Bear Necessities Newsletter


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Bear Necessities #158 - 5/19/23 

Happy Summer, DHC!

Last week’s Medallion Ceremony and Commencement exercises were wonderful! It was awesome to see this class of students (my first all-four-years) step forward into their exciting futures and to meet so many of their amazing families. Our crowd for medallions was record-breaking, and the speeches, music, dancing, and stunning Montana springtime weather made for an unforgettable celebration on the Oval. Thanks to everyone for their impactful and deeply appreciated contributions. 

This week the team met for important discussions reflecting on the past year and looking ahead. It was affirming to take stock of the many successes of the year – a record-busting class of baby bears, peer mentoring, roots ensemble, Schwanke, QUEST, trivia, so many external scholarship finalists and winners, new DHC scholarships, international adventures (it’s been fun to follow our students traveling in Ireland on Instagram), awesome new courses, WRHC ‘at the confluence,’ and more! During the retreat, we also reviewed student and faculty feedback, developed personal work plans for the summer months, and made plans for progress toward our inspiring shared goals. And there were tacos!

While the summer pace is markedly different from the craziness of the semester, we will be busy in the weeks ahead – yielding our freshman class, developing and refining course and curricular plans, college and departmental collaboration, fundraising, web-work, Schwanke Summer Honors Institute in June, Go Griz Days, and more! 

The Bear Necessities will likewise go into partial hibernation between now and the start of the new semester, but, like those Grizzlies, will keep coming. I hope you’ll stay in touch, too. Keep us posted on what you’re up to – work, play, rest, and everything in-between -- We’d love to hear from you! 

Here’s to a summer that brings you everything you need…like blooming yellow-gold balsam root, apple blossoms, and a thousand shades of green… 

This is Mary Oliver’s A Summer’s Day. 

Who made the world?

Who made the swan and the black bear?

Who made the grasshopper, I mean—

the one who has flung herself out of the grass,

the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—

who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.

Now she snaps her wings and floats away.

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,

which is what I’ve been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

With your one wild and precious life?


Wishing you all some field strolls, and time to consider that last question…



 Photograph of field and pond north of Big Fork, MT

 photo contributed by Rick Graetz