MSU President's Newspaper Column
February 11, 2023
Celebrating our Mayville State heritage makes for extra-special memories
As I wrote this column, I was enjoying time with Mayville State University alumni and friends in Arizona. I like to call the events that happen during this annual trip south “Mayville State Family Reunions.” At family reunions you remember where you came from and celebrate your heritage, and that is exactly what happens for Mayville State alumni and friends in Arizona in the early days of February each year.
Mayville State alumni share a special bond. The relationships that are formed at “The School of Personal Service” last a lifetime, and it is heartwarming to be a part of the celebration when members of the Mayville State Family come together.
For the second year in a row, the MSU Foundation hosted a golf event and socializing at Springfield Golf Resort in Chandler. We are extremely appreciative of a sponsorship from Western State Bank, where Mayville State graduate Andy Strand is regional president and chief credit officer. I would be remiss in not mentioning organizational and financial support given by Tim Garrett, Mark Osland, and Mike Osland as well. We are truly grateful for these alumni who bleed Comet Blue and support their alma mater through and through.
The golf event grew in participation this year. Sixty golfers joined us this year. That’s up from about 37 last year. Plans for 2024 are underway. Mark your calendar for Feb. 4 and stay tuned for further details.
Golfers enjoyed lunch at the clubhouse when they finished their games, and they were joined by several additional Mayville State non-golfers who were excited to connect with their friends and join in the fun.
It was especially wonderful to see people re-connect. While many who attended see one another on a more regular basis, others hadn’t seen each other for years. One such mini-reunion involved Terry Bachmeier, Debbie (Berg) Soholt, and Julie (McMullen) Graham. According to Terry, the three were inseparable as young children. They all had something in common … their dads, Tom Bachmeier, Harvey McMullen, and Jerome Berg, were Mayville State employees. The three were able to capture the reunion moment in a photo. Terry said it was a once-in-47 years+ photo opportunity for the trio. How cool is that?
We also experienced the annual Mayville State University/Traill County Luncheon at Apache Wells Country Club in Mesa while on the trip. It was nice to re-connect with more alumni and friends, and to meet some new friends as well.
The decades-old tradition provides a venue where current or former Mayville-Portland or Traill County residents, as well as Mayville State alumni and friends can gather. Many luncheon attendees spend only the winters in Arizona and have another home where they spend the rest of their time, while others are full-time Arizona residents.
The luncheon began years ago and was a community-driven event. Organizers always included Mayville State as it is such a big part of the community. Over the years, there’s been a transition in leadership, and in the spirit of community and collegiality, the MSU Foundation has stepped up in a coordination role.
Back in North Dakota, on the Mayville State campus, another Comet Family Reunion, Women's Basketball Alumni Day, was held Saturday, Feb. 11. Activities included a brunch, shoot around with the team, women’s and men’s basketball games versus Waldorf at the Lewy Lee Fieldhouse, and a post-game social. It was great fun and another reason to celebrate the ties that bind the member of the Mayville State Family.
Through my work at Mayville State, I have opportunities to meet and become friends with some extraordinary people. I am grateful for these relationships and through these experiences I learn first-hand how Mayville State University changes lives for the better. It is reassuring and motivating to know that this is a legacy that will no doubt continue as each year our graduates go forth and make the world a better place.
Photo caption: Julie (McMullen) Graham, Terry Bachmeier, and Debbie (Berg) Soholt.