MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

July 14, 2018

Campus and community partnerships are important

My first couple of weeks on the job as president of Mayville State University have been wonderful! I’ve had the opportunity to meet several campus and community folks. In addition, Gary and Debbie Hagen accompanied Misty and me as we took part in the fabulous 4th of July parade in Hatton last week. We feel fortunate to have received such a warm welcome.

The relationships that are being formed are just the beginning of one of my major goals as Mayville State’s president. I intend to work hard on forming strong “town and gown” community partnerships. This is something I have lots of experience with, and my plan is that this experience will translate to success not only for the university, but also for the community. There’s no doubt that in working together, each entity involved becomes stronger.

We at Mayville State are grateful for the incredible support the university receives from the community. The installation of turf at Mayville State’s football field is a good case in point. Not only did individuals and businesses in the community and beyond step up in a big way with their financial support, the May-Port Economic Development Corporation matched gifts up to $50,000.  Local economic development leaders realized the role that a turf football field will play in attracting students to Mayville State. Those students, in turn, support the local economy. It’s a win-win for all involved. To top it off, our local high school students will now play their football games on a turf field, as will their opponents from neighboring towns. Wow! What an outstanding partnership! We look forward to seeing the fruits of these labors starting with the first games played on the new turf field in the fall.

A college campus offers a plethora of opportunities for community members. At Mayville State there are a number of artistic, academic, athletic, and social options available to all. Having these perks available helps to make Mayville-Portland and the surrounding communities attractive to families who are considering a place to call “home.”

I urge all community members to visit the campus and take part in the many events and opportunities we have to offer. We want you to be comfortable here and to know that you are always welcome. In addition, I urge you to get to know our students. Take an interest in them, learn about where they come from and what brought them to Mayville State.

For example, I called and spoke with Spring 2018 Mayville State graduate Donte Stevens by phone last week. He’s the kind of young man who makes all of us at Mayville State proud! He came from Miami, Florida to Mayville, North Dakota and leaves as a successful university graduate and a soon-to-be officer in the U.S. Marines. This is a tribute to all of us who call Mayville State “home.” I am happy that I had a chance to get to know Donte, even if just briefly, as he served as a member of the presidential search committee.

This week, Mayville State has hosted the 132 players and 16 coaches participating in the annual Shrine Bowl football games. They’ve held their practices and participated in a number of activities while in Mayville. It’s been a great time for us to let these folks from all across North Dakota and northwest Minnesota know about this special place called Mayville State University. The Shrine Bowl games will be played at Shanley High School in Fargo on Saturday, July 14.

Soon I will be extending an invitation to area school superintendents, principals, guidance counselors, and educators. I want them to come to campus and get to know more about who we are and what we have to offer. I also want to learn more about what we can do at Mayville State to help build a seamless transition for students from high school to college.

Again, I can’t say it enough, please come to the campus and get to know first-hand about what Mayville State University has to offer. You’re always welcome! If you can’t make it to campus, you can stay up-to-date with the latest offerings and events at