Several Mayville State University alumni and friends will be honored during Mayville State University’s 2014 homecoming weekend festivities scheduled for Oct. 3 through Oct. 5 in Mayville, N.D. A special focus of the annual celebration will be on the 125th anniversary of Mayville State University, which is officially on Nov. 2, 2014.

Richard Fugleberg, Portland, N.D., Ross Johnson, Portland, N.D., Travis Lindgren, East Grand Forks, Minn., Lindsey (Eliason) McMenamy, Fargo, N.D., and the 1960-61 basketball team will be inducted into the Mayville State University Athletic Hall of Fame. Rod MacDonald, Portland, N.D., Fabian Shoults, Rogers, Minn., Curtis Strand, Stewart, Minn., and Paul Twenge, Excelsior, Minn., will each be inducted into Mayville State Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame. These folks will all be honored during a banquet scheduled for Friday, Oct. 3, beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the MSU Campus Center Luckasen Room. A pre-dinner social will be held from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. at the MSU Larson Alumni and Leadership Center.

The MSU Athletic Hall of Fame recognizes people who excelled as athletes or coaches at Mayville State or who have gone above and beyond in support of Mayville State athletics. The purpose of the Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame, a division of Mayville State’s Hall of Fame, is to recognize Mayville State alumni who have excelled in their careers as coaches.  

Mayville State started a new tradition last year with the induction of the first-ever Performing Arts Hall of Fame inductees. The tradition continues during the homecoming concert Sunday, Oct. 5. The recognition of this year’s inductees will take place between the performances of the Mayville State concert choir and the concert band. Inductees are Kris Eylands, Grand Forks, N.D., Jeff Nelson, Northwood, N.D., Bob Sylskar, Mayville, N.D., and Dr. Anthony Thein, Minneapolis, Minn.

In honor of Mayville State’s 125th anniversary, a 125-voice choir is being assembled and will perform a couple of numbers during the concert. All alumni and community members are invited to participate. For more information, go to or call 701-788-4742.

Immediately following the concert, the Alumni Association board will host a social to honor the Performing Arts Hall of Fame inductees in the MSU Campus Center Luckasen Room. The public is invited to join in celebrating with the inductees and their families and friends.

The Mayville State University Alumni Association is sponsoring a number of additional events in celebration of Homecoming 2014, as well as the University’s 125th anniversary. A special invitation is extended to alumni, as well as all members of the Mayville-Portland and surrounding communities.

Festivities will kick off with the Northern Lights Arts Gallery Open House Friday, Oct. 3. The work of 1974 Mayville State graduate Doug Anderson will be featured in the homecoming show, which includes watercolor, pencil and colored pencil creations depicting local landmarks and people, along with other subjects. Doug’s art will be on display in the gallery located at the west end of the MSU Classroom Building through the month of October. Visit with Anderson and enjoy refreshments in the MSU Campus Center Heritage Room from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3.

In addition to the Hall of Fame Awards Dinner, Friday’s activities will include a social for alumni and friends at the Top Hat in downtown Mayville, from 9:00 to 11:00 p.m.

Homecoming day, Saturday, Oct. 4, will begin with an alumni meet and greet at the newly opened Edson and Margaret Larson Alumni and Leadership Center, located at the corner of Third Avenue and Stan Dakken Drive. Alumni and friends are invited to stop by for socializing and refreshments from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m.

