MSU President's column for Traill County Tribune

February 1, 2014


Business Activity Day, an important annual event at Mayville State University


We had the opportunity to host the 32nd annual Mayville State University Business Activity Day at Mayville State this past week, on Thursday, Jan. 30. The annual event is sponsored by the MSU Division of Business and Computer Information Systems. High school students from seven area schools attended this year’s event, which included competitions, lunch, and awards. The approximately 170 high school participants included students from Ada-Borup, Central Valley, Grand Forks Central, Hatton-Northwood, Larimore, May-Port CG, and Northern Cass.

Business Activity Day was initiated in 1983 by Mayville State Business Division faculty members Terry Kemmer and Linda Baier. The purpose was (and is) to provide an opportunity for high school business students to participate in competitive events, to experience some type of learning activity, and to visit the Mayville State campus.

Each year, students compete in a number of individual and team written and performance events throughout the morning. A panel discussion held in the Classroom Building Auditorium, beginning at 1:00 p.m., included panel members and Mayville State students Adam Edwards, Leigh Dean, Nisa Rajput, and Miranda Grinde. Conversation topics included information on the students’ backgrounds and educational experiences.

Because some of the participating schools are large and others are smaller cumulative totals of awards won by each school are not tracked to determine an overall winning school for the day. Instead, a team game is used to determine the winner of a traveling trophy. Over the years, a variety of different games have been the basis for this part of the day. A game of “Jeopardy” has determined the winner of the traveling trophy during the last several years.

Business Activity Day has grown since 1983. The group of attendees that first year was small, and everyone fit into Mayville State’s Lester Parish Room for the luncheon and awards presentations. The number of high school students attending has grown, and about 175 students attend the annual event each year now.

For many years, the members of Mayville State’s chapter of Phi Beta Lambda (PBL), a student business fraternity, provided a workforce to manage many of the details involved. Since the dissolution of the local PBL chapter, the work of organizing and implementing the event has been distributed in different ways. For a couple of years, a team of college students enrolled in a project management course served as the event management staff. In recent years, Mayville State students, together with faculty and staff, have volunteered their assistance. Members of the Collegiate DECA group played a major role this year. About 25 students were involved.  

Faculty members of the business and computer information systems division continue to facilitate the day and/or serve as event judges. Other staff members also help out with event judging responsibilities each year. In addition, the event requires assistance from people across the campus. Each year there is effort expended by the custodial staff, dining services staff, information technology staff, bookstore staff, and others to accommodate space and other needs.

This will be the last time MSU Professor of Business Linda Baier will be involved with Business Activity Day, as she will retire at the end of this academic year. We are grateful to Linda for her entrepreneurial spirit which helped establish Business Activity Day 32 years ago, and for her efforts to keep this important activity flourishing over the years. This is just one of the many ways she has made a difference at Mayville State throughout her tenure. Thank you, Linda!

Business Activity Day is an important event for Mayville State University.  I am very grateful to all the dedicated faculty and staff members who make this event so positive. I offer my sincere thanks to the Division of Business & CIS for their efforts in making this a success story year after year. Congratulations to all on a job well-done!