MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

February 22, 2020 

Arizona trip provides opportunities to visit with and thank Mayville State supporters

I’ve just returned from the Mesa, Ariz. area, where I had the pleasure to meet and get to know many wonderful Mayville State University alumni and friends. It was great to have the opportunity to re-connect with some and meet others for the first time.

About 80 people attended the annual Traill County/Mayville State luncheon held Monday, Feb. 10 at the Apache Wells Country Club in Mesa. The decades-old event serves as a reunion of folks who have a connection to Traill County. That connection may be that they once lived in Traill County, or that they still live in Traill County and are wintering in the area, or that they attended Mayville State University. It is heart-warming to be a part of the celebration as people who haven’t seen one another in a long time have a chance to visit and catch up.

Mayville State Athletic Director Ryan Hall and I each had a chance to address the luncheon audience. Ryan gave updates of the latest news from the athletic department. Things are always hopping in the athletic department and people were happy to learn of some of the great things that are happening, including the hiring of new head football coach, Rocky Larson, and the success of our athletic teams on the courts and fields, as well as in the classroom and in the community.

In my presentation, I was able to share past and present successes university-wide, as well as plans for the future.

Last fall, Mayville State recorded record enrollment for the eighth-straight year. In addition, official census day for the spring semester was last Tuesday. I’m happy to report that we’ve set another record for spring, as well. This fantastic news is in line with Mayville State’s upward trend in enrollment in not only the spring semester, but also in the fall and summer. I am extremely proud of our faculty and staff who are working tirelessly to make Mayville State the school of choice for a growing number of students.

Competition is keen and in order to be at the forefront, we need to educate students for in-demand jobs. We need to offer new degree programs, while accommodating today’s students efficiently and via delivery times and methods that accommodate their diverse schedules. In addition, we need to actively seeking out new enrollment opportunities.

With proper approvals in place, we were able to implement a number of new degree programs starting last fall. In the interest of efficiency, all of these programs are being offered by packaging courses we had already been offering, at no additional cost. We’re very excited about several other programs that are in varying stages of approval. Stay tuned for additional developments and opportunities in nursing, accounting, and more. As we work to provide new opportunities for students, teacher education remains at the heart of Mayville State’s mission. More than 800 of those who teach in North Dakota currently earned a teaching degree from Mayville State University. That’s definitely a reason to be Comet Proud!

Funding is a major component to the success of Mayville State University. Revenue from base state funding, grants and contracts, MSU Foundation sources, and enrollment growth is critical to the future growth of the university and to ensuring that the legacy of earning an exceptional education at an affordable cost at “The School of Personal Service” can continue.

Growing the MSU Foundation is critical. Financial support in the form of scholarships is needed in order to give Mayville State the edge when recruiting and retaining students. These funds also make new opportunities possible and are essential to our future!

Great strides are being made! Foundation assets have grown from about $6.5 million in 2014-2015 to about $9.7 million to date. We couldn’t be more thankful for our wonderful generous alumni and friends who see the benefits of Mayville State University and support it in all ways, including with financial gifts, volunteer efforts, and more.

Maintaining and developing relationships with alumni and friends is central to continuing the outstanding work of the MSU Foundation, and thus, future success for Mayville State University. Having the opportunity to share the Mayville State story and the good news of all that is happening at Mayville State is exciting and gratifying. We are truly grateful to the generous and kind people whose support is having an invaluable impact in the lives of students and the university as a whole, and it is an honor to have the opportunity to visit with these folks and thank them personally for their support.