The traditional homecoming parade will start at the east side of the MSU campus and make its way through town beginning at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 4. Those interested in entering a unit in the parade should contact Matthew Nelson at 701-214-0294 or

The public is invited to join in the festivities at the Mayville State CometFest! planned for Saturday, Oct. 4 just outside of MSU’s Jerome Berg Field. A tent where alumni and friends can gather for socializing will be set up, and there will be inflatable games and yard games for all, as well as a farmers market. The Leighton Broadcasting stations from Grand Forks, N.D. will be on hand with music and plenty of giveaways, along with the 97 KYCK/Z94.7 cash cube. Those who attend CometFest! will have an opportunity to win a chance to spend 30 seconds in the cash cube, where they can grab as many flying dollar bills and prize coupons as they can. In addition, there will be a sanctioned pedal tractor pull for kids ages 4 through 11. Registration for the tractor pull will begin immediately after the homecoming parade. Prizes will be awarded. Those who qualify will be eligible to participate in the state pedal tractor pull next summer. In addition, the MSU Alumni Association is sponsoring a coloring contest for kids ages preschool through fifth grade. The concession stand will be open for those who wish to get a bite to eat. CometFest! activities are scheduled to take place from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. All students, alumni, and members of the Mayville-Portland and surrounding communities are cordially invited to take part in this special 125th anniversary celebration!

The Mayville State Comets volleyball team will be playing in matches versus Presentation College beginning at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 4 in the MSU Lewy Lee Fieldhouse. The football team will also face opponents from Presentation College in the homecoming game which begins at 2:30 p.m. at Jerome Berg Field. All homecoming honorees will be recognized at half time of the game.

An all-alumni homecoming reunion will take place from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Mayville Golf Course. A picnic-style supper will be served from 4:00 until it’s gone. The public is invited to attend the reunion and visit with the 2014 homecoming honorees and all Mayville State alumni and friends. There is no charge for the supper, but freewill donations will be accepted to help defray costs.

The fabulous Downtown Horns, the premiere wedding and party band from Grand Forks, will be providing entertainment at a special 125th Anniversary Homecoming Dance. Everyone is invited to celebrate Mayville State’s 125th anniversary in grand style, and dance the night away in the company of Mayville State alumni and friends. The dance will take place in the MSU Campus Center Luckasen Room from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4.

Tickets for the Hall of Fame Awards Dinner and the 125th Anniversary Homecoming Dance are available by contacting the MSU Foundation at 701-788-4687 or See all the details of Homecoming 2014 and purchase tickets online at Advance purchase of tickets is strongly encouraged. 

Homecoming Honoree biographies


Inductees to the Mayville State University Athletic Hall of Fame fall into the following categories: athlete, team, Mayville State coach, Mayville State athletic staff, or honorary member. In order to qualify for induction, athletes must have graduated from or left school at Mayville State at least ten years prior to induction, and have earned two letters in one sport or one letter in two or more sports. The Mayville State University Athletic Hall of Fame Selection Committee chooses inductees from a pool of nominations submitted throughout the year.


The 1960-61 Basketball Team

After dropping an early decision to Bismarck Junior College, the Comets gained momentum and copped eleven of twelve conference starts to end the conference season with a 14-2 record, which was good enough to give the Comets their first title since 1956. A highlight of the season was the opening of the new Lewy Lee Fieldhouse at Mayville State, where the Comets defeated contending Valley City State to clinch the crown. In the NAIA playoffs, the Comets defeated Yankton College (69-66) at Yankton, S.D., but they were defeated by Northern State of Aberdeen, S.D. (74-58), ending their chance to compete in the national tournament. Overall record for the team was 18 wins and six losses. The team was coached by Al Meyer. Members of the team were Gil Herbel, Ray Herbel, Gene Anderson, Don Ostenson, Larry Wold, Douglas Eiken, Dale Keena, Douglas Halcrow, Vern Spitzer, Ross Julson, Don McIntyre, Vern Wegge, Duane Morris, and Graydon Rostberg. Don McIntyre and Grady Rostberg, the two seniors on the squad, were elected co-captains.


