. from the South Campus and East Broadway Park-N-Ride lots.

​Reach the Missoulian newsroom at @missoulian, at newsdesk@missoulian.com or at (406) 523-5240

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