MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

May 9, 2020 

Thankful for a bright future and those who pay it forward

We are making plans for Mayville State University to return to face-to-face instruction in the fall, with precautions taken for the safety of students, faculty, and staff. We also plan to open residence halls for the fall semester. Our students, faculty, and staff are very excited about this decision, which helps to bring a sense of reassurance during what has been a time filled with uncertainty. Bottom line, we’re open and will be ready for business at Mayville State in the fall semester of 2020.

We can’t say enough about how much we miss having our residential students, faculty, and staff on campus. A return to life as close to normal as possible is a fabulous goal for us moving forward. Things can change, sometimes very quickly as has happened often over these last few months, so be assured we will be monitoring the pandemic situation and planning accordingly.

On April 29 the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education unanimously passed a motion expressing their intent to have students return to campuses for classes this fall.

Board president Nick Hacker said, “In a purely online educational environment, the indications are many students don’t thrive or succeed. The learning environment we’re coming to know as the most effective seems to be ‘experiential learning.’ That happens in an academic setting that allows for labs, collaboration with other students, collaboration with faculty, and so on.”

I also believe this is where our wonderful faculty, students, and staff excel. We appreciate the leadership of Chancellor Hagerott and the State Board of Higher Education to recognize this as an important issue and for taking action so promptly for the North Dakota University System institutions.

On another topic of exciting news, the Mayville State University May Day annual day of giving was extremely successful. At the end of the day on Friday, May 1, a total of $62,250 had been raised. This includes match funding.

One of our supportive and generous alumni families pledged to match all gifts made on May Day, up to a total of $30,000! We could not be more Comet Proud and grateful for the thoughtfulness and generosity of this special family. We are truly blessed to count these and so many other big-hearted alumni and friends as members of the Mayville State family. They are always very thoughtful about paying forward their appreciation for Mayville State University and how it has made a difference in their lives

The theme for the May Day campaign was “I’m Thankful for Mayville State.” Alumni and friends were encouraged to let us know the reasons why they are thankful for Mayville State University. We’ve always known the important role Mayville State University plays, but it was great to hear it from so many in their own words.

Among the many comments were the following:

  • “Privilege” is the word that comes to mind when I think of Mayville State. I was privileged to be a student and later a faculty/staff member. I was privileged to work with some of the kindest, smartest, most imaginative people one could find. Our family was privileged to enjoy athletic, cultural and social events and to be an active part of the MSU college community as volunteers. It has also been our privilege to be able to “pay back” and “pay forward” in gratitude for those experiences. Go, Comets.
  • MSU makes a big, positive impact on our community and education is so important. MSU is affordable.
  • Teachers drew out gifts in me I didn't know I had. Classmates journeying together made the trip for all better. Staff both knew us and cared. "Personal service" was not just a motto; it was/is a way of being.
  • It is a supportive, wonderful place to work!
  • I owe everything to MSU. It is why I am where I am today! #cometproud

Thank you to all who showed their Comet pride on May Day and generously shared their financial resources for the benefit for Mayville State University and our students. I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to lead Mayville State University together with a fantastic team of faculty and staff. Our students are at the center of all we do, and I am sincerely grateful for the opportunity to know many of them. Each and every student is a cherished member of the Mayville State family.