Richard Fugleberg

Richard Fugleberg was an outstanding offensive lineman for high quality football teams at Mayville State from 1962 to 1965. These teams lost only five games in four years and earned several conference awards. A four-year letter-winner, “Fugie” wiped out many larger linemen in order for the Comets to score. His teammates are the first to laud his importance and accomplishments as someone who literally “bled Comet blue,” a portrayal that holds true today. In appreciation for the personal service the faculty and staff of Mayville State showed him as a student who was helping on the family farm after his father died in his senior year, Richard has been a loyal and active supporter of the university. As a member of numerous Mayville State boards and committees over the years, Richard has worked to keep the legacy of personal service alive and well at Mayville State. Fugleberg graduated with a B.S.Ed. in 1967, earning majors in business and physical education.


Ross Johnson

Ross Johnson was one of the best defensive ends ever to play football at Mayville State. He earned honorable mention all-conference honors in 1973 and was named to the all-conference team in 1974. In 1976, Johnson was named all-conference and all-district as a middle linebacker. He also played basketball for the Comets in 1972 and 1973, and lettered in track in 1973. In 1975 and 1976, Ross went to the national wrestling championship as an assistant to head coach Dr. Martin Johnson. He worked as a lift operator and professional ski patrol at Steamboat Springs, Colo. for 33 years, and was named a finalist for Ski Patroller of the Year in the state of Colorado in 1993. Ross graduated from Mayville State in 1977 with a B.S.Ed., earning majors in mathematics and physical education.


Travis Lindgren

Travis Lindgren was an outstanding basketball player for the Comets from 1999 through 2003, receiving national and local honors throughout his career. At 30 ppg, he was named the national leading scorer in 2002-03. Also in his senior year, Travis was named an NAIA Player of the Week and NAIA Academic All-American, and he earned first team all-American honors. He was 14th in the nation for free throws that year, making 263 of an attempted 321. Travis was the fifth-leading scorer in the NAIA, with 25.31 ppg in 2001-02. He was an honorable mention NAIA All-American in the 2001-02 and 2000-01 seasons. In the DAC 10 (Dakota Athletic Conference), Travis was named MVP and Most Valuable Senior in 2002-03. He was the scoring leader for two years, and with 871 points, he was the single season leading scorer in 2002-03. Lindgren set an MSU scoring record with 2,385 career points, and he notched the second-highest record in individual points scored in a game at 53. He graduated with a B.S.Ed. in 2003, earning a major in elementary education and minor in coaching.


Lindsey (Eliason) McMenamy

Lindsey McMenamy played basketball for the Comets from 1999-2000 through 2002-2003. She finished her career at Mayville State as the university’s second all-time leading scorer, with 1,382 points, and she was among the top three in assists, steals, rebounds, free throws, and three-pointers. McMenamy was named an honorable mention NAIA All-American in 2002 and 2003. In addition, she was named DAC 10 (Dakota Athletic Conference) Defensive Player of the Year in 2002, and also received all-conference first team and player of the week honors in 2002. She was the only player in the DAC 10 to be among the league leaders in every category. A team captain in her senior year, Lindsey was Mayville State’s MVP and was named to the DAC 10 all-conference first team. She received the NAIA Scholar Athlete Award that year. McMenamy worked hard on and off the court, and earned many academic accolades to complement her athletic accomplishments. She graduated with summa cum laude honors in 2003, earning a major in business administration and minors in project management and computer information systems.


The MSU Athletic Hall of Fame adopted the “Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame” in 2010. The purpose of this division of the Hall of Fame is to recognize Mayville State alumni who have excelled in their coaching careers. The Mayville State University Athletic Hall of Fame Selection Committee chooses the recipients of the award from a pool of nominations submitted throughout the year.


