MSU President's Newspaper Column

November 20, 2021 

Giving thanks

"We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.John F. Kennedy

As we as Americans once again take time to pause and reflect on our many blessings this Thanksgiving, I can’t help but think about the many who will be considering the gift that Mayville State University is in our lives. This special place has and continues to change lives, not only for current students, but for those who have earned degrees and gone on to make a difference in the lives of others.

We are grateful for the pioneers who came before us and worked hard to establish an institution of higher education in Mayville, North Dakota. Being able to provide quality education for future generations was extremely important to the immigrants who came to our area in search of better lives. We are the beneficiaries of an immeasurable gift.

To have a university in a small, rural community and county is something for which we can all be grateful. The university provides educational opportunities for students and employment opportunities for others. Mayville State University makes an important economic impact in our community and beyond.

We are grateful to be one of the 11 institutions in the North Dakota University System. As an NDUS entity we support the State Board of Higher Education’s mission to enhance the quality of life for all those who are served by the NDUS, as well as the economic and social vitality of North Dakota.

Mayville State University provides for the families of employees, and they are grateful. We often hear from the adult children of former employees, many of whom have passed away, about how much they appreciate the fact that their families benefitted from a parent’s association with Mayville State. These people are among the many who pay forward the blessings they’ve received.

Over and over again, when students are asked what they appreciate about Mayville State University, among the things they mention are the extra-special interaction between community members and students. Students recognize and truly value the great support that comes from community friends and alumni. Students who come from places that are similar to Mayville-Portland like that their transition to life in college feels like home. Those who come from distant metropolitan areas are drawn to the friendliness and genuine care and concern that is so freely shared by members of the community.

We recognized a number of these students, who are also Mayville State athletes, recently. I could not be more proud of how Mayville State University has had a positive impact in these young lives.

The last volleyball game of the season was on Nov. 6, when the Comets hosted Dickinson State. On this special day, our seniors were recognized. It was heartwarming to be a part of the recognition of the young women who have been integral members of our campus community over the years. They have become treasured Mayville State family members. While we are sad to know they will be leaving us soon, we are grateful that they will be with us always as a part of the Mayville State legacy. They have left their marks.

The last football game of the season was played at Jerome Berg Field on Saturday, Nov. 13. This was a day to recognize all seniors. The short pre-game recognition activities stirred up all kinds of emotions for me. Many of these men came to Mayville State in 2018 when I did. We’ve grown to know and love Mayville State University and its people together, as a family. I am extremely proud of them for their willingness to “stick with it” in good times and not-so-good times. They’ve made an impressive transformation from boys to outstanding young men who deserve our respect and admiration.

Personal service is the basis on which the university was formed so many years ago. We owe a debt of gratitude to our faculty and staff who perpetuate this principle which makes Mayville State University stand out. It is a source of great satisfaction to know that our students are taking their first-hand experiences in personal service from Mayville State and emulating them as they graduate and leave Mayville State to pursue their careers and lives in their own communities. It’s our way of making the world a better place.

For this, and so much more, we give thanks.