MSU President's column for Traill County Tribune

October 26, 2013

Video project will be a significant activity in the quasquicentennial celebration


Mayville State University will soon begin its year-long celebration of one hundred twenty-five years as a state-supported educational institution. The official date of the 125th anniversary is November 2, 2014, and we will celebrate the occasion during events over the next year. A big quasquicentennial party is being planned during Alumni Days in 2014, June 20-22. The celebration will be held in conjunction with Mayville-Portland’s annual Summerfest. 

Quasquicentennial is the fancy term for a 125th anniversary. This term was coined by Robert L. Chapman, the editor of Funk and Wagnalls, in 1961. The word is broken down as “quasqui,” which means “and a quarter” and centennial which means “100 years.” A big word like this is fitting for an event so significant in the life of Mayville State University.

A schedule of monthly anniversary activities will be announced shortly, but for now, I want to let you know about what could be a very special outcome of this 125th anniversary. Plans are being crafted to capture the history of Mayville State University on electronic media. Today’s media is exciting in that it allows pictures, films, videos, music, and other interesting and historical media to be combined. We are envisioning a dynamic video in which we can bring the full flavor and meaning of Mayville State University to life.

Imagine being able to pull up a video and see historic pictures of Mayville State University enhanced by narrative that explains the significance of the photos. Period-specific music plays in the background. Historic buildings, people, and events can be recalled at any time the desire strikes. Watch and listen as people talk about their experiences at Mayville State University and what these events mean to them. In other words, we will endeavor to bring the history of Mayville State University fully to life.

The success of this project depends on the material we have to put into it. This is where all our alumni and friends come in. We are looking for historic pictures, film, and artifacts we can capture electronically. Would you have something to share? All items would be returned to the owners. We would do our best to make arrangements so individuals could share items for electronic capture and take them back without actually having to leave them on campus. Our interest is in getting as complete a picture of our history as possible. Items of state and local history that helped to shape our campus would be of interest as well.

Do you have interesting pictures or documents related to Mayville State’s history? If so, time is critical.  We will be gathering information immediately, and would need items in our possession by November 15. Our goal is to have a completed video by next spring so it can be incorporated as a wonderful part of our celebration before the concluding quasquicentennial events in 2014. 

We are extremely excited to create a lasting memorial to Mayville State University’s first 125 years, and we are hoping our alumni and friends can help us out. Please contact Beth Swenson at 701-788-4750 or to make arrangements to share what you have. Please help us make the quasquicentennial of Mayville State University the most special celebration in our university’s history!