MSU President's column for Traill County Tribune

January 2, 2016 

A tribute to Dr. Ray Gerszewski


As 2015 has come to a close, we bid our best wishes to Dr. Ray Gerszewski, who retired after a more than 32-year career at Mayville State University. His first job title at Mayville State was Director of Counseling/Career Center and Associate Director of Student Services. He completed his tenure with the title of Vice President for Student Affairs/Institutional Research. He has become one of the most respected administrators Mayville State has known.

Ray_Gerszewski_Emeritus-web.jpgRay began his career at Mayville State in September of 1983. He was an extremely talented, conscientious, hard-working and reliable employee. His leadership on the President’s Cabinet was solid and the experience he brought to the executive leadership team is much-appreciated.

Gerszewski dealt with a multitude of student issues, problems, and concerns. He was involved with retention, counseling, academic support, tracking, and many other complex activities. The university’s strategic plan goals, especially those dealing with enrollment and retention, have been largely dependent on Ray‘s talents. His efforts have been very important to the overall success of the university.

Highlights of Ray’s tenure at Mayville State include significant grant-writing and administration. He authored several Title III Strengthening Institutions Program grants which brought in more than $5 million. These grants brought long-term, essential technology, pedagogy, and student retention capabilities to the campus. He managed two consecutive Title IV Student Support Services Program grants over eight years that resulted in nearly $1 million to provide integrated retention services to a target group of educationally and economically disadvantaged students. He also managed a two-year Title VIII FIPSE grant of approximately $100,000 to develop a substance abuse education and prevention program. Gerszewski recently headed up the renovation of Agassiz Hall which provided suite- and apartment-style housing accommodations for students. While it is hard to put a value on the project, it has certainly played a significant role in Mayville State’s recent enrollment increases.

On his retirement, Dr. Gerszewski was bestowed the title Vice President Emeritus for Student Affairs. The emeritus title is given to a person who is retired from professional life, but retains the honorary title signifying the rank of the last office held. It is reserved for those individuals who have served honorably throughout their careers.

The students, faculty, staff, and administration of Mayville State University are truly grateful to Ray for his years of service and devotion to The School of Personal Service. “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Photo Caption: Dr. Ray Gerszewski (right) was presented with a certificate designating his latest Mayville State title, Vice President Emeritus of Student Affairs. The distinction was announced by MSU President Dr. Gary Hagen (left) at a retirement party held for Ray on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. Gerszewski completed his career at Mayville State at the end of 2015.