MSU President's Newspaper Column

September 24, 2022 

Community support makes a difference

One of the qualities valued most by Mayville State University students is a sense of community, not only locally on the campus, but in the towns that surround us. Almost to a person, when asked about what they like about being a student at Mayville State, students include their love for the community. Not only do our students experience personal service on campus and in the classroom, but they also experience it within the extended community.

Student athletes feel important when they stop at the grocery store and a community member congratulates them on a great game. Students appreciate the community members who attend their musical or theatrical performances. Students recognize the generosity of others who them as they pursue their educational and career goals.

We can see examples of community spirit everywhere, and none is greater than the recently celebrated annual Farmers Bowl.

Many community members participated in the parade, while others lined the streets for all the fun that goes along with a parade.

Families came to campus and enjoyed corn on the cob and hot dogs prepared and served by Mayville State’s student athletes. They enjoyed bouncy houses, facepainting, and live music while interacting with Mayville students and inspiring a sense of community. Tailgaters showed up en masse to show their support for the Comets and to have a good time. In spite of the rain falling from the sky, all came together at the football game, cheering the Comets to victory.

Alumni, friends, and community members went all-out to benefit Mayville State University and its students through the work of the MSU Foundation at the Farmers Bowl Auction. About 150 live and silent auction items were contributed to the cause by donors who thoughtfully considered what auction-goers would want to buy. Dozens of students, alumni, and friends worked as a team to plan and carry out the much-loved event. The night was complete when about 150 campus and community folks came to socialize, enjoy a delicious meal, and bid high and often in pursuit of a treasured auction item or two.

Sponsors lent their financial support too. When all was said and done, all Farmers Bowl activities brought in a total of more than $57,000. That’s a gigantic win for our campus and the community, and we could not be more grateful.

I tip my hat to the members of the Alumni Association board who urged the return of the Farmers Bowl Auction after a few-year hiatus. I think it’s fair to say that the event was missed and that our alumni and friends in the community and beyond were happy to get behind it and make it a wonderful success once again.

Last Thursday, several dedicated members of the Comet Athletic Club and friends cooked up a wonderful meal for the student athletes of Mayville State. They gathered early in the morning to begin cooking the meat so it would be ready for the evening meal served at Mayville’s Island Park. This kind gesture is greatly appreciated by our student athletes and coaches, as well as the university as a whole. Making our students feel welcome is so very important to student retention and success.

There is no doubt that the proverb “it takes a village” applies in the case of Mayville State. Many of our students come from the small towns across North Dakota, where this is the norm. Others come from larger cities in North Dakota and beyond. If they have not grown up knowing the concept of personal service, they quickly learn what it means and place a high value on it.

Whether you are supporting Mayville State University directly or indirectly, financially or with your words of encouragement, you are an important member of Team Mayville State. Together, we are making a difference for students. That positive impact has a ripple effect as our Mayville State students graduate and go out into the world and make a difference in their careers and communities, and in our state. Now that’s a reason to be Comet Proud!