On September 8, 1914, the University of Montana School of Forestry opened with 25 students and one degree program. It has since grown to offer five undergraduate degrees, four academic minors, and three doctoral programs serving nearly 1,000 students.

Thursday through Saturday, September 19-21, the college will celebrate its centennial with three days of events. School of Forestry Dean Jim Burchfield said on Friday, September 6, the school is expecting a large number of graduates to return to Missoula to celebrate the anniversary.

"There's a lot of excitement because we're expecting a couple hundred of our alumni from through the years to come back and celebrate the past, and think about the future in terms of how we want to continue to be the leader in developing conservation managers for the future," Burchfield said. "This school has been very important over the last hundred years in tackling some of the toughest problems, whether it's wildfire response, or how we design our forest management to sustain working landscapes while protecting the land. We want to make sure we can celebrate all those who were a part of that history."

Burchfield acknowledged the many ways the forestry program has changed over the years.

"We've broadened our scope into areas like wildlife biology, forest restoration, parks, tourism and recreation management," Burchfield said. "We still have a very important role to play to ensure we can use our forest lands, and allow people to enjoy their beauty and the recreational opportunities they provide."

The forestry school has built a website to provide details about the centennial celebration.

University of Montana School of Forestry and Conservation Dean Jim Burchfield: