MSU President's column for Traill County Tribune

April 29, 2017 

Commencement festivities planned for May 13

The people of Mayville State are 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 to with anticipation to this day, commencement day.

Festivities will begin with the traditional graduation brunch, hosted by the MSU Alumni Association. A sit-down meal and program will begin at 11 a.m. in the Campus Center Luckasen Room. The brunch program will be emceed by Alumni Association board member Pam Soholt. Representatives of the graduating class will bring greetings on behalf of all graduates. The brunch will be complimentary for all who attend, thanks to a generous sponsorship from Gate City Bank. To RSVP for the brunch, go to

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. 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. Keith Stenehjem, will leave the Wellness Center and make its way to the Lewy Lee Fieldhouse. 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.

We are honored this year to have 1991 Mayville State graduate Dawn Cruff as our commencement speaker. Cruff is a real estate agent with more than 16 years of experience. She specializes in both existing and new home construction in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Dawn is very involved in the community, serving on several committees and active with Prairie Heights Community Church, the MSU Foundation, YWCA of Cass Clay, Homeward Animal Shelter, and the Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity. Dawn was named the Fargo-Moorhead Home Builders Associate of the Year in Oct. 2016 for her dedication to the industry and her volunteer efforts behind the scenes.

In addition, it will be our privilege to have State Board of Higher Education member Greg Stemen from Oakes, N.D. with us to bring greetings on behalf of the Board. Stemen began his term of service with the board on July 1, 2015. He is the branch manager of First Community Credit union in both Oakes and Valley City.

Then the long-awaited moment will finally arrive … the awarding of diplomas. The graduates have worked very hard to earn their college diplomas. It will be a pleasure to recognize them for their efforts.

Following the graduation ceremony, the faculty and officers of the institution will host a commencement reception for the graduates and their guests in the Wellness Center gymnasium.

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.

The graduation ceremonies begin at 2 p.m. in the Lewy Fieldhouse and are open to the public. We’d love to have you share in this very special day at Mayville State University. Please plan to join us in welcoming Ms. Cruff, while congratulating our newest graduates. 

For more commencement information, go to