MSU President's Newspaper Column

April 24, 2021

Ending the academic year with a celebration of gratitude

The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness (depending on the context). Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what a person receives, whether tangible or intangible. By expressing gratitude, we acknowledge the goodness in our lives.

We at Mayville State have so very much for which to be grateful! Our beautiful campus provides a wonderful environment in which our students, faculty, and staff work and learn. To be surrounded by colleagues who are kind, thoughtful, and caring is a blessing. Our community supports us by participating in activities and events, cheering for our athletes, and by generously providing financial assistance in various ways. Our community partners, including the K-12 public schools, are open and willing to work together for the good of all. Our alumni bleed blue and are with us all the way. The State Board of Higher Education and the state of North Dakota assist us and appreciate what we do for our state and region.

Recognizing that this past year-plus has been extremely difficult for all, and knowing that when we lift others up, we also lift ourselves up, we are going to close the academic year out with a celebration of gratitude at Mayville State University. An ad hoc committee of employees and students have teamed up to plan several activities that are intended to help us end the semester on a positive note.

A wall of gratitude activity kicked off the Mayville State gratitude celebration this week. At two locations on campus, faculty, staff, and students have been invited to share their notes of gratitude. These notes will be on display for all to see during commencement festivities on May 15.

Thursday, April 29 will be a big day! On that day we will celebrate success with our students at the annual Academic and Student Senate Awards Program. Following the awards program, a Student Appreciation Party on the Turf is planned. To accommodate participation in both events for all faculty, staff, and students, classes will be cancelled and offices will close at 2 p.m. on April 29.

Faculty members and advisors from various Mayville State departments will recognize our students for their outstanding scholastic achievements during 2020-2021 during the Academic and Student Senate Awards Program. Members of Mayville State's Student Senate will be recognized, and the program will conclude with the naming of the 2020-2021 recipient of the Jeff Sieg Award for Teaching Excellence and students of the year.

The Student Appreciation Party on the Turf will begin immediately following the Academic and Student Senate Award Program and will wrap up at 5 p.m. There will be food, games, music, great prizes, and more at Jerome Berg Field!

Mayville State’s students are outstanding individuals. They make us Comet Proud! Together with our faculty and staff, they have worked unbelievably hard to help ensure that we could reach our goal of offering in-person classes and services on campus throughout the academic year. This was no easy accomplishment and dealing with a pandemic while earning a college degree was certainly not what our students had envisioned for college life, but they have pulled up their bootstraps and made it happen this academic year. We look forward to celebrating our students and showing our appreciation for them at the Student Appreciation Party on the Turf.

The gratitude campaign will wrap up on May 6, the day of the MSU Foundation “I’m Thankful for Mayville State” annual fund drive. During the one-day fundraiser, alumni and friends will be encouraged to make gifts to show their gratitude and change the lives of students through their generosity.

The Alumni Association board is showing their gratitude by hosting an ice cream social on the grounds north of the Edson and Margaret Larson Alumni and Leadership Center from 2 to 4 p.m. on May 6. All faculty, staff, students, and community members are invited to stop by to enjoy an ice cream treat and while there, write a note to someone who has made a difference in their life.

We know that by showing gratitude to another for what he or she has done, we may actually be the recipients of the greater reward. Doing good things for others makes for happy hearts. We look forward to celebrating gratitude with the Mayville State family over the next several weeks.