MSU President's column for Traill County Tribune

May 4, 2013

Commencement marks a new beginning for Mayville State graduates


The people of Mayville State are busy preparing for a big celebration that will be held on campus May 11. The graduates have worked hard to reach this milestone and look forward to with anticipation to this day, commencement day.

Festivities will begin with Good Grad Morning, an open house sponsored by the MSU Alumni Association, from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. in the Campus Center Luckasen Room. Members of the graduating class will be the guests of honor, and they have been invited to ask their friends and families to join them for refreshments and a time of visiting and relaxation, along with Mayville State faculty and staff. There is no admission charge.

Good Grad Morning serves as the first official alumni event for the new graduates. The Mayville State University Alumni Association sponsors an event for the new graduates every year on commencement day. We look forward to a time of socializing with the graduates and their families. Graduates will have the opportunity to win door prizes.

A short program, emceed by Alumni Association board member Pam Soholt will begin at 12:00 noon. Rami Carlson, a 2013 elementary education graduate from Northwood, N.D. will bring greetings on behalf of the graduating class.  

Following Good Grad Morning, the graduates, together with Mayville State faculty and staff who will march in the academic procession and the graduation platform party will gather in the Classroom Building Auditorium. There will be a bustle of activity as graduates get into their gowns and do their best to get those mortarboards and tassels properly placed on their heads.

Once everyone is in his or her appointed place, the procession, led by mace bearer Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Keith Stenehjem, will leave the Classroom Building and make its way to the Lewy Lee Fieldhouse. At the proper time, the platform party will take their places on stage, followed by faculty and staff and the graduates who will have seats reserved on the floor directly in front of the stage.

We are honored this year to have 1984 Mayville State graduate and Mayville native Michael J. Holmes as our commencement speaker. Holmes is a deputy associate director for research at the Energy & Environmental Research Center, University of North Dakota. He currently oversees fossil energy research areas. He was bestowed the Mayville State University Distinguished Alumni Award in 2011.

Other platform party guests include Pastor Scott Sheets from Riverside Evangelical Free Church. Graduates Todd Olson, Grand Forks, N.D.; Jay Dyck, Calgary, Alberta; and Elizabeth Jemar, Eagle River, Alaska, will deliver speeches on behalf of the graduates.

Then the long-awaited moment will finally arrive … the awarding of diplomas.

Following the graduation ceremony, the faculty and officers of the institution will host a commencement reception for the graduates and their guests in the Campus Center Luckasen Room.

While commencement marks an end, the end of an educational journey with the earning of a degree, commencement is a beginning, the beginning of a new chapter in life for the new graduates. We look forward to hearing the good news of the achievements of these special members of the Mayville State family as they go out and make an impact in the world, and we hope that they will continue their educational journeys as lifelong learners.

The graduation ceremonies begin at 2:00 p.m. in the Lewy Fieldhouse and are open to the public. We’d love to have you share in this very special day at Mayville State University.