MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

May 4, 2019

Events, award presentations mark the end of the spring semester

It’s been a great week! With the spring semester winding down, there is no shortage of activity and excitement at Mayville State University. Among the ongoing activity is the participation in the conference playoff tournaments by our softball and baseball teams. We’re proud of our teams!

The MSU Foundation May Day Annual Day of Giving was nothing short of amazing. The $50,000 fundraising goal for the 24-hour give-a-thon was shattered, with more than $75,000 donated by 8 p.m. May 1. While final numbers are still being tabulated, as of this writing the total sits at $77,390. Gifts to the annual fund on May 1 were matched 1:1, up to a total of $50,000, which meant those gifts had double the impact.

We at Mayville State are grateful beyond words for the generous support we receive from our alumni and many friends near and far. The over-arching theme over the giving day was “Why are you thankful for Mayville State?” We know that the reasons are plentiful and varied, and that Mayville State holds a special place in the hearts of so many.

Some have mentioned how Mayville State has made an impact in their own lives, but also in the lives of many of their family members. It is wonderful to know that the work we do is making a difference not only today, but also for the future. Thank you to all who help to ensure that our legacy of personal service can continue.

You may know that the Mayville State Athletic Department got on board with the May 1 Day of Giving in a big way. Our coaches and athletes participated in a number of activities that were video recorded. It was fun to share these light-hearted videos as the day progressed. I commend Athletic Director Ryan Hall and his department for their enthusiasm and willingness to get involved. If you haven’t seen the videos, you will find links at It’s not too late to make a gift. If you’d like to do so, please contact the MSU Foundation at 701-788-4864 or go to the website above.

To wrap up the day on May 1, faculty and staff gathered for the annual employee recognition dinner. It was a pleasure to honor this year’s retirees, as well as employees who had met milestones in their employment with Mayville State. All totaled, there are more than 1,800 combined years of service by all of our current full-time faculty and staff. Every day is a great day to be a Comet, but I have to say May Day 2019 was an especially proud day.

Tuesday, April 30 marked the annual Academic and Student Senate Awards Program. Students, parents, faculty, and staff gathered in the Classroom Building Auditorium, where our students were recognized for their academic and leadership achievements over the past year. Students were recognized for academic and athletic success, as well as for their excellent work as members of student groups and organizations, including speech, theater, student government, and more. We are blessed with so many outstanding students at Mayville State University. It was wonderful to be at the program and see them in the spotlight.

The MSU Music Department held their annual spring concert on Sunday, April 28, and the MSU Theater Department production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” was enjoyed by area school children and community members Thursday and Friday. We’re proud of our students and advisers who make these opportunities possible.

Our senior athletes were honored at a banquet held at the Lewy Lee Fieldhouse on Monday evening, April 29. We have gotten to know these young women and men well as we’ve watched them on the fields and courts during their tenure as Mayville State students. While we hate to have to say “good-bye,” we look forward with great anticipation to hearing about all the great things we know are in their futures.

I had my first experience with Tables du Jour on Saturday, April 27. I was amazed by this unique event that features over-the-top table décor provided by hard-working and talented volunteer table hostesses. One thing that really struck me was how it involves not only people from the Mayville-Portland and Traill County communities, but areas well beyond. Table designers and guests came from as far away as Minneapolis, Minn. and Colorado! It’s heart-warming to know that the love for Mayville State is nationwide. The funds raised in this year’s event will benefit Mayville State students through academic scholarships. I give a special thank you to Kim Lauf, Betsy Ewen, Gaylene Johnson, Shireen Grinager, and all others who have made this a special event over the years.

We look forward to next week’s commencement festivities. If you’re available, please join us as we celebrate and send our best wishes with our newest graduates. The commencement ceremony begins at 2 p.m. in the Lewy Lee Fieldhouse. Our keynote speaker will be Brad Wehe, Mayville State graduate and CEO of Altru Health System. Graduates Joelle Ertl and Jacob Leier will address the audience with their reflections. It will no doubt be a day to be Comet Proud!