MSU President's column for Traill County Tribune

August 1, 2015 

Athletic Hall of Fame honors Mayville State’s proud tradition in athletics


Mayville State University has a proud tradition in athletics. To honor and preserve the memory of those athletes, teams, coaches, and others who have contributed in a very outstanding and positive way to the promotion of the Mayville State athletic programs, the Mayville State Athletic Hall of Fame was established in 1983.

The inductees in that inaugural year were Jerome Berg, Doug Eiken, Peter Flaa, Vernon Halda, Lewy Lee, Wilfred Luckasen, Al Meyer, and the 1955-56 basketball team. The number of inductees has grown over the years, and currently 131 teams and individuals are members of the prestigious athletic hall of fame.

Plaques featuring a photograph and description of each of the inductees are displayed in Mayville State’s literal “hall” of fame, currently being re-located to the south corridor of the Lewy Lee Fieldhouse. (The “hall” is being moved as a result of the construction of a new locker room for football on the north side of the building.) One cannot help but feel nostalgic while perusing and reading about the great student athletes and coaches who have passed through the doors of Mayville State over the years. It’s fun to learn about or reminisce about the times when the likes of Luther Aamold, Grady Rostberg, Harvey McMullen, Gene Roebuck, Beth Koppang Hughes, Patrick Keenan, Danny Swift, and Donna Johnson Hutchison graced the athletic fields and courts and classrooms of Mayville State.

To be qualified for induction, a nominee in the athlete category must have graduated ten or more years prior and have earned two letters in one sport or one letter in two or more sports. The records of the nominee should be so outstanding that there would be little question as to the qualifications necessary for induction. Consideration is given for personal conduct in sports and personal contributions to the ideal of sports. Criteria and qualifications are based primarily upon the nominee’s participation while attending Mayville State. However, accomplishments after leaving the University may be an important point of consideration.

Over time, it has been very evident that Mayville State has scores of alumni who were not necessarily outstanding athletes as Mayville State students, but who went out into the world and have greatly impacted others through their impressive coaching careers. Thus, the Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame was born in May of 2010. Inductees that year were Mike Mahlen, Donna Ludwig Mark, Gelaine Orvik, and Ken Rio. To date, there are 23 members of the MSU Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame.

Each year, a selection committee meets to select the year’s inductees for Athletic Hall of Fame and Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame from a pool of nominations that is collected throughout the year. Those not selected in a particular year remain a part of the active nomination pool for a period of three years.

We are very fortunate to have great volunteers serve on the selection committee. Several committee members represent decades of male and female athletes. In addition, there are ex-officio voting members including the director of intercollegiate athletics, a member of the Comet Athletic Club, and a member of the Alumni Association board of directors. As the president of the university, I serve as an ex-officio, non-voting member, as does Beth Swenson, the director of alumni affairs.

Committee members can serve up to two three-year teams. Each year, the committee meets in June to select the current year’s inductees who will be honored during the fall homecoming festivities. This year’s selection committee included Mike Moore, Martin Johnson, Kelly Morrison, Ken Rio, Darryl Gulbranson, Curt Almlie, Maxine Mehus, Duane Rindy, Janna Hjelseth, Mark Osland, Kim (Kassenborg) Ulven, Jeremy Strand, Tami (Iverson) Parker, and Jessica Haugen. We’ve been fortunate to have many great volunteers participate on this committee over the years, and we are grateful to them for their service.

Please mark your calendars and plan to join us for this year’s homecoming festivities when the newest members of the Athletic Hall of Fame and the Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame will be inducted. Athletic Hall of Fame inductees Darin Everson, Kathy Maltrud, Robin (Brantl) Torkelson, Mike Mahlen, and the 1959 baseball team will be honored at a dinner on Friday evening, October 16. Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame inductees who will be recognized at the dinner are Ryam Brantl, James Evanson, Lisa (Gylten) Strand, and Tyrone Wacker.

Nominations for the Athletic Hall of Fame and Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame are collected on an ongoing basis. If you would like to submit a nomination, contact Beth Swenson at 701-788-4750 or Complete nominations received by June 1 of each year are considered for induction in that same year.