MSU President's Newspaper Column

April 8, 2023

Volunteers make great things happen for Mayville State

We are blessed beyond measure by the many alumni, friends, and community members who give of themselves for the benefit of Mayville State University. While there are hundreds of examples attesting to the support of our alumni and friends, a prime example took place last weekend when the MSU Alumni Association Board hosted their “Grease” theme dinner party. The party had been offered as an item on the auction block at the Farmers Bowl Auction last fall.

A group of friends and Mayville State supporters got together and purchased the party for a generous price which added the proceeds of the Farmers Bowl Auction. The auction benefits Mayville State University students through the work of the Alumni Association, the MSU Foundation, and Comet Athletics. We are grateful for all who attended the auction last fall and helped to make it an extremely successful event and fundraiser. The auction in its original form made a return in 2022 after a several-year hiatus. Mark your calendar and plan to join us at the 2023 auction event on Saturday, Sept. 16.

Alumni Association Board members have been working for months to prepare for the “Grease” theme party. Board member and artist Doug Anderson has been busy creating and painting numerous props that helped to set the stage. The Edson and Margaret Larson and Alumni and Leadership Center provided the perfect backdrop.

Dressed in their 1950s finest, alumni board members eagerly awaited the arrival of their guests, Sandy and Danny and their Pink Lady and greaser guy friends. Fully immersed in the theme and dressing the parts, the guests arrived ready to have fun. A meal of hamburgers, fries, and onion rings was served in the Frosty Palace Diner where guests were served by the infamous waitress Flo, aka Alumni Association Board president Cindy Petersen. Music and games helped to make the party complete.

We thank Shannon and Denise Bergstrom, Corey and Tracy McGillis, Matt and Tanya Strand, Scott and Leah Larson, and Luke and Jodi Carlson for their generosity in purchasing this item at the auction, and the Alumni Association Board members who made the party come together in such a big way. The hours of volunteer time invested and the thought, planning, and creativity exhibited was outstanding and is truly appreciated.

One can always find the Alumni Association Board members up to something good. It is this group who spearheaded the renovation of Northwest Hall to the current Edson and Margaret Larson Alumni and Leadership Center. They have been consistent in their efforts to make the building and grounds better and better all the time. Several landscaping projects, including the Military Honor Garden, the Gardens of Remembrance, the Garden of Comet Pride, and most recently, Jeanne’s Garden of Reflection, have been supported by the board, with leadership from Doug Anderson and community volunteer Lute Simley, as well as others. What they have given and continue to give to Mayville State University is remarkable.

Next month, the alumni board will host the annual graduation brunch, the official first alumni event for Mayville State’s newest graduates. The brunch will be held on graduation day, May 13. In addition, the board hosts homecoming festivities on an annual basis and is integrally involved with the Farmers Bowl celebration and so much more.

We owe these individuals a huge debt of gratitude for all they do in support of their beloved alma mater. Current board members are President Cindy Petersen, Vice President Pam Soholt, Secretary Doug Anderson, Cleone Whelan, Dean Krogstad, Teresa Agnes, Ann Willeson, Lori Nelson, Kayla Evenstad, Lucia Jacobson, Herb Thomson, Wayne Nelson, Don Cavalier, Mary Cavalier, Kelly Morrison, and Kelli Odden. As Director of Alumni Affairs, Beth Swenson is an ex officio member of the board.

Tables du Jour, another event that couldn’t happen without an army of volunteers, is coming up soon. The brunch event will be held Saturday, April 22, and a preview event is planned for April 21. See all the details at

The purpose of Tables du Jour is to raise scholarship dollars for Mayville State students. This year’s organizers are Lori Morkve, Kaliann Behrens, Marsha Behrens, Jackie Kuhle, and Beth Swenson. We hope you will join us for what is sure to be a wonderful event in support of Mayville State and its students.

There is no doubt that volunteers make great things happen for Mayville State University. I applaud and thank everyone who goes above and beyond to support this wonderful place that is making a difference for others.