President's Column for Traill County Tribune

A Sparkling Affair will help to add sparkling touches at alumni center


February 16, 2013

Last October we announced the Edson and Margaret Larson Foundation gift of $340,000 to the MSU Foundation. The purpose of their contribution is to save Mayville State’s historic Northwest Hall and turn it into a first class alumni center. We have now been given state approval to name Northwest Hall the Edson & Margaret Larson Alumni and Leadership Center.

We are elated about the Larson Foundation’s special gift which is making it possible for major construction at the site to begin. The general construction bid has been awarded to Diversified Contractors, Inc. of Fargo. Mechanical construction will be done by Air Mechanical, Inc. of West Fargo, and Red River Electric, Inc. of Moorhead will be the electrical contractor. Work at the Edson & Margaret Larson Alumni and Leadership Center will start in the next few weeks.

Northwest Hall was built in 1911 as an infirmary for sick students. The building has served a number of purposes over the years, including the college president’s home, dormitory space, student medical offices, and married student housing. Now the brick structure will be completely renovated into a shining new home for Mayville State University alumni, and a place where alumni can meet and “come home.”

While the Larson Foundation gift helped to finish the campaign, MSU Director of Development John Klocke and the MSU Foundation staff continue to raise additional funds for some of the needed project extras, and there are still a few areas left in the hall that can be sponsored by individuals, families, and businesses. These extra sponsorships and gifts will not only help finish the project, but they will help to make it “sparkle.”

Hospitality will be of utmost importance in our new alumni center. With this in mind, my wife Debbie and Mayville State alumna Jennifer (Newman) Kohls have collaborated on a fund-raising project that will help to provide the things needed to make sure that guests at the Edson & Margaret Larson Alumni and Leadership Center are treated well. Through the hospitality project, items needed for hosting gatherings will be supplied. These items include a stove, refrigerator, serving needs, and more.

Connected by their love for designing and making beautiful jewelry, Jennifer and Debbie are using their talents to benefit the new alumni center. They’ve also enlisted the help of Loree Stenehjem with the organization of the event they’ve titled “A Sparkling Affair.” The three of them have put their hearts and souls into coming up with an event that is certain to be a time to remember for all who attend.

“A Sparkling Affair” will be held in the MSU Campus Center Luckasen Room, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, February 28. The event will feature fabulous jewelry prizes, bid or buy silent auction, live musical entertainment by John Klocke, games, and refreshments.

Riddle’s Jewelry has stepped up as a big sponsor of “A Sparkling Affair,” donating more than $4,500 in grand prizes that will be awarded February 28. Those who attend the gala will have the opportunity to participate in a spectacular treasure hunt featuring a ¾ carat diamond pendant ($2,000 retail value), a Comet blue diamond ring ($1,070 retail value), and a pair of diamond solitaire earrings ($500 retail value). In addition, Riddle’s is contributing two $500 shopping sprees that will be prizes in the “Puttin’ on the Ritz” game. Riddle’s Jewelry personnel will be on hand at the event and will clean jewelry for anyone who’s interested.

Jennifer and Debbie have handcrafted many unique and beautiful jewelry items that will be among the prizes given away throughout the “A Sparkling Affair” evening. A minimum of 20 jewelry items (valued at $40-$120 each) will be given away as door prizes. Additionally, a number of their creations will be included in the bid or buy silent auction.

Tickets for “A Sparkling Affair” sell for $25.00 each, and are available by calling the MSU Foundation at 701-788-4687, or by going to Tickets are nearly sold out, so if you are interested, you should call as soon as possible. Those who are not able to attend the February 28 event are encouraged to help support the project by purchasing a ticket for a chance to win in the door prize drawings for jewelry items handcrafted by Jennifer and Debbie. These tickets sell for $10.00 each and are available by contacting the MSU Foundation office.

Mayville State University is truly blessed to have fabulous volunteers! I offer my heartfelt thanks to Jennifer, Debbie, and Loree, and their many colleagues who are selling tickets and helping in all kinds of ways to put the “sparkle” in “A Sparkling Affair.” Your efforts are very much appreciated and are making a difference for all alumni and friends of Mayville State University.