December 29, 2012


The fall semester at Mayville State University has quickly come to a close. Students have finished their final tests and returned to their homes to celebrate the holidays with family and friends. The faculty members have been busy grading exams and papers and determining final grades for their students. Staff are wrapping up the business of the fall semester and busily preparing for the next semester. In the midst of all of this excitement, we take time to think about the past year and all for which we are thankful.

First of all, we remember the many special people we have the opportunity to get to know. We are privileged to have some very great students who are already making a difference in the world and who will continue to make us proud as they leave us as Mayville State alumni. Our faculty and staff are second to none. We are grateful to them as they work with our students in their quest to reach their full potential. Last, but certainly not least, we remember our fabulous alumni and friends, including the people of the Mayville-Portland community. We truly appreciate all that you do to support our university.

The work that has taken place to ensure our mission during the last several years is remarkable. When we reflect and evaluate what has been accomplished, we are filled with excitement for the future. Mayville State is experiencing record enrollments, and new partnerships and academic achievements are raising the university to new heights.

For the first time in our 123-year history, the 1,000-student mark has been surpassed. This goal was reached on the first day of classes this fall, and the final official headcount for fall was 1,020 students, an all-time record. We are proud of our faculty and staff for their hard work and dedication that helped to make this happen.

Total deferred maintenance at Mayville State was reduced from $21 million to only $7.8 million, a decrease of 62%, during the 2009-2011 biennium. If we are successful in obtaining funding during the 2013 legislative session, our facilities will be upgraded to an even greater extent. A proposed $5.8 million project would involving razing the 1929 Old Gymnasium and replacing it with a substantially larger facility that would allow us not only to replicate the function of the Old Gymnasium, but also to expand services. A second project, valued at $2.27 million, would provide a campus-wide drainage system to improve issues related to water. Both projects would greatly enhance campus safety, and we are pleased the Governor Dalrymple has included them in his recently released budget proposal.

The Edson & Margaret Larson Foundation recently made a gift of $340,000 to finish the campaign to renovate Northwest Hall for use as an alumni and leadership center. This center will serve as an enhancement to strengthening alumni relations and alumni financial support. The newly renovated facility will be called the Edson and Margaret Larson Alumni & Leadership Center. It will be used in recruiting students, building alumni relations, making community connections, and hosting fundraising events. The building will house offices for the MSU Foundation.

In addition, a cross-curriculum leadership development program for students is in its first year of implementation, thanks to a gift of $40,000 from the Edson & Margaret Larson Foundation. Using the six pillars of leadership, including leading by example, ethical judgment, leading with purpose, leadership communication, continuous learning, and leadership self-direction, the program will provide valuable leadership experiences for Mayville State students.

Several marketing initiatives that are helping us to share the exceptional Mayville State story are underway. Faculty, staff, and students have been involved in discussions that have resulted in Mayville State's brand promise. New messages attesting to this promise are being worked out and will appear in all of our promotional materials soon. In addition, a new website featuring testimonials from several successful Mayville State alumni will be launched in the near future.

The future is filled with hope and excitement for Mayville State. This is just a sampling of the wonderful things that are happening, and there are many great opportunities and projects on the horizon. It is my privilege to help guide our beloved Mayville State University during these very exciting times, and I am grateful to everyone who has supported these efforts.