Matthew Niemeyer – Class of 2010: Bachelor of Arts in Biology

Megan (Delaurentis) Niemeyer – Class of 2010: Bachelor of Science in Forensic Biology

At first it’s pretty hard to believe that it’s been almost ten years since we graduated from the University of Great Falls (UP), but as I write this update on our life I realize that the space between now and then is stuffed with changes and memories.

Matt and I met in biology class in 2007, and me being a transfer student from the University of Montana Western, I had not known much about him by that point. With the change in schools, I had also made the drastic change from majors in English and secondary education to ones in forensic science and biology, and with the help of my amazing professor and advisor, Dr. Art Alt, I was underway taking classes that I finally found fascinating. Not that I was great at them at first, let’s be honest – but I was studying things that blew my mind. We had the great privilege to be taught many of our science classes by Dr. Diane Lund. Her knowledge of the various fields of advanced sciences made me want to do better, and I had to challenge myself to get through these senior classes.

Deciding what we were going to do for our career took a while for both of us. Matt was not sure at all what he wanted to do when I first met him, but once he decided he wanted to go into the field of medicine and become a doctor his junior year, Dr. Lund and the rest of the amazing science staff were there to help prepare him and guide him through the necessities of tackling medical school applications. They lined up what classes he had to take, what grades he had to get, how to put together CVs and what kinds of scores he would need on his MCATs to even begin the process of medical school applications. They did an amazing job of showing each of us what we needed to do to get into our fields.

Amongst all the studying, we were both busy with our extracurricular activities. I had been at UGF since the fall of 2006, and as previously mentioned, I had never heard of or noticed the very tall basketball player. In hindsight, this now seems absurd to me. Matt is a 6’6” tall man who participated in about every intermural sport known to man, played basketball and became a starter for the team under Coach Silsby, was a founding member of I Selflessly Serve (ISS), won numerous speech awards and worked at a local pasta joint. I mean, who didn’t know the guy?

I had the great privilege of playing on the women’s JV volleyball team under Coach Duda. When that was not whipping me into shape I was playing golf for Coach Silsby (he coached several sports), participating in our new Forensic Science Club, working with a bunch of fun, crazy people in the Registrar’s Office, and working with even crazier people at a local bar downtown. I began cocktailing and casino attending at 18, then began bartending right after I turned 21. I absolutely loved these jobs because it gave me the chance to get to know locals and hear their stories, and I’ll tell you, there are no shortage of great stories from locals from Great Falls. To this day I truly miss my regular customers I had at the time.

Matt and I had dated for two years by the time our final year of school approached in 2009. In August he took us hiking and proposed to me on top of a mountain in the Beartooth Mountain Range that looked over the stunning Mystic Lake. We got married the summer of 2011 in Helena, MT and invited what felt like half of the UGF student body. We had the celebration of a lifetime!

After we finished our degrees and got married, we moved down to Oregon shortly after. All of our hard worked paid off and Matt had gotten into the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific North West in Lebanon, Oregon. That fall he began his studies and I continued bartending for a family owned spot in a nearby town. I also became a cofounder and president for two years (member for four) in the local spousal club we kicked off at the school. I also wrangled two crazy and adorable little girls we had during our four years there. Matt graduated in the summer of 2015 and we thankfully matched to Billings Clinic’s Internal Medicine Program in Billings, MT. We were so grateful to be back under the Big Sky and close to so much family. My family were all in Helena, and Matt’s were in Billings and Great Falls, so we were happy to bring our kids closer to them and to the state in general. We had our third daughter in spring of 2017, right before he finished his residency.

Matt is now a doctor who works as a Teaching Hospitalist in the Internal Medicine department at Billings Clinic, where he tends to admitted hospital patients and teaches medical students and residents. I am a stay at home mother to our 6, 4, and 2 year old daughters. I am also a board member of our local MOMS Club of Billings East chapter, where we provide support to stay at home mothers by providing meal trains to fresh parents, scheduling local play dates and hosting tons of activities for families around town.

We are so very grateful for the life that we have been able to build. Matt and I are also so thankful for all the help from every single professor, advisor, faculty president, coach, teammate, local and friend that we have met along the way. Here’s to another ten wonderful and life changing years.

Cheers!

Megan and Matt Niemeyer