As part of the Celebration of Female Athletes, Mayville State's former and current female student-athletes were recognized at halftime of the men's basketball game at the Lewy Lee Fieldhouse Saturday evening, January 29, 2022.
January 31, 2022
The Mayville State University Athletic Department and Alumni Association teamed up to host a Celebration of Female Athletes the weekend of January 28-29, 2022. The event served as a recognition of Mayville State’s current and former female athletes as well as the 50th anniversary of Title IX, which has had a positive impact on women’s athletics nationwide.
A highlight of the weekend was the induction of three Mayville State alumni into the Athletic Hall of Fame. Laura Big Crow, Pine Ridge, S.D.; Heidi Brunko, Bloomington, Minn.; and Jennifer Ostapowich, Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, Canada, were inducted at a brunch event held Saturday morning, January 29 at Mayville State University. Mayville State graduate and MSU Athletic Hall of Fame Selection Committee member Bradford Strand served as emcee.
Thanks to the generosity of Mayville State graduate and Athletic Hall of Fame member Dawn Cruff, all current Mayville State female student-athletes attended the Athletic Hall of Fame Brunch free of charge. This was an extra-special opportunity for these young women as they were able to hear about the experiences of the newest members of the Mayville State Athletic Hall of Fame. In addition, Mayville State graduate and Mayville State Athletic Hall of Fame and Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame member Donna Ludwig Mark spoke to the audience about her experiences as a student-athlete and coach. Donna has been a trailblazer in the effort to provide more and better opportunities in athletics for girls and women.
Through the words of Elora Passa, a Mayville State student-athlete from Barnesville, Minn., those in attendance were also able to hear about how the work of Donna Mark and many others has made an impact. Elora is a member of the Comets volleyball team. She spoke on behalf of the current female student-athletes at Mayville State.
All former and current Mayville State female athletes were recognized at half time of the men’s basketball game at the MSU Lewy Lee Fieldhouse the evening of January 29. After a weekend of reflecting, reminiscing, and renewing acquaintances for Mayville State students, alumni, and friends, the celebration culminated with a social hosted by the MSU Alumni Association board at the Larson Alumni and Leadership Center.
“The Celebration of Female Athletes was a big success for a variety of reasons. It brought members of the Mayville State family ‘home,' to celebrate and be recognized. In addition, it was thought-provoking to reflect on how Title IX and the work of people like Donna Mark have made a difference for female athletes,” said Beth Swenson, MSU Director of Alumni Affairs. “The opportunity to hear from Donna talk about her experiences was impactful and meaningful, and the reunion of Mayville State friends warmed our hearts on a cold winter day.”