platform_party-web.jpgCommencement keynote speaker and former Mayville State University president Dr. Ellen Chaffee encouraged Mayville State’s newest graduates to “pay it forward” in addressing them during the 2015 MSU commencement exercises held the afternoon of Saturday, May 16.

Chaffee reminded the graduates that the state of North Dakota had made an investment in them by funding a portion of their education. With this in mind, she encouraged graduates to do good things for the state and its people in recognition of what had been done for them. She suggested getting involved in civic and other matters that would help the states and communities where they choose to live. In addition, she urged them to stay involved with their alma mater, supporting in any way they could.

MSU’s commencement 2015 was held at MSU’s Lewy Lee Fieldhouse. The familiar black curtain backdrop was replaced by a Comet blue tarp for this year’s festivities, evidence that a major HPER facility replacement project is well underway. Of the 156 students who were eligible, 94 chose to participate in the event.

graduates-web.jpgStudent speakers, who spoke on behalf of the graduating class at the commencement exercises were Amber Montag from Finley, N.D. and Marcisa Johnson from Seattle, Wash. Pastor Chris Hallanger from Mayville United Ministry delivered the invocation and benediction, and Dr. Kevin Melicher, member of the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education, brought greetings on behalf of the Board.

Commencement day at Mayville State University began with socializing and a delightful brunch for the graduates and their families in the MSU Campus Center Luckasen Room. The Luckasen Room was filled nearly to capacity for the brunch, which was hosted by the Mayville State University Alumni Association. The event is a tradition which serves as the first official alumni event for the new graduates each year. The brunch was sponsored by Gate City Bank. The bank’s monetary contribution helped to make it possible for all guests to attend the event free of charge. Speakers, who gave their heartfelt reflections on their time as MSU students, were graduates Sarah Gandari from Borrowdale Harare, Zimbabwe, Patricia Lopez from Clarissa, Minn., and Rochester Mugumbate from Mutare, Zimbabwe.

The MSU Commencement 2015 festivities culminated with a post-ceremony reception held in the Campus Center Luckasen Room. Graduates and their friends and families, together with the MSU faculty, staff, and alumni joined in the celebration. 

Mayville State University's 2015 commencement ceremony was brodcast on the Internet. The video is available on-demand until July 31, 2015. Click here to access the broadcast site.

Photo captions:

Top: Members of the platform party at Mayville State University’s commencement exercises Saturday, May 16 were (l-r) Pastor Chris Hallanger from Mayville United Ministry, State Board of Higher Education member Dr. Kevin Melicher, former Mayville State University president and commencement keynote speaker Dr. Ellen Chaffee, MSU President Dr. Gary Hagen, and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Keith Stenehjem.

Bottom: Graduates eagerly await their turn to approach the stage and receive their diplomas during Mayville State University’s commencement exercises. The event was held in Mayville State’s Lewy Lee Fieldhouse, which was filled with graduates, faculty, staff, and family and friends of the graduates.