MSU President's Newspaper Column

July 17, 2021 

Looking forward to honoring special alumni and friends during Homecoming 2021

Each year, we look forward to honoring exceptional alumni and friends during Mayville State’s homecoming festivities. Unfortunately, we’ve had to forego these special occasions for a couple of years. The misfortune of the last couple of years is building up to what we anticipate will be an extra-special celebration in 2021.

You may recall that a big snowstorm that hit our area in October of 2019 forced cancellation of all homecoming activities planned for alumni and friends. Thanks to the heroic efforts of area alumni and friends, the turf at Jerome Berg Field was cleared of snow and the homecoming football game which had been scheduled for Saturday of homecoming weekend was played on Sunday.

In 2020, most planned homecoming activities for alumni and friends had to be cancelled as it was important to follow guidelines meant to help keep people safe with regard to COVID-19. We were able to hold the traditional ceremony of remembrance at the Military Honor Garden on the grounds of the Edson and Margaret Larson Alumni and Leadership Center, but for the most part, all other homecoming activities were cancelled.

We are happy that this fall we will finally be able to properly honor our Athletic Hall of Fame, Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame, and Performing Arts Hall of Fame inductees, as well as Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Service Award recipients who were on the schedule to be honored in 2019. We’ll be keeping our fingers and toes crossed in hopes that recognizing these special folks will happen with no more delays.

Richard Dean, Maple Grove, Minn., Cassie Leraas, Esmond, N.D., and Jeremy Strand, Portland, N.D., will be inducted into the Mayville State University Athletic Hall of Fame. Mark Frost, Hope, N.D., Curt Herman, Tolna, N.D., Earl Larson, Franklin, Wis., Todd Olson, Fargo, N.D., and Richard “Dick” Saxlund, West Fargo, N.D., will be inducted into Mayville State Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame. These folks will be honored during a banquet scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 8 in the MSU Campus Center Luckasen Room. A pre-dinner social will be held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the MSU Larson Alumni and Leadership Center.

An all-alumni homecoming brunch is planned for Saturday morning, Oct. 9. It will begin at 9 a.m. in the Campus Center Luckasen Room. At the brunch, Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Service Award recipients will be recognized, along with Performing Arts Hall of Fame inductees. As with the Athletic and Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame inductees, these are individuals who were selected for recognition in 2019, but cancellation of homecoming festivities for the last two years has pushed honoring them publicly to this year. All Mayville State alumni and friends are invited to enjoy brunch, celebrate being Mayville State alumni, and join in honoring outstanding Mayville State alumni and friends.

Honorees at the all-alumni homecoming brunch will include Distinguished Alumni Award recipients Jane Bjornstad, Chandler, Ariz., and Dr. John Lyng, Minnetonka, Minn. Distinguished Service Award recipient, Becky Gunderson, Portland, N.D., will be honored. Distinguished Service Award recipient Jim Lyng, who passed away this past spring, will be recognized posthumously. Performing Arts Hall of Fame inductees who will be honored during the brunch program are Michael Lien, Alameda, Calif., and Laurie (White) Nielson, Harwood, N.D.

The full Homecoming 2021 schedule of events for Mayville State alumni and friends will be available very soon. In the meantime, we hope you will mark your calendars and plan to join us in honoring some very special people on Oct. 8 and 9.

At The School of Personal Service, everything centers around people. We are grateful for the people who make lives better for our students as they are in pursuit of their educational goals and dreams, as well as the people who earn their degrees and go on to make a difference for others. The ripple effect of the impact of personal service is amazing. During the Homecoming 2021 festivities, we look forward to honoring people who have and are making a positive difference in the world and people who represent their alma mater at highly respected levels through the success in their careers and their lives.