MSU alumni celebrate lifelong ties with school during homecoming - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

MSU alumni celebrate lifelong ties with school during homecoming week

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The thrill of homecoming brought Montana State University students past and present out into Main Street Friday, to celebrate the school’s rich history.

For Celia and Tom O’Connor, class of 1963, homecoming is an opportunity to reunite with old friends and remember their long history with the school.

Celia, whose father worked as a professor at MSU, started wandering the campus as a child. Years later she came to school to pursue a degree in math.

“I came up here to be a math major and I immediately was told by three professors that girls can't do math,” Celia said.”…and I finally went to them with a catalog and I said it doesn't anywhere in here that girls can't do math.”

“Thirty years later I found out they went to my father and said ‘she doesn't get it that girls just can't do math’ and dad said ‘watch her.’"

Tom, who was born in Butte but raised in Australia, earned a degree in engineering.

The day after graduation, Tom and Celia married, then left Montana for several years, working and traveling all around the country.

But their Bobcat spirit never left them.

"Whenever we could we went to football games. We went to Bobcat games in Las Vegas, Sacramento, Nacogdoches,” Tom said. “Actually there were more Montana State people at that game then there were from Nacogdoches.”

The O’Connors ultimately returned to Bozeman, in part because one of their sons works at MSU.

Now, they are very active in community organizations and the MSU Alumni Foundation. They were each honored with the Blue and Gold Award in 2010.  

“We've been involved with a lot of campus activities and support and things on campus,” Tom said. Celia adds, “We’re not very good at saying no.”

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