MSU President's Newspaper Column

May 27, 2023 

One-word descriptions come together in a common theme

Mayville State students and employees were recently asked to choose one word to describe Mayville State. Among the answers were “impactful,” “family,” “friendly,” “personable,” “innovative,” “effective,” “awesome,” “fulfilling,” “community,” and “home.”

It’s heartwarming to know that of the nearly 40 people asked, many came up with the same word without prompting, and collectively, the words came together in a common theme.

To me, this is like getting the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval on “The School of Personal Service.” If you've ever seen that seal on the branding of something you're buying, it means that the product has been evaluated by the Good Housekeeping Institute and has proven it is something you can trust. As Good Housekeeping puts it, “We test it, so you can trust it.”

Mayville State is “impactful.” I think about how lives are changed at this special place. We provide a niche for individuals who thrive at a small university where people are treated as individuals who are valued. Time and time again, we see students who come from North Dakota’s small rural high schools, as well as the bigger ones, and who blossom at Mayville State, then go out into their careers and communities and do great things.

The same can be said for students who come from places beyond North Dakota and join the Mayville State family. Almost to a person, these students will tell you that the sense of “community” and “family” they feel here is a big factor in their success. “Community” goes beyond the borders of the university and into Mayville-Portland and the towns in the region. Though the weather can be cold here, the people of the community are warm in their “friendly” reception and treatment of Mayville State students.

Sixty-nine percent of our students are from North Dakota. Most recent statistics show that 79% of freshmen are from North Dakota. In addition, 69% of all Mayville State graduates are employed in North Dakota and/or continuing their education. Many out-of-state students who come to Mayville State choose to stay after graduation. They like the lifestyle and safety we enjoy as North Dakotans. These factors make for a big impact in our state, not only in terms of serving our citizens, but also in terms of assisting the workforce needs of our state.

Mayville State is “innovative.” Our faculty are constantly working to be on the cutting edge of the subject areas they are teaching, and we are working hard to be innovative with regard to North Dakota’s workforce needs. During the last several years, we’ve added degrees in education, agribusiness, nursing, and other areas. Classes required for our Master of Education and RN-to-BSN and Master of Science in Nursing degrees are offered in blocks. This format helps to accommodate the needs of individuals who are working in professions where they are critically needed while they pursue further education that will help to better-support their professions. In all academic areas, we make an effort to be flexible to accommodate the needs of all.

Mayville State is “fulfilling.” Students are able to participate in all kinds of clubs and organizations, athletics, scientific research, and so much more while enrolled at Mayville State. These opportunities not only help them to hone their leadership skills, but they also help our students to “fill their cups.”

Mayville State is “personable.” Student satisfaction is our top priority. On our small campus, students get the personal attention they deserve and expect. Personal service is our specialty.

Mayville State is “home,” a safe haven and a comfort zone, a place where we can live with and enjoy our loved ones, a place to build memories and our futures, and a place where we can just be ourselves. For our students and employees to express these thoughts and feelings for our university is the highest of compliments for the institution, simply “awesome!”