MSU President's column for Traill County Tribune

February 15, 2014

Mayville State’s 125th anniversary is great cause for a community celebration


We’ve come a long way and have much to celebrate as we approach the 125th anniversary of the establishment of a normal school at Mayville, November 2, 2014. Our campus has grown and improved greatly since the first half of Old Main was completed years ago. We have beautiful residential, instructional, and activity-focused facilities. We’ve consistently set new enrollment records across the board for the last several years, including surpassing the 1,000-student headcount mark. This was accomplished not only in the last couple of fall semesters, but the 1,000-student mark was surpassed for the first time ever for a spring semester during this current semester. We have fantastic academic programs and our faculty are always working to provide the best education possible for our students. Things are going well and we look to the future with hope and enthusiasm.

Last fall, we made special note of Mayville State’s upcoming 125th anniversary during the MSU Foundation Honor Society President’s Dinner. A toast to the occasion took place at the Poinsettia Ball in December, and the Comet Athletic Club sponsored the raffle of a special 125th anniversary commemorative shotgun in recognition of the occasion. Shannon Bergstrom of Portland was the lucky winner of that beautiful one-of-a-kind gun.

The celebration will continue in June when the MSU Alumni Association hosts Alumni Day festivities, June 20 and 21. The group is working together with the local Lions Club to coordinate plans with the annual Summerfest, which is scheduled for June 19-22. While the schedule is not finalized, a preliminary schedule of activities can be found at

A number of special activities are planned, including the official grand opening of the Edson and Margaret Larson Alumni and Leadership Center at Mayville State on June 20. We are thrilled that our long-awaited alumni center is nearly completed and will open soon! The Larson Center will be the hub of activity for Alumni Days, and we are delighted for the opportunity to celebrate the university’s 125th anniversary in this wonderfully renovated facility.

We’re extending a special invitation for all previous recipients of the Mayville State University Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Service Awards to join in celebrating with this year’s honorees. These distinguished folks will be honored at the Alumni Association Awards Dinner which will be held at the MSU Campus Center Luckasen Room, beginning at 5:30 p.m., Friday, June 20.

An all-class reunion for all who attended Mayville State is planned for the late afternoon of June 21. Make plans to meet your friends at Mayville State for food and fun during this special time!

Work to organize a “jam” session of Francis Colby’s former stage band participants is underway. While we can’t be sure this will all come together, we are very hopeful that a good number of Fran’s former players will be able to join us for the weekend and once again share their musical talents on the campus of Mayville State. It will be a privilege to hear the players that gained Mayville State regional and national attention in music performance years ago. We’ll keep you posted on the progress of this plan. If all goes well, we may be able to do it again during homecoming festivities next fall.

Speaking of homecoming, mark your calendars for October 3-5, and plan to take part in this year’s festivities! We’ve got some extra-special things planned in celebration of Mayville State’s 125th anniversary. See the details at

The Athletic Hall of Fame and Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame inductees will be honored at a banquet planned for Friday evening, October 3. A special invitation is being extended to all members of the Athletic Hall of Fame and the Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame. We hope to have a good number of the current members of the Halls on hand to welcome the newest inductees next fall.

The Alumni Association is planning the first-ever Cometfest for Homecoming 2014. All alumni and friends are invited to join in the festivities outside of Jerome Berg Field following the traditional homecoming parade. There will be yard games and inflatable games for kids young and old. This will be a great opportunity to meet your friends, catch up on the latest from Mayville State, and to celebrate being a Mayville State alum!

Former Mayville State choir members are invited to join in a 125-voice reunion choir performance during the MSU Music Department Homecoming Concert on October 5. Mike Bakken is organizing the reunion choir. You can register at In addition, the second annual program to recognize the 2014 Performing Arts Hall of Fame inductees will be held during the concert.

Mayville State’s 125th anniversary is providing a great opportunity for the campus and community to collaborate. We look forward to sharing in the festivities with you. If you have questions or ideas you’d like to share, please feel free to contact Beth Swenson, director of marketing and public relations, at 701-788-4750 or