MSU President's Newspaper Column

December 5, 2020 

Generosity of alumni and friends is life-changing

As the holidays draw near, our hearts are filled with gratitude for the many gifts with which we have been blessed. One of those precious gifts for countless alumni and friends is Mayville State University. For 131 years, the university has provided experiences that have made lives better.

Student scholarships help to ensure that Mayville State’s legacy of delivering the best in personal service and outstanding educational opportunities continues for new generations of students. The MSU Foundation has just kicked off the annual academic scholarship drive. Gifts received will help us to recruit and retain new students. We know that scholarships may mean the difference in whether a student chooses to attend Mayville State, or whether to attend college at all. Gifts will help to relieve the financial stress that can go with earning a college degree and may be the very thing that makes it possible for a deserving person to do so. Students must carry the bulk of the financial load, but scholarships can really help to ease the burden.

Taylor Reilly, Mayville State student from Hoople, N.D., is a 2020-21 recipient of the Harvey and Melanie Noteboom Scholarship. She says, “Attending Mayville State to pursue my education has turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I love the small town feel of the university and the personal connections you are able to make with your professors and peers. Receiving scholarship assistance has allowed me to pursue my education and get involved on campus without having to worry about any financial setbacks that would take away from those valuable experiences.”

Taylor is pursuing a degree in social science education with minors in psychology and special needs. She plays basketball for the Comets varsity team and participates in other clubs and organizations on campus.

Taylor’s scholarship was made possible through the thoughtfulness of Melanie (Swenson) and Harvey Noteboom. Melanie is a 1963 graduate of Mayville State who taught at East Grand Forks (Minn.) Senior High School and the Red River Valley Vocational Center for 35 years. She and Harvey are both from small towns in North Dakota and can relate to students like Taylor.

Melanie and Harvey had very successful careers. They didn’t have children and talked about what they would do to leave a legacy one day. Helping students was appealing to them. They wanted to help their alma maters and other organizations that help others.

They appreciate the values and affordable education Mayville State provides for young people. By leveraging the power of the North Dakota Challenge Grant funding, which matched their gift at a rate of 50%, the Notebooms were able to make a future gift, combine it with other endowment gifts, and provide more than a million dollars in current and future funding. Instead of a gift legacy coming upon their deaths, they are able to help students now, while they are living. Melanie said, “We love reading letters from the scholarship recipients.”

The Notebooms are concerned about the high loan indebtedness that young people face and feel that giving scholarships to deserving students is a good way to help. They believe that providing students with scholarships will help MSU retain them all the way through graduation.

Wow! How thoughtful and generous! We could not be more grateful for Harvey and Melanie and their incredible kindness. Their impact on Mayville State University and its students is life-changing.

We at Mayville State are truly thankful for the generosity of all our alumni and friends. Their support is key to making great things happen at the university and in the lives of individuals. These people are paying forward the goodness they’ve received through their association with Mayville State, and in doing so, changing lives. Their financial assistance in the form of large and small gifts makes a huge difference.

To make a gift to the academic scholarship drive or to learn more about how you can establish an endowment or leverage the power of the North Dakota Challenge Grant, please contact Lon Jorgensen at the MSU Foundation, 701-788-4864 or, or go to