Rod MacDonald

Rod MacDonald taught and coached football and track at New England, N.D. before beginning his tenure of teaching at Mayville High School in 1969. He finished his career at Mayville-Portland Clifford Galesburg High School in 2009, after having served as head wrestling coach from 1969 to 1978 and 1988 to 1993, assistant football coach from 1970 to 1978, and head football coach from 1979 to 1996. A self-taught wrestling coach, MacDonald coached 36 state place-winners, 14 state finalists, and six state champions. Under Coach MacDonald, the Patriots earned regional championships from 1970 to 1978, and six of those teams won Red River Valley Conference championships. During the 1972-73 regional tournament, 11 of his 12 wrestlers qualified for the championship finals. State tournament teams finished third in 1973, second in 1974, and fifth in 1978. MacDonald notched more than 100 wins as a head football coach from 1979 to 1996. His team won the state class B football championship in 1984, and he coached state runner-up teams in 1989 and 1990. MacDonald was named North Dakota Class B Football Coach of the Year in 1984 and 1989. He graduated from Mayville State in 1966, earning majors in business education and physical education.


Fabian Shoults

Fabian Shoults began his coaching career at Lankin (N.D.) High School in 1958. He also did stints at Fort Belvoir, Va. (2nd Army baseball) and Crary (N.D.) High School, and spent the bulk of his career at Park River (N.D.) High School. In 1989, Fabian was named to the North Dakota High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame, and he was National Coach of the Year for golf. In 1982, 1985, and 1989, Shoults was named the Region 5 Coaches Association Golf Coach of the Year, and he earned NE Region Class A Basketball Coach of the Year honors in 1972. His teams won eight state championships in golf, two regional basketball championships, and three conference football titles. The record books credit Fabian Shoults with 474 coaching victories in basketball, football, and golf. He was a member of the North Dakota High School Activities Association golf advisory committee from 1981 to 1985 and the National High School Athletic Coaches Association region 6 vice chairman from 1983 to 1986. A member of Mayville State’s Athletic Hall of Fame, Shoults graduated from Mayville State in 1958, earning a major in social studies and a minor in physical education.


Curtis Strand

Curtis Strand began his career in teaching and coaching at St. Thomas, N.D., and later coached in Minnesota high schools at Bellingham, Stewart, McLeod West, and Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart. He coached football and baseball for 30 years, and retired in 2013, after 35 years in the field of education. In 25 seasons of coaching football, Strand’s record stands at 156-85. He led teams to the state football tournament six times. In 1988, his Stewart High School team was the 9-man state runner-up. In 2001, he coached the McLeod West High School team to the class 1A state championship. Strand was named the Conference Football Coach of the Year four times and Section Football Coach of the Year six times. In addition, he was named Minnesota Football Coaches Association Class 1A Coach of the Year in 2001, and a Minnesota All-Star Out State Football Coach in 2002. Strand currently officiates football, basketball, and baseball. He graduated from Mayville State in 1978 with majors in life science and physical education. He was a letter winner in football and baseball.


Paul Twenge

Paul Twenge’s career as a baseball coach began in his hometown of Hatton, N.D., where he was an assistant coach for the American Legion Baseball team in 1973. In 1976, he became head coach of the Hatton Vikings amateur baseball team. He has coached Legion baseball teams throughout his career. After graduating from Mayville State, he taught and coached football, basketball, and track at St. Thomas, N.D. Twenge was an assistant baseball coach at South Dakota State University (NCAA DII) for one year and then became the head coach at Anoka-Ramsey Community College (NJCAA) for six years. In 1985, he was named the NJCAA Region 13 Coach of the Year. He was the head baseball coach at Valparaiso University (NCAA DI) from 1988 to 2006, and was named Mid Continent Conference Coach of the Year in 2001. He returned to Minnesota in 2007, and became the head baseball coach at Minnetonka High School. Paul was named the Lake Conference Coach of the Year and the 2AAA Section Coach of the Year in 2013. He also served as assistant football coach when he was at Anoka-Ramsey and Valparaiso. Paul has been an active member of the American Baseball Coaches Association since 1984.He graduated from Mayville State in 1977 with a B.S.Ed., earning majors in social studies and physical education, and a minor in health.


The purpose of the Mayville State University Performing Arts Hall of Fame is to honor and preserve the memory of those who performed in band, choir, speech, or theater, the representative faculty, and others who have contributed in a very outstanding and positive way to the promotion of Mayville State University performing arts programs.


