MSU President's Newspaper Column

February 17, 2024

Comets gather to celebrate their roots and support the Mayville State Tradition

As I write this week’s column, I am enjoying time with Mayville State University alumni and friends in Arizona. I like to call the events that happen during this annual trip south “Mayville State Family Reunions.” At family reunions you remember where you came from and celebrate your heritage, and that is exactly what happens for Mayville State alumni and friends in Arizona in the early days of February each year.

Mayville State alumni share a special bond. The relationships that are formed at “The School of Personal Service” last a lifetime, and it is heartwarming to be a part of the celebration when members of the Mayville State Family come together.

The festivities began on Friday, Feb. 9, with the annual Mayville State University/Traill County Luncheon at Apache Wells Country Club in Mesa. It was wonderful to re-connect with special alumni and friends while there.  

The decades-old luncheon tradition provides a venue where current or former Mayville-Portland or Traill County residents, as well as Mayville State alumni and friends can gather. Many luncheon attendees spend only the winters in Arizona and have another home where they spend the rest of their time, while others are full-time Arizona residents.

The luncheon began as a community-driven event many years ago. Organizers always included Mayville State as it is such a big part of the community. Over the years, there’s been a transition in leadership, and in the spirit of community and collegiality, the MSU Foundation has stepped up in a coordination role.

For the third year in a row, the MSU Foundation hosted a golf event and socializing at Springfield Golf Resort in Chandler. We are extremely appreciative of a sponsorship from Western State Bank, where Mayville State graduate Andy Strand is regional president and chief credit officer; and another sponsorship from Liberty Wealth Management and their representative Rich Meagher. I would be remiss in not mentioning the organizational and financial support given by Mayville State alumnus and MSU Foundation Board member Tim Garrett as well. We are truly grateful for Tim and his friends who support Mayville State University in immeasurable ways.

The golf event has continued to grow in participation over the years. This year, about 70 golfers registered. That’s up from 60 golfers last year, and 23 the year before. Plans for 2025 are underway. Stay tuned for further details.

It was a cool and wet day for the golf event, but those who golfed toughed it out and enjoyed the experience. Lunch was served in the clubhouse when the golfing concluded. Golfers were joined by several additional Mayville State non-golfers who were excited to connect with their friends and join in the fun.

It was especially wonderful to see people re-connect. While many who attended see one another on a more regular basis, others hadn’t seen each other for years. 

Back in North Dakota, the women’s and men’s basketball teams played their last regular season games at home, hosting Dakota State on Friday and Bellevue on Saturday. We are elated that both teams swept their games! The women are now tied for first in the conference, and the men are alone at the top of the North Star Conference. The Comets will finish up regular season play on the road at Viterbo and Waldorf on Feb. 16 and 17.

Our senior basketball players were recognized during Saturday’s games. They are Jordan Zrust, Erin Walcker, CJ Decker, Taylor Dean, Kayla Rocholl, Sydney Brekken, Thomas Gieske, Steele Senske, Jamison Kramer, Jesse Bergh, Jacob Strand, Brenton Wood, JC Canahuate, and Keyshaun Bolen. I am extremely proud of these wonderful student athletes, not only for their athletic achievements, but because they are very fine people. Each of these Comets is an outstanding representative of Mayville State University.

Through my work at Mayville State, I have opportunities to meet and become friends with some extraordinary people, whether they are current students, graduates, or others. I am grateful for these relationships and through these experiences I learn first-hand how Mayville State University changes lives for the better. It is reassuring and motivating to know that this is a legacy that will no doubt continue as each year our graduates go forth and make the world a better place.