MSU President's Newspaper Column

February 18, 2023 

Celebrating in student successes and experiences is so rewarding!

We’ve got lots to celebrate at Mayville State University. Our greatest celebrations center around the good things that happen for students and their achievements. I could not be happier than when our students experience the sweet satisfaction of success.

Our Collegiate DECA students recently participated in the North Dakota Career Development Conference. The annual state conference provides an opportunity for students to compete in business-related events. Their competition was made up of 135 of their peers who represented nine other North Dakota colleges and universities. 

Mayville State University’s Collegiate DECA chapter made a strong impact at this year’s conference, qualifying 20 out of 20 students, for the international competition in April. That’s very impressive! Mayville State chapter advisors MSU Professors of Business Dustin Olson and Rob Johnston say it’s probably been seven or eight years since they’ve had results like that, even though the group has been unbelievably successful year after year.

Our Collegiate DECA students are always top-notch. They are great students who set the bar high, always coming through. I commend them and their advisors for the great work they do and for how they represent Mayville State University in such a remarkable way.

Last weekend, our women’s and men’s basketball teams played their last home games of the 2022-23 season. (We will have the opportunity to host post-season play.) The atmosphere at the Lewy Lee was exhilarating! It’s so much fun to not only watch the Comets do well in their games, but also to be a part of the excitement when their peers pour on the Comet Pride and cheer their friends to victory.

The teams hosted Viterbo University on Friday and Waldorf University on Saturday in double-headers. The Comets were victorious in all games! To add to the excitement, Mayville State’s Thomas Gieske scored his 1,000th career point on the layup he made with just a little more than a minute left in the game on Saturday. I am super-happy for Thomas, who has been an exceptional leader for the Comets throughout his college career.

The Comets men clinched the North Star Athletic Association regular season championship outright on Saturday afternoon after defeating the Waldorf Warriors, 79-55. The men and women finished the regular season on Thursday evening in games in Aberdeen versus Presentation College.

The men and women will host opening round games of the NSAA conference tournament at Mayville State on Feb. 21. The NSAA Final Four for men’s and women’s basketball is on Saturday, Feb. 25 and Sunday, Feb. 26 at the Watertown Civic Arena in Watertown, S.D.

I’m happy that we’ll also be hosting the large and small high school music contests at Mayville State again this spring. We love having the campus filled with high school student musicians and their advisors and accompanists.

Mayville State music instructor Dr. Byron Ward is planning another opportunity to bring high school student musicians to campus when we host Mayville State’s first annual Honor Band Festival on April 28 and 29. He is in the process of inviting students to register and submit audition videos.

The two-day event will include rehearsals, lunch for participants, and a public concert to wrap things up. The MSU Foundation is offering scholarships for students who participate in the Honor Band and who choose to enroll as full-time students at Mayville State. If you know of someone who would be a good candidate for the Honor Band, invite them to check out the details at

Seeing students experience opportunities and achievements such as these fills my cup. As I’ve said over and over again, Mayville State is all about the people. Celebrating the successes of our people makes me so very Comet Proud!