MSU President's column for Traill County Tribune

June 13, 2015


Ground breaking for Military Honor Garden planned for June 26

Alumni Day 2015 festivities will be kicked off in a very special way on June 26. Ground will be broken for the Military Honor Garden project as part of a program scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. that day. It will take place on the grounds south of the Edson and Margaret Alumni and Leadership Center.

We invite the public to join us in kicking off the construction phase of this exciting project. Please bring a lawn chair if you wish to sit during the program, and plan to join us for a complimentary lunch immediately following the program, which will include patriotic music and more. The May-Port Honor Guard will present the colors.

When completed, the Military Honor Garden will feature a life-sized bronze eagle in flight sculpture, flags, night lighting, and memorial gardens surrounded by sidewalks. All five branches of the military will be represented on granite plaques. This beautiful and meaningful project will be a tribute to Mayville State employees, students, and friends, and community men and women for their patriotic service in America’s Armed Forces. The intent is to honor anyone who has served in the military. Those honored definitely can be, but do not have to be, Mayville State alumni.

Martin Johnson, 1966 Mayville State graduate and USMC Corporal, and Lieutenant General Emil “Buck” Bedard (Retired, USMC), 1965 Mayville State graduate, are heading up the project. These men are working hard to ensure that the Military Honor Garden will be an extra-special and meaningful tribute to those who bravely served, and continue to serve, to uphold our country’s liberty and freedom.

We are grateful to Marty and “Buck” for taking charge of this project, and to the many people who have given their financial support to make it happen. This will be a beautiful permanent monument that will proudly honor our veterans for their patriotic service in America’s Armed Forces. It is our privilege to recognize our military heroes for all that they’ve done.

Many people have made gifts of $500 or more to the project so that they can have the name(s) of their loved ones engraved on granite plaques that will be incorporated into the memorial walk. In addition, Valorie Brown, Cavalier, N.D., widow of David G. Brown, a 1971 graduate of Mayville State, has donated an amazing bronze statue depicting a life-sized bald eagle in flight in memory of her husband. Several other special features are planned.

If you’re interested in sponsoring a granite plaque in honor of a loved one, I would encourage you to do so prior to July 1 so that it can be included in the initial order and be among those folks who will be honored at the official dedication of the memorial during homecoming festivities on October 17, 2015. Please contact Dena Bergstrom at or 701-788-4864 to learn more. You can also see more information and make your gift online at

We’re working on exciting plans for the dedication of the Military Honor Garden on Saturday, October 17. Please keep your eyes and ears open for more information as the date gets closer.

Please plan to join us at Mayville State University for all of the Alumni Day 2015 festivities on June 26. The Alumni Association board has lots planned, and it’s going to be a great day! In addition to the Military Honor Garden ground breaking ceremony, there will be reunions of those who lived in Berg Hall as Mayville State students and the library science alumni and library employees, a guided campus tour, a social and dinner to honor the 2015 Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Service Award recipients, and wonderful musical entertainment by Jazz On Tap +2. See all the details at For more information about Alumni Day, contact the Office of Alumni Affairs at 701-788-4750 or