MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

April 30, 2016 

Commencement festivities planned for May 14

The people of Mayville State are busy preparing for a big celebration that will be held on campus May 14. 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. To RSVP or purchase tickets 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 Classroom Building Auditorium. 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 Classroom Building 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 Nick Storhaug as our commencement speaker. Storhaug graduated from Mayville State in December of 1973. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Education degree, with a major in business education. He is a certified public accountant and is the sole proprietor of an accounting and tax firm in Lisbon, N.D., where he and his wife, LaVonne, also live. Storhaug is an active member of the Lisbon community and has developed numerous real estate ventures, mostly in smaller communities throughout North Dakota. He had a leadership role in the successful renovation of the Lisbon Opera house.

In addition, it will be our privilege to have State Board of Higher Education member Emma Tufte from Valley City with us to bring greetings on behalf of the Board. Tufte was elected to a one-year term on the SBHE by the State Staff Senate. She serves as the Staff Advisor to the board.

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 Campus Center Luckasen Room.

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 Mr. Storhaug, while congratulating our newest graduates.