MSU President's column for Traill County Tribune

May 13, 2017 

Mayville State University Alumni Day planned in conjunction with Summerfest


Summer will be here soon! Hopefully this means that most people will have an opportunity to get out and enjoy some great weather and fun outdoor activities. Summer also is a time for community celebrations where people come together and some come “home” for reunions and other gatherings. In Mayville-Portland, the annual Summerfest is a much-anticipated community event. The Mayville Portland Community Club members are doing a great job of organizing and coordinating a celebration that can be enjoyed by young and old June 22-25.

As part of the annual Summerfest activities, the Mayville State University Alumni Association will host the seventh annual Alumni Day at Mayville State University, on Friday, June 23. Activities planned throughout the day include a guided campus tour, an ice cream social and open house at Birkelo Hall, a reception to honor the 2017 Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Service Award recipients, and the Alumni Association Awards Dinner. The grand finale for the day will be an all-alumni and friends social at the Mayville Golf Club. We’re excited to have the members of the class of 1977 and their friends coming to participate in the festivities as a part of their 40-year celebration.

Alumni Day will be a great time for you stop by the Larson Center and check out the beautiful Military Honor Garden. Everything has come together beautifully in this special place. This year, two gorgeous planters will be added. One of the planters was donated by the family of Phyllis Enger and the other was funded through the May-Port EDC beautification project.

A limited number of plaques to honor friends and loved ones at the Military Honor Garden are still available. 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. For more information about how you can honor a loved one, contact Dena at 701-788-4864 or

Renovation and exciting plans are underway at the Birkelo Hall residence hall. The new and improved facility will re-open in the fall of 2017 as a living and learning community that will encourage high-achieving first-year students to become a part of the Mayville State family. These are students who have a focus on excellence both in and out of the classroom. Rent for students accepted into the new living and learning community will be at half-price.

 We invite everyone to come and check out the progress at Birkelo Hall and enjoy ice cream, courtesy of the Alumni Association, from 2 to 3 p.m. on the grounds at the Larson Center. A guided campus tour will begin at 2 p.m. and leave from the front of Old Main. If you haven’t been to campus lately, this will be a great opportunity for you to see all of the wonderful facility improvements that have taken place during the last few years.

The Larson Center will be the site for a reception to honor the 2017 Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Service Award recipients. This will take place from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome to stop by and visit with this year’s honorees. Distinguished Alumni Award recipients will be Don Cavalier (‘65), Crookston, Minn., and Col. Richard Balstad (ret.) (‘63), Wichita Falls, Texas. Retired Mayville State faculty member and music director Mike Bakken, Mayville, will receive the Distinguished Service Award. Jeff Braaten will be honored posthumously with the Distinguished Service Award.

These honorees will receive their awards at the annual Alumni Association Awards Dinner, which will be held in the MSU Campus Center Luckasen Room beginning at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20.00 each and can be purchased at or by calling the MSU Foundation, 701-788-4864. RSVP deadline is Monday, June 5.

An all-alumni and friends social at the Mayville Golf Club will round out the day’s activities, from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m.

All of the events planned for Mayville State’s Alumni Day 2017 are open to the public. We cordially invite one and all to take part. We look forward to celebrating with our friends and neighbors and all who come “home” for the weekend.

Further information regarding Mayville State Alumni Day on June 23 is available at, 701-788-4750, or