Spring is upon us! Flowers, warm weather, and culottes! Oh, who am I kidding? It’s always spring in Los Angeles, and culottes will never be fashionable again, no matter how hard I try. But in the spirit of empathy for the rest of the country, let us shine the college spotlight on a location that is just emerging from the snow, the kind of place that explodes with the colors and glory of spring in a way that we here in Los Angeles cannot even imagine.
I hate to start with its location when talking about Montana State University because there are so many amazing things to talk about with this school. But its location truly influences the educational areas that this school excels in. Located at the base of five different mountain ranges in a place nicknamed the “Valley of the Flowers, ” MSU is the perfect setting for the agricultural, environmental sciences, and land resource research hub that it has become. MSU is the state’s land-grant college, and with that title, it has been able to fund amazing research inspired by its environment. Montana is known for its vast eco-system and painted scenery. It has a landscape and seasonal environment that many Southern Californians have never experienced. So for students who are interested in studying these types of subjects, you really can’t beat a place like MSU in Bozeman.
Established in 1893, the school was born out of competition. After Montana became an official state of the union, many cities battled it out to become the state capitol. Bozeman, where MSU is located, lost the title to the city of Helena. However, the state legislature decided to put the state’s land-grant college in Bozeman instead, thus making it the state’s educational capital.
MSU is, first and foremost, a research college. It spends around 100 million dollars annually on a variety of different research endeavors, and it’s not just in environmental studies. The school is also known for its research in areas like immunology, chemistry, physics, and transportation. All of this is impressive, but the coolest thing about this college is the motivation behind the research. MSU is widely known for being a school that focuses on fixing problems. It wants to inspire its students to help their communities with their education. It is incredibly committed to this mission and is one of only 51 colleges in the country that has been labeled to have “very high research activity” and a “significant commitment to community engagement” simultaneously.
The one thing that really struck me about this school was its ability to achieve excellence in so many different areas of study. For instance, it’s the only school in the world to offer a Master of Fine Arts degree in Science and Natural History Filmmaking. The school’s Space Science and Engineering Laboratory was one of few in the country to build and launch their own satellites into space through collaboration with NASA. Also, MSU’s Natural History Museum houses the largest T-Rex skull in the world!
MSU is like a lone flower in a vast snowy valley. It is a pop of color in the grey winter of our souls. Okay, okay, it’s just a really great school. For more info: www.montana.edu