MSU President's column for Traill County Tribune

May 18, 2013

Swimming classes among the summer opportunities for students of all ages


Commencement is behind us, and the activities of summer are well underway. Not only does Mayville State offer classes for college students, there are many opportunities for elementary, junior high, and high school students, and others who wish to broaden their horizons during the summer months. These include a number of athletics camps, a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) College for Kids, and of course, the ever-popular swimming program.  

Mayville State started the summer “Learn-to-Swim” program after the Mayville city pool stopped offering swimming lessons in the early 1970s. Mayville State’s former Campus Center Director Bob Brown was the first coordinator of the program. Lessons were offered to Mayville-Portland area children, as well as to those in outlying communities such as Buxton, Reynolds, Hunter, and Arthur. 

Mayville State’s swimming program continues today, with Becky Gunderson serving as the coordinator. Becky taught lessons for the program in the early 1970s when she was a Mayville State student. The tradition of employing college students as swimming teachers continues today as well.

The program brings between 250 and 300 swimming students to the Mayville State campus during the month of June. These students range from 6 months of age to adults. They participate in parent/child classes, children’s learn-to-swim classes, water exercise classes, lap swimming, and adult learn-to-swim classes. The participants are from Mayville-Portland and surrounding communities including Hunter, Arthur, McVille, Buxton, Reynolds, Aneta, and Page. Children from Page are participating in the program for the first time this year.

American Red Cross Levels 1-5 and Preschool will be offered this year. A minimum of five students is needed to offer Levels 1-5. Three students are needed for the Preschool classes. Two two-week sessions will be offered, June 3-14 and June 17-28. Classes include parent/child and children’s learn-to-swim.

There will be open swimming from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., Monday-Thursday, June 3-27. In addition, lap swim/aqua jog/water exercises will be offered from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, June 3-27. A water exercise class will meet Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:00 to 5:45 p.m., also June 3-27. 

Registration for the 2013 summer swim program is currently underway. While the summer program brings the largest number of swimmers to the campus, children have the option of attending swimming classes during the school year as well. For more information on Mayville State’s swimming program, contactBecky Gundersonat 701-788-4841 or

It is a privilege to offer lifelong learning opportunities for young and old at Mayville State. I encourage everyone to take advantage of these offerings. You’ll be enhancing your quality of life and gaining knowledge that will benefit you always.