MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

June 14, 2014 

Join us for the grand opening of the Larson Center and Alumni Days Kickoff Celebration


Headlining Mayville State’s 125th Anniversary Alumni Days celebration June 20 and 21 will be the official grand opening of the Edson and Margaret Larson Alumni and Leadership Center. This is a dream come true for many, and we look forward to celebrating with you!

The event will begin at 11:00 a.m. A short program is planned for 11:30 a.m. on the lawn north of the Center. The Alumni Days kickoff celebration will begin at 12:00 noon with a picnic lunch that is being sponsored and served by The First and Farmers Bank of Mayville and Portland. We are grateful to these folks for their generous support for Mayville State, and we hope you’ll join in the fun and excitement. Everyone is welcome!

Formerly known as Northwest Hall, the Edson and Margaret Larson Alumni and Leadership Center was built in 1911 as an infirmary for sick students. Over the years, it has served as dormitory space, the Mayville State president’s home, and housing for married students. The building was vacant for a number of years, but has been the site of activity in one form of renovation or another since 2001, when interested alumni realized the need for an alumni center at Mayville State and forged ahead with rehabilitation plans.

Construction work on the project began in 2003, and has continued project by project, as funding has allowed. The entire rehabilitation project is funded privately. A gift of $340,000 from the Edson and Margaret Larson Foundation in 2012 paved the way for the completion of the project and the opportunity to move forward at a quick pace, with a total of more than $900,000 raised. Fundraising for additional projects related to the renovation is ongoing.

The major renovation of the building was completed this last fall and winter, and the offices of the MSU Foundation moved into the Larson Center in March. It’s been like a beehive at the Larson Center over the past couple of weeks as the fruits of the labors of a decorating committee of Doug Anderson, Shireen Grinager, Mary Iverson, Sheryl Vinje, Michelle McLean, and John Klocke have begun to appear in the form of furnishings. Individuals and groups who’ve sponsored rooms and other areas in the building have been busy placing furniture, artwork, and photographs. Merwin Lyng has incorporated some of his East and West Hall artifacts. Gregg Kaldor and Kurt Skodje have added their hand-crafted bookcases. Late last week Lute Simley of Fargo came on-site to implement his landscaping plan. Together with the help of some volunteers and a few Mayville State grounds crew employees, the project has been completed. It looks great! You’ll have to come by and see! Take note of the Clenora Quanbeck Garden which is located outside the southwest corner of the building. You’ll see red geraniums, Miss Quanbeck’s favorite flower, and a bronze statue of two children sitting on a park bench reading a book. I offer my sincere appreciation to all of the hard-working folks who have made this come together!

Very soon, this activity at our much-anticipated alumni and leadership center will be replaced by the bustling of students gathering to meet and study, the excitement of symposiums hosted by the Larson Leadership Program, the business conducted at MSU Foundation Board meetings, the warm feelings of alumni and friends who come to visit, and so much more! We are delighted by the possibilities that await at the Edson and Margaret Larson Alumni and Leadership Center.

We are grateful to all who have had a part in making this dream a reality. I must recognize the many people who have given of their financial and other resources to this project. Thank you from the bottoms of our hearts!

Again, please plan to join us in officially opening this special place on campus, Friday, June 20, 11:00 a.m. I cordially invite you to enjoy all of the festivities planned during Alumni Days 2014. One hundred twenty-five years of personal service is reason for a grand celebration! See all of the activities that the Alumni Association has planned at Join in honoring this year’s Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Service Award recipients at the annual Alumni Association Awards Dinner Friday evening, June 20. Come back on Saturday for the Red Caps reunion, friends of Terry Kemmer gathering, friends of Bob Brown gathering, and/or MSU all-class reunion. You can purchase tickets for the Alumni Association Awards Dinner and the all-class reunion at or by contacting the MSU Foundation at 701-788-4687 or