MSU President's Newspaper Column

March 25, 2023 

Exceptional town and gown relationships make Mayville State stand out

According to the calendar, spring has sprung, and it seems community support for Mayville State can be seen everywhere you look. We are immensely grateful for the many ways in which the local community and the communities beyond support Mayville State University. We are blessed to have exceptional town and gown relationships. This attribute makes for a better university and a better community.

Harlan Johnson stopped by the other day to let me know about the 45th annual May-Port Masons Palm Sunday Breakfast coming up on April 2. The Masons will be serving breakfast from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at May-Port CG High School. Cost is $8 per adult. All proceeds go to scholarships for local students who attend Mayville State University. What a wonderful gift! Not only are the Masons helping local young people in pursuit of higher education, but they are also encouraging them to make Mayville State their college home. It’s a win-win! I encourage you to stop by to enjoy a delicious breakfast for a good cause on April 2.

Harlan is involved in many volunteer activities in our community and working hard, along with many others, to make our community the best it can be. He mentioned how the board at the local golf course had approved using the golf course for cross country skiing and snow shoeing this past winter. These kinds of winter activities, along with golfing in the summer, are a selling point for individuals who are considering the possibility of becoming Mayville State students. They want to know there are things for them to do when they are not in class.

The recently opened axe throwing facility and the movie theatre are other examples of activities that are a draw for college students. In addition, they have access to the water park, sledding hill, Rainbow Gardens, disc golf, and other parks and recreational facilities. The availability of local eateries, the bakery, and other businesses is very important. All of these amenities contribute to the total package that goes along with being a Mayville State student.

I am consistently in awe of the members of the Comet Athletic Club board who work tirelessly in support of Mayville State University Athletics and student athletes. The group’s work includes the annual Sportsmen’s Raffle, a welcome feed for the athletes, weekly bingo at the Top Hat, and so much more.

On March 25, the Comet Athletic Club sponsored a 3-on-3 basketball tournament for third-graders through high school-age students. The last I heard, 65 teams from all over the area were registered. That’s fantastic! Those kids bring their families, including parents, grandparents, and others, and that makes for a full house, not only at the Lewy Lee Fieldhouse, but also in the community. The event brings revenue to the Comet Athletic Club and ultimately Comet Athletics, as well as to the area businesses. Another win-win!

I’ve been told the Comet Athletic Club 3-on-3 tournament was the brainchild of locals Tim Garrett and Neil Lerfald many years ago. I’m impressed and pleased that this annual tournament continues to be a big success. Pulling off an event such as this takes lots of people power. Thank you to all who make it happen, and to all who participate.

There is a rich tradition of individuals from the community supporting the university, and some of those supporters who have now moved away remain loyal to the university and their former home community. Again, the list is long, but one of those special individuals is on my mind right now because I had the pleasure of visiting with former Mayville pharmacist Curt Larson and wishing him a happy 91st birthday this week. Curt and his wife, Lydia, have been so very thoughtful in remembering Mayville State University and the community as well. We are truly grateful to the Larsons and all our faithful friends and supporters who are dedicated to the success of the campus and the community.

There are many, many other community activities that are very important to Mayville State. I wish I could mention all of them, and as I’ve already said, it would be easy to go on and on with a long list of people, volunteers, and supporters who help to make Mayville State University the special place it is. We are sincerely appreciative of each and every one who plays a part in this success story. Almost to a person, when students are asked what they value in their Mayville State experience, they talk about the community. In my mind, that says it all.