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Much ado about Ted Turner


Havre is getting excited about one of Montana's highest profile residents visiting this weekend, when Ted Turner will provide the Montana State University-Northern commencement speech.

Frank Trocki, MSU-N's chancellor, said that Havre and Northern are a perfect fit for someone of Turner's interests.

"It's a tribute to Mr. Turner's love for Montana and his belief in higher education, " Trocki said. "That's one aspect of why he's decided to come here, where he's never been before. The other is biofuels. He's interested in that and trying to reduce oil use. "

For Shauna Albrecht, the Northern Foundation executive director, the idea of having such a prominent and active philanthropist, with an interest in the types of programs for which Northern is getting national and international attention, is exciting.

"Hopefully he will be impressed by what we have here, " Albrecht said.

Turner's agenda includes a tour of biodiesel and other green energy facilities that Northern has spent the past few years developing.

The hope is that the interest could be great enough for Northern to possibly gain entry into Turner's exclusive invite-only charitable foundation.

Another person excited by Saturday's festivities is Shannon Newth, former Havre resident and the KRTV reporter who will be interviewing Turner in lieu of a more traditional commencement speech.

"Of course, I'm a little bit nervous, because he's such a figure and big name in media, " Newth said. "I'm excited to be able to come back to where I went to high school and have this opportunity.

It's an honor. "

The commencement speech/interview begins at 10 a. m. on Saturday in the gymnasium. Admission is free, but seating is first-come first-serve, so attendees are encouraged to get there early and use the north central gym door.

Trocki said that the school is preparing for around 4,000 visitors to campus.

Overflow seating will be available in Hagener Science Center Room 101, where a live webcast of the event will be projected on a screen.

The webcast will also be available to view on http://www.msun.edu, with a direct link provided on the day at http://www.havredailynews.com.

Following the ceremony, a lunch buffet will be held in the Student Union Building cafeteria at 11:30 a. m.

Graduates get two free passes to the lunch. Faculty and staff get one ticket. Additional tickets are on sale for $9 in the SUB.

As Turner will get a taste of Havre and the institution that is Northern, the day is still primarily a time to celebrate another class reaching this milestone.

"Hopefully it's going to be a sunny bright day so our kids will have a great day to celebrate, " Trocki said.


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