By Mick Holien
There is a solid certainty in in the confines of Main Hall on the University of Montana campus and the institution’s oldest graduate was quick to pass along her seal of approval Thursday on Charter, the 125th anniversary of the school’s founding.
New at the helm but surely not new with the charm UM’s 19th president dropped by Missoula’s Village Senior Residence along with also a new signee but not a rookie new presence, head football coach Bobby Hauck, if not for a better reason than to seek some of Emma Lommasson’s106- year-old wisdom.
And while maybe initially set back a bit by the room full of people which included a group of her favorite fellow employees, once she relaxed and warmed she took over the room, included a myriad a myriad of Missoula’s electronic and print media.
Emma explained how she lived on the second floor of what is the President’s residence when it was being constructed and Bodnar’s wife Chelsea Elander Bodnar, herself a Hellgate High School graduate and fellow Rhodes scholar, was quick to point out there now is a fort on the main floor built by the couples twin seven-year-old and a daughter who is a second grader.
Lommasson, UM’s Lodge on Arthur Avenue is named in her honor, had not a bit of hesitation in identifying which geographic corner her room was located.
Bodnar is strikingly handsome and along with wife, Chilsea, a pediatrician, are quite a representation of a changing of the guard not just at UM but in Missoula. Indeed a power couple. At 38 Seth is the youngest UM president since 1945 and was well on his way up the corporate ladder at General Electric, overseeing some 1500 employees in the division that builds locomotives, according to a Montana story written by Nate Schweber, who graduated from UM’s J school in 2001 but might be more remembered for his antics with the tuba in the pep band.
Edmund O’Brien, longtime KUFM Missoula public radio reporter, dropped the nugget of the day when he told Emma she was 68 when Bodnar was born. Talk about pa