MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

September 7, 2019

Transformation for Progress: Growing Our Region, State, and University

Friday, Sept. 13 will be a historic day in the life of Mayville State University. That is the date set for my inauguration as the 17th president of Mayville State University. The investiture ceremony will begin at 1:30 p.m. in the MSU Lewy Lee Fieldhouse. I extend a warm invitation to all Mayville State alumni and friends as well as community members near and far. It would be my honor to have you in attendance for this momentous occasion.

An inauguration is a public opportunity to celebrate the university's honored and storied past while evolving its future. Ultimately, an inauguration serves as a seamless transition which ushers in a new era while celebrating the history, traditions, and provenance of the preceding era.

My inauguration theme is “Transformation for Progress: Growing Our Region, State, and University.” I’ve spent the months since I took office on July 1, 2018 observing and getting to know Mayville State, the region, and the state better. Now I look forward to sharing my thoughts and plans for a new era at our beloved university.

The ceremony will be rich with pomp and circumstance. I am delighted that the platform party will include representation from a number of constituencies, including the Mayville State students, faculty, and staff, as well as the local legislative district, alumni/MSU Foundation, the Mayville-Portland community, and the Traill County community.

Dr. Casey Ryan, vice chair of the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education, and Dr. Mark Hagerott, chancellor of the North Dakota University System, will also have official roles in the ceremony.

Several delegates representing other institutions will march in the academic procession, as will our Mayville State emeritus administrators and faculty, as well as current faculty and staff with academic responsibilities.

I am especially excited about the mass choir that is being organized by MSU Director of Music, Dr. Cody Hunter. As an expression of the importance of the relationships that exist between Mayville State University and the K-12 educational institutions in the region, students from seven area high schools will be joining Mayville State’s concert choir to perform a couple of numbers during the program. Students from Hatton, Northwood, May-Port CG, Hillsboro, Pembina, Walhalla, and Park River will participate. Each of the choir directors from these schools has selected up to ten of their students who will join the group. I am sincerely grateful to the students, their instructors, and school administrators for their willingness to be a part of this important occasion.

Please mark your calendar and plan to join us at Mayville State University on Sept. 13. The inauguration will be a celebration of the university and the region. It’s an opportunity to honor our history and many successes and to begin to lay a framework for our future, a future where the university, the county, and region enjoy greater success while working together.

In closing, I must tip my hat to first-year Mayville State head football coach Jeff Larson and his staff and team for their outstanding performance during the season-opening home football game last Saturday, Aug. 31. A nice crowd of fans was on hand to witness the professionalism and great sportsmanlike conduct of the Comets coaches and players. I couldn’t have been more Comet Proud, and was extremely pleased with how our student athletes performed athletically and with the unity they displayed throughout the game. The Comets defeated Lewis-Clark Valley, 47-8. What a great way to start the season! We hope you’ll join us at Mayville State for the next home football game when the Comets will host Trinity Bible College in the annual Farmers Bowl game. Game time is noon on Sept. 14. We hope you’ll take part in all of the Farmers Bowl festivities. See more at