November 24, 2012

"After Hours" is the name recognized by many in the Mayville-Portland community as a monthly social for women. It is currently held on the third Tuesday of each month (except January) from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the home of volunteer hostesses. The open house-style social provides a time for women to have fun, relax, network, visit, and enjoy refreshments. In addition, names of all who attend each gathering are included in a door prize drawing for a purse filled with $50 worth of "treasures."

Each month a community volunteer offers her home and co-sponsors the social with the help of friends who share hostess duties and provide refreshments. A donation of $10 is taken from each person who attends. The purse and its contents are also donated by Mayville State supporters.

The first "After Hours" social was held in September of 2006. More than 100 women attended the inaugural event, and its popularity has not faded. Now in its seventh year, attendance continues with an average of about 60 women attending each month.

Sponsorships for the socials continue to be organized by Linda Baier, MSU Professor of Business, and my wife Debbie. They originated the idea in 2006. Although it was intended to perhaps be a year-long fund-raiser to benefit the division of business and computer information systems, it continues to be an event enjoyed by many each month. According to Linda and Debbie, the success of the socials has been a pleasant surprise, and the schedule for the coming year is almost complete.

Since the refreshments and purse are provided by groups of sponsors each month, all of the admission donations go to the "cause." More than $38,000 has been raised through the socials held from September of 2006 through October of 2012.

The faculty members of the Division of Business and Computer Information Systems continue to dedicate "After Hours" funding to two main categories: scholarships; and division activities that support faculty, students, and division curriculum, both in and out of the classroom. Various activities and projects have been prioritized, and most will continue to be funded annually as long as the funds are available.

The continued growth of funds raised through the socials has provided an opportunity for the division to establish an endowed scholarship. The endowment will ensure that the contributions from the area women who attend the monthly event will continue to impact Mayville State University students in perpetuity. The first scholarship will be awarded for the 2013-2014 academic year.

The scholarship has been named the "'After Hours' Rising Star Scholarship." The purpose of the scholarship is to recognize upper-level students who demonstrate leadership and academic achievement, in and out of the classroom. Recipients must be majoring in business or computer information systems, and will be selected each year by the faculty in the Division of Business & CIS.

Non-scholarship expenditures from "After Hours" funding sources have been used to support many activities that help to strengthen and grow the division of business and computer information systems, either covering the cost or supplementing other funds. Some examples include: an internship preview night held each fall; Business Administration Club (BAC) field trips; travel expenses for students who attended the statewide Club/Collegiate DECA conference; purchase of books that are distributed as required reading to supplement textbook content for specified classes; campus speaker expenses; student curriculum focus groups; alumni and professional colleague curriculum focus groups; updates of office d├ęcor; annual Business Activity Day expenses; and promotional items.

I join my wife Debbie, Linda Baier, and all of the Division of Business and Computer Information Systems students, faculty, and staff in expressing my since thanks to "After Hours" hostesses, purse sponsors, and all women who attend the monthly socials. This activity is providing very important funding resources that are helping to make our business and CIS programs the best that they can be. I would be remiss if I didn't add my personal "thank you" to Debbie and Linda for all that they do to organize and assure that "After Hours" is a wonderful event month after month, year after year. If you've never attended an "After Hours" social, I encourage you to check it out. You're bound to have a nice time, and who knows, you may even win a purse filled with "treasures" worth $50!