May 2, 2023

Mayville State University alumnus and Mayville native Donn Hanson will deliver the annual commencement address at Mayville State University Saturday, May 13. The commencement ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. at the Mayville State University Lewy Lee Fieldhouse. The ceremony is open to the public.

Current graduates MiKara Johanson, Edmore, N.D., and Brooke Roeges, Baldur, Manitoba Canada, will speak on behalf of the graduating class. North Dakota University System Vice Chancellor for Strategy and Strategic Engagement Jerry Rostad will bring greetings on behalf of the State Board of Higher Education.

Mayville State’s graduation day festivities will begin with the traditional graduation brunch, hosted by the MSU Alumni Association. The event will begin at 10:30 a.m. in the Campus Center Luckasen Room. Graduates Sadie Mathews from Horace, N.D. and Logan Hoff from Richardton, N.D. will speak on behalf of the MSU Class of 2023. The members of the graduating class will be the guests of honor, and thanks to the generosity of Bell Bank, graduates and their families will attend the brunch free of charge. 

Graduation Brunch Student Speaker Biographies

Sadie Mathews.JPGSadie Mathews will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Education degree, earning a major in elementary education, minor in coaching, and a specialization in early childhood. Sadie has been active at Mayville State as a member of the varsity fastpitch softball team, a Peer Leader, president of the Student Athletic Advisory Council, Mayville State representative for the Board of Student Athletes of the North Star Conference. A scholarship recipient, Sadie has volunteered her services to provide lessons to softball catchers in the local area. Renae and Kevin Mathews, Horace, N.D., are Sadie’s parents.

Logan Hoff.jpgLogan Hoff has earned a Bachelor of Science degree with majors in sport management and business administration. A quarterback, Logan has played collegiate football for four years, earning the North Star Scholar-Athlete Award, as well as being named an NAIA Scholar-Athlete All-American. Logan has been very active as a member of Mayville State’s Collegiate DECA chapter and has been an award-winner at the state and national levels. Logan’s volunteer work has included working with youth football and basketball and also with Feed My Starving Children and campus spring cleanup events. Logan is the son of Jody and Marla Hoff, Richardton, N.D.

Commencement Speaker Biographies

Keynote Speaker

Donn Hanson.pngDonn Hanson, St. Michael, Minn., is a retired partner with the firm of PFM, a financial advisory firm serving primarily public and non-profit sector clients throughout the United States. Prior to his retirement, he led the Minnesota marketing team and was responsible for growing and maintaining the firm’s asset management business in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. He has more than 30 years of experience working with governmental entities advising institutional investors on matters related to investment pools, fixed rate investments, cash flow management needs, and multi-asset class portfolio strategies.

Prior to joining PFM, Donn was a personal investment advisor with Bremer Investments. He was also chief financial officer for the Minnesota school districts of Princeton, West Central Area, and Litchfield for 17 years.

Donn graduated from Mayville State University in 1980 with a degree in Business Administration. Growing up one block south of Old Main, Donn’s family ties to Mayville State run deep. All of his siblings attended Mayville State, and in 1982 they were part of a group of eight double cousins and spouses, all former Mayville State students, who established the Hanson-Ness Family Scholarship. The scholarship is intended to provide financial assistance to MSU students from the Hatton area while honoring the group’s parents, three Hanson brothers who married three Ness sisters. Donn has served on the MSU Foundation Board since 2020.

Donn and his wife, Beth (Wegge), are parents of Kyle (deceased) and Peter (wife Arica) and grandparents to two very special granddaughters, Ivy and Jade.

Student Commencement Speakers

MiKara Johanson.jpgMiKara Johanson completed the requirements for a Bachelor of Science in Education degree during the Fall Semester of 2022. She has earned majors in elementary education and secondary social science education, with specializations in reading, geography, and political science. A two-time Mayville State Student of the year, Mikara is also a Dean’s List student and scholarship recipient. She was active as an officer of the Mayville State Student Alumni Ambassadors. Johanson coordinated the CHEERS after-school program at the local Peter Boe, Jr. Elementary School from 2018 to 2021. She is the daughter of Lori and Brian Johanson of Edmore, N.D.

Brooke Roeges.jpgBrooke Roeges has earned a Bachelor of Science degree with majors in biology and chemistry. She has been a team lead in one of Mayville State’s research labs. She presented the work of her award-winning research team at a conference in Hawaii in December of 2022. She has been a member of the Comets softball team and was captain in the 2022-23 season. She has been active as a member of Mayville State’s Collegiate DECA organization and has received a number of awards in that group’s state competitions. A Dean’s List student and scholarship recipient, Brooke was named a Mayville State Student of the Year in 2020-21 and 2021-22 and was a nominee for the award in 2022-23. Brooke is the daughter of Debbie and Douglas Roeges of Baldur, Manitoba, Canada.