MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

August 18, 2018

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

It was a pleasure for me and our new Mayville State athletic director Ryan Hall to meet and visit with the administrators at May-Port CG High School this past week. Superintendent Mike Bradner, principal Scott Ulland, and athletic director Eric Nygaard were very welcoming as we discussed existing partnerships, including the sharing of athletic facilities, as well as opportunities to partner in other ways in the future. Together we are stronger and we look forward to exploring the possibilities for strengthening our community.

I am learning more and more about Mayville State University’s 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, who I had the great pleasure to meet at the annual baseball alumni and friends golf outing last week, 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 147 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, which is in the south corridor of the Lewy Lee Fieldhouse. 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.

As a way to recognize the scores of Mayville State alumni who were not necessarily outstanding athletes as Mayville State students, but who went out into the world and greatly impacted others through their impressive coaching careers, 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 33 members of the MSU Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame.

Each year, a 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 will 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 Scott Parker, Martin Johnson, Kelly Morrison, Ron Ness, Richard Fugleberg, Mary (Hanson) Iverson, Brad Strand, Janna Hjelseth, Mark Osland, Kim (Knudsvig) Kyllo, Jeremy Hughes, Dawn Cruff, Mickey Berry, and Lindsey (Eliason) McMenamy. 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 on Sept. 28-30. The newest members of the Athletic Hall of Fame and the Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame will be inducted at a banquet planned for Sept. 28. Athletic Hall of Fame inductees this year are the Craig Smith and his 2004-05, 2005-06, and 2006-07 men’s basketball teams. David Dose, Maxine Mehus, and David Strand will be inducted into the Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame.

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.