MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

August 15, 2020

Gearing up for the fall semester and a bit of normalcy while following safety guidelines

vb move-in 2020 01.jpegThe Mayville State campus is beginning to buzz with activity. Student athletes are arriving, and football and volleyball players checked into the residence halls on Tuesday afternoon. We’re excited for the return of face-to-face instruction and on-campus services this fall semester. In the blink of an eye, classes will begin. The fall semester officially begins at 4 p.m. on Aug. 24. The first full day of classes is Aug. 25.

Wednesday was a big day. Through the work of the Traill County District Health Unit, the North Dakota Army National Guard, and some of our Mayville State nursing students and faculty, we were able to offer free COVID-19 testing for our volleyball and football players, as well as staff members. vb move-in 2020 02.jpegAdditional free testing events will be offered for faculty and staff, as well as students who will be attending classes on campus. We are strongly encouraging all of these folks to be tested. It is a requirement for student athletes.

As you well know, Traill County has had many COVID-19 cases identified in the last several weeks. This is only natural under the circumstances in which we find ourselves. We know that by the time everyone arrives on campus and all of the testing is done, it is highly likely that positive cases of COVID-19 will be identified. This is the situation we’ve seen as other institutions have conducted their initial mass testing events. It’s inevitable, but there will be no need to panic. We should feel vb move-in 2020 03.jpegconfident that we are well-prepared at Mayville State and have proper practices and procedures in place for when positive cases are identified. We know that we have done everything we can to get ready for a safe situation.

Our community is of utmost importance to the university and we know that the feeling is mutual. Community members are always very warm and welcoming to Mayville State students. The Mayville State campus community, together with the community at large, welcome our students with open arms. “The School of Personal Service” extends well beyond the campus and we are grateful for our community partners who help to make our students’ college experiences extra-special.

Please know that the welfare of the Mayville-Portland and Traill County communities is a top priority for us at Mayville State. We have done, and will continue to do, everything we can to ensure health and safety for everyone and put forth our best efforts to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Monday marked the first day of Mayville State’s face covering requirement. In consideration of a resolution recently adopted by the State Board of Higher Education and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mayville State University is requiring that all individuals on Mayville State University property or participating in official university events wear face coverings to contain potentially contaminated droplets while indoors. This is a big step in helping to keep everyone safe and healthy.

We’re looking forward to Thursday, Aug. 20, when the Comets football team will make their debut in a free public team scrimmage. I hope you’ll come out and have a look at a preview to the season. First-year head coach Rocky Larson and his staff have worked extremely hard to put together a team of which we can all be Comet Proud! Their recruitment efforts have been stellar, and I look forward to celebrating in the fruits of their labor with them. The scrimmage begins at 7 p.m. at Jerome Berg Field. Social distancing guidelines will be required, and we ask family units to sit six feet apart from other families. Masks are strongly encouraged.

Are you eager for a first run at tailgating for the year? Mayville State’s tailgating area will open at 5 p.m. Aug. 20. Interest in tailgating this year has been over the top! You’ll want to reserve your place for this year’s games as soon as possible. You can do so by contacting Leah Larson at or 701-788-4834.

We know that things will look a little different at Mayville State this fall semester, as they do everywhere across the United States, but we are happy for the opportunity to get to a place that looks a bit more like normal. It is our people who make Mayville State special … students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends. This time of social distancing has made us appreciate the people in our lives even more. We look forward to being together while following all of the guidelines that are so very important to maintaining health and safety for all.

It's not too late to register for the fall semester! For more information, go to or call 701-788-4842.

Photos: Volleyball players moved into the residence halls on Wednesday, Aug. 12.