Kris Eylands - Professional Musician

Kris Eylands has been playing the guitar professionally since 1978. He performed with the Myra Big Band for 20 years and the University of North Dakota jazz bands for 25 years. He currently plays with “Jazz on Tap,” a group with which he has been involved for more than 30 years. Kris was a member of the Mayville State jazz band during his four years in college. He earned the Outstanding Soloist Award when the Mayville State jazz band competed in the Eau Claire (Wisc.) Jazz Festival. Kris was also a member of the Mayville State jazz band that won “Best Jazz Performance by a Big Band - College Division” from the prestigious journal of jazz, DownBeat, in 1978, and won the Shure Gold Microphone Award. Kris has performed with jazz legends Don Menza, Frank Scott, Kim Richmond, and Roy Clark, to name a few. He currently teaches jazz and classical guitar at the University of North Dakota. Eylands graduated from Mayville State in 1978 with a B.S. degree in music education.


Jeffrey Nelson - Representative of the Music Industry

Jeffrey Nelson was owner and president of Popplers Music in Grand Forks, N.D. from 1991 to 2005. Prior to that, he managed the printed educational music department at the Popplers store from 1977 to 1991. He taught school in McIntosh, Minn. from 1974 to 1977. As a student at Mayville State, Nelson participated in band, chorus, stage band, the choral pop group, and theater. A talented trumpet player, Jeff says the highlights of his years at Mayville State were when his performing groups achieved a high level during performances, a reward for hard work and dedication. Appearances by Ed Shaugnessy of the Tonight Show Band and Frank Scott, pianist/arranger for Lawrence Welk, were standout moments during Nelson’s time at Mayville. The intensity and passion of band director Fran Colby and the steadiness and attention to detail of choral director Merwyn Green, qualities the instructors brought to their Mayville State students every day, made a distinct and lasting impression on Nelson, who graduated with a degree in composite music in 1974.


Bob Sylskar - Mayville State University Faculty Member

Bob Sylskar is an associate professor of English, speech, and theatre, and director of theatre and forensics at Mayville State University. Bob’s yearning for a life in theatre began early, and he earned such covetous roles as Santa Claus in a sixth grade production, a role for which his physique and jolly nature suited him well. Bob went on to perform in 16 high school plays. He taught speech and coached forensics at South Dakota State University and Southwest State University before joining the faculty at Mayville State and reviving its theatre program in 1993. In 1996, he coached a team that earned one of eight outstanding chapter awards at the National Pi Kappa Delta Speech Tournament in Kentucky. Bob has directed produced, designed, and crewed for a number of high school, community, and summer theatre groups in the region. He judges frequently at regional and state one-act play and speech competitions in Minnesota and North Dakota. Bob has been a NDSTA/CSTAND member since 1993, and has presented a variety of speech and theatre sessions at the convention over the years. He was awarded CSTAND’s “Creative Artist” for 2006, and has served on the board of governors and is a past president of the organization.


Dr. Anthony Thein - Former Mayville State Faculty Member

Dr. Anthony Thein, an integral part of the Mayville State music department for decades, is the personification of someone who has been dedicated to making appreciation of music and art a lifelong goal. In his humanities classrooms, he worked to bring to students a sense of how art and music can enhance one’s life in numerous ways. The subjects lend themselves to appreciation on diverse levels, and Tony gave his students exposure to “culture” that took many of them from a place they had never been to a place they wanted to be. Tony’s influence went beyond the classroom. For years, he worked with Merwyn Green to take eager participants on music study tours to Europe and eventually took over leadership of the popular tours. He continued his advocacy of good music through his leadership with the MSU and Community Fine Arts Series. He delighted in bringing world-class performers to Mayville State, giving students and community members opportunities to hear fantastic music right here at home. Dr. Thein began his tenure as a member of the faculty at Mayville State in 1963 and was awarded the distinction of Professor Emeritus of Music when he retired in 2000.