MSU President's column for Traill County Tribune

September 27, 2014  

125th Anniversary Homecoming festivities a great opportunity for community celebration

We’ve come a long way and have much to celebrate as we approach the 125th anniversary of the establishment of a normal school at Mayville, which officially took place on Nov. 2, 1889. Our campus has grown and improved greatly since the first half of Old Main was completed years ago. We have beautiful residential, instructional, and activity-focused facilities. We’ve consistently set new enrollment records across the board for the last several years, including surpassing the 1,000-student headcount mark. We have fantastic academic programs and our faculty are always working to provide the best education possible for our students. Things are going well and we look to the future with hope and enthusiasm.

Last fall, we made special note of Mayville State’s upcoming 125th anniversary during the MSU Foundation Honor Society President’s Dinner. A toast to the occasion took place at the Poinsettia Ball in December, and the Comet Athletic Club sponsored the raffle of a special 125th anniversary commemorative shotgun in recognition of the occasion. Shannon Bergstrom of Portland was the lucky winner of that beautiful one-of-a-kind gun. Hundreds of alumni and friends enjoyed a fabulous Alumni Days celebration in June, marking the 125th anniversary and the grand opening of the Edson and Margaret Larson Alumni and Leadership Center. 

Recognition of the momentous occasion will continue during the 2014 homecoming festivities. The Alumni Association has a great schedule of events planned for Oct. 3 through 5. I extend a warm invitation not only to our alumni, but to all members of the Mayville-Portland and surrounding communities. Please join us in celebrating at Mayville State University. The success of Mayville State is a great team effort, not only on the campus, but also in the community. We have great reasons to celebrate, and I encourage one and all to join us.

You can see the full Homecoming 2014 schedule at Check out the schedule and join us for any and all of the many planned activities. I want to mention specifically a few events planned especially in honor of the 125th anniversary.

CometFest! will take place Saturday, Oct. 4 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. just outside of MSU’s Jerome Berg Field. There will be inflatable and yard games for kids of all ages. Special activities for the kids will be a pedal tractor pull and coloring contest. The tractor pull is for ages 4 through 11. Prizes will be awarded and those who qualify may compete in the state pedal tractor pull next summer. Several have committed to having their garden produce and crafts available for sale in farmers market booths. Leighton Broadcasting radio personalities will be on hand with music and plenty of giveaways. They’ll also be bringing the 97 KYCK/Z94.7 cash cube. Those who attend CometFest! can register to win a chance to have 30 seconds in the cash cube and catch as many “flying” dollar bills and gift coupons as they can. The concession stand will be open for those who wish to have a bite to eat, and there will be a large tent with picnic tables, where people may socialize. In addition, the MSU cheer team will be doing face painting. CometFest! will be great fun for young and old. Don’t miss it!

The fabulous Downtown Horns are coming back to Mayville State! They’ll be providing the music for a special 125th Anniversary Homecoming Dance in the Campus Center Luckasen Room on Saturday, Oct. 4 from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. The energetic Downtown Horns have become known as the premiere wedding and party band in the Grand Forks area. They have performed for appreciative crowds at Mayville State’s Poinsettia Ball for the past two years, and those who’ve attended have thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Mayville State graduate Lynn Schroeder is among the band members. Again, you don’t have to be a Mayville State graduate to attend. We encourage everyone to join in the fun. There will be an hors d’oeuvres buffet and cash bar available. You must be 21 or older to attend. Tickets can be purchased at the MSU Foundation or at

Mayville State alumni and friends are invited to join in a 125-voice reunion choir performance during the MSU Music Department Homecoming Concert on October 5. Mike Bakken is organizing the reunion choir. You can register at

Mayville State’s 125th anniversary is providing a great opportunity for the campus and community to come together.  We look forward to sharing in the festivities with you as we prepare to embark on the next 125 years of providing personal service and exceptional educational opportunities for students.