The final month of summer in Montana, September also marks a new school year, and many new beginnings for the educators and students of our community. Montana State University’s incoming freshman class is larger than ever — 3,500 eager young minds have joined academia and will be calling Bozeman home for the next ‘four-ever’ years.
Having attended the Montana State Commencement ceremony this August, I was struck by the regalia, the pomp, and the speaker’s story of perseverance and hope. Author Stephanie Land (Maid) encouraged the audience, a mixture of students, faculty, and community members, to allow empathy to create compassion in our lives. She imparted to each individual freshman that they are already an expert at their own experience and the way they see the world, that the fellow student who sat next to them is also an expert, and that we can learn much from one another if we take the time to listen to each other’s stories.
Since 2007, Bozeman Magazine has been telling the Bozeman story with the help of local contributing writers. The stories we tell are those of our community’s unique perspectives and viewpoints. In turn, our loyal readers devour the stories told in each issue, and carry them with them as they discover new and exciting experiences because of them.
I gave my own presentation on perseverance in August to a business group I am a part of. It had been a very long time since I’d spoken in front of a group, but as soon as I chose perseverance as a topic the ideas flowed, and the times I have persevered to get to where I am today as Champion of the People at Bozeman Magazine came to me. They reminded me of how challenging creating a community magazine has been, and how, by persevering through the most difficult moments and finding hope in eyes of my children, our readers, and other curious souls, it’s been worth all the effort. When I meet someone at an event who came because they found it through Bozeman Magazine and engaged with our content, it fills my cup. When I tell someone that I publish Bozeman Magazine and they say; “I love that magazine,” and, “It’s the one with the Greater Yellowstone Events Calendar, right?” my heart gets bigger. My love for the community and the people that make it what it is grows each time I discover the impact we are having, and, as Stephanie Land said, the footprints we are leaving.
It is my hope that you find something that interests you in the pages of Bozeman Magazine, this month and every month. I hope you learn something valuable that you can share with your neighbor, friend, or coworker. I hope you discover events that excite you, and that you find yourself in places you wouldn’t have without Bozeman Magazine shining a light for you.