Celebrating Our Dragon Family

It’s understood that spring is Commencement season at colleges and universities. And, indeed, all of us at MSUM look forward to the annual opportunity to celebrate with our newest graduates. Each of those celebrations is also a celebration of our faculty and staff and everything they’ve done to help our graduates accomplish their goals.

That’s why, every year at Commencement time, we also celebrate our MSUM employees. We recognize milestone Dragon anniversaries, the many contributions of our retiring employees, and those employees who’ve made especially noteworthy contributions to the University during the past year.

This year, our employee celebration felt more important than ever. After a long, challenging winter, we were all eager for a reason to celebrate the qualities that bind us together as Dragons: our core values of grit, humility and heart; our belief in the transformative power of higher education; and our fierce loyalty to MSUM. All of this year’s Dragon Excellence Award winners exemplify those qualities. Two of them deserve special recognition for their efforts to keep our spirits up during the pandemic.

Tony Bormann, the Director of MSUM’s Regional Science Center, created the "Why Not Winter Wednesdays" program, which brought Dragons together for COVID-safe outdoor fun. Weekly activities included skiing and snow shoeing, sled races, a blacksmith forge, and even an ice-percussion concert. MSUM’s fire-breathing dragon, hot chocolate, and campfires helped keep us all warm.

The mastermind of the ice-percussion concert, professor Kenyon Williams, was recognized for creating pop-up percussion performances all over town. The performances showcased the newly created Dragon Drumline while lifting the spirits of anyone within earshot. Kenyon made the music of MSUM mobile and gave us all a reason to dance (or at least tap our toes).

Thank you, Tony and Kenyon, for bringing joy to a challenging year.

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