MSU President's Newspaper Column

May 6, 2023

Commencement, a beginning and an end, a time to celebrate

The employees of Mayville State have been busy preparing for a big celebration that will be held on campus May 13. The graduates have worked hard to reach this milestone and look forward with anticipation to this day, commencement day. At “The School of Personal Service” sharing in these special occasions with one another is valued and important. The graduation ceremony begins at 2 p.m. in the Lewy Lee Fieldhouse.

Festivities will begin with the traditional graduation brunch, hosted by the MSU Alumni Association. The meal and program will begin at 10:30 a.m. in the Campus Center Luckasen Room. Representatives of the graduating class, Sadie Mathews and Logan Hoff, will bring greetings on behalf of all graduates. The brunch will be complimentary for all who attend, thanks to a generous sponsorship from Bell Bank.

Following the graduation brunch, the graduates, together with Mayville State faculty and staff who will march in the academic procession and the graduation platform party will gather in the Wellness Center gymnasium and the south corridor of the Lewy Lee Fieldhouse. There will be a bustle of activity as graduates get into their gowns and do their best to get those mortarboards and tassels properly placed on their heads.

Once everyone is in his or her appointed place, the procession, led by mace bearer Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Brian Huschle, will make its way to the Lewy Lee Fieldhouse gymnasium. At the proper time, the members of the platform party will take their places on stage, followed by faculty and staff and the graduates, who will have seats reserved on the floor directly in front of the stage.

In addition to student speakers Brooke Roeges and MiKara Johanson who will address the audience on behalf of the graduates, we are honored to have 1980 Mayville State graduate and Mayville native Donn Hanson as our commencement speaker. North Dakota University System Vice Chancellor for Strategy and Strategic Engagement Jerry Rostad will bring greetings on behalf of the State Board of Higher Education.

Donn Hanson, St. Michael, Minn., is a retired partner with the firm of PFM, a financial advisory firm serving primarily public and non-profit sector clients throughout the United States. Prior to his retirement, he led the Minnesota marketing team and was responsible for growing and maintaining the firm’s asset management business in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Donn has served on the MSU Foundation Board since 2020.

It will be our honor to have Donn join us on this day that marks a milestone for so many. Hearing Donn’s perspectives and words of advice as a graduate of Mayville State who has enjoyed much success will no doubt make an impact on the graduates and all in the audience.

Following Donn’s address, the long-awaited moment will finally arrive … the awarding of diplomas. The graduates have worked very hard to earn their college diplomas and master’s degree hoods. It will be a pleasure to recognize them for their efforts.

While commencement marks an end, the end of an educational journey with the earning of a degree, commencement is a beginning, the beginning of a new chapter in life for the new graduates. We look forward to hearing the good news of the achievements of these special members of the Mayville State family as they go out and make an impact in the world, and we hope that they will continue their educational journeys as lifelong learners.

Thursday, May 4 was Mayville State’s Annual Day of Giving. On that day, alumni and friends were encouraged to think about the role Mayville State has played in their lives and make a gift to pay forward their gratitude and help the students of today. Thank you to all who made a gift and left their messages of thankfulness for this special place called Mayville State University.

Occasions like commencement cause all of us to pause and reflect with gratitude on our experiences and the people who were a part of them. This year’s graduates will have their own sets of memories to treasure as they go forward carrying the Mayville State legacy of personal service. What a wonderful gift!