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RightNow Technologies founders speak at Montana Tech graduation

By Jacqueline Gedeon, KTVM Butte Reporter, jgedeon@ktvm.com
Published On: May 17 2014 04:32:01 PM MDT
Updated On: May 20 2014 12:06:20 AM MDT
BUTTE, Mont. -

The announcement that Greg and Susan Gianforte, founders of the Bozeman-based Right Now Technologies, would be giving the Montana Tech commencement speech was met with protest.

Some students and faculty had a problem with the Gianforte's politics and their views on science on religion.

But administrators didn't give in to calls to drop them.

Montana Tech administrators said they chose Greg and Susan Gianforte to speak at the commencement ceremony based on their successful science and engineering backgrounds.

But not all students and faculty agreed with the decision.

Some faculty even threatened to boycott the ceremony.

Those students and faculty didn't agree with the founders of Right Now Technologies' politics and religion.

Susan had specifically spoken out against the recently passed anti-discrimination ordinance in Bozeman.

But on Saturday, the controversy was absent.

"Congratulations to the graduates receiving their degrees lets give them a round of applause," Susan Gianforte said the the audience.

Speakers at Montana Tech's commencement ceremony gave graduates 7 guiding principals to take with them into the working world.

"Our goal was really to honor the graduates here at Montana Tech, they've worked so hard and we're thrilled to be part of the whole celebration today," said Greg Gianforte.

Susan told her story of being a woman engineer when only 5-percent of women chose that occupation.

"What I would have them hang on to is perseverance because there are tons of challenges out there and we face them everyday," she said.

"After college my mom met me walking up the front steps of our house and I'll never forget what she said to me," Greg Gianforte said the the graduates. "She met me and said so do you think you can do that for 40 years?"

Greg focused on how to find a job that makes graduates happy in all aspects of their lives.

"My real hope for them is that they would find satisfaction and contentment in their occupation and their lives personally," he said.

Montana Tech graduates tossed their caps into the air, taking these life lessons with them to their next endeavor.