MSU President's column for Traill County Tribune

April 19, 2014

Mayville State 125th anniversary will be celebrated at 2014 Alumni Days

Summer will be here soon, and with summer comes community celebrations! We’re very excited about plans that are being made for Alumni Days, June 20 and 21. There is much to celebrate, including Mayville State’s 125th anniversary. We hope you’ll join us in the festivities, which are being held in conjunction with Mayville-Portland’s annual Summerfest. The May-Port Lions Club members are doing a great job of organizing and coordinating a celebration that can be enjoyed by young and old on June 19, 20, 21, and 22.

Festivities at Mayville State will kick off with the official grand opening of the Edson and Margaret Larson Alumni and Leadership Center at 11:00 a.m. Friday, June 20. The program will be held on the lawn outside the Larson Center, and will be followed by a picnic lunch. We are grateful to the First and Farmers Bank of Mayville and Portland for hosting the lunch, which will be held under the tent on the lawn north of the Larson Center. Everyone is welcome!

Cynthia Kaldor and Doug Anderson are organizing an alumni art show that will be on display in the MSU Classroom Building gallery area throughout the Alumni Days celebration. A reception is planned from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. June 20 in the hallway adjacent to the gallery.

There will be departmental open houses and campus tours from 2:00 to 4:00 that afternoon. Come check out all the great facilities updates that have been made, and visit with faculty and staff in the various departments!

Among our special honored guests during Alumni Days are this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award recipients, Joe Dunn, Richard Davison, Ronald Gibbens, Michelle Worner Kommer, and Jackie Puppe Wotipka; and Distinguished Service Award recipients, Cindy Petersen, Kim Lauf, and Shireen Grinager. These individuals will be honored at a reception at the Larson Center Friday afternoon, June 20, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Their awards will be presented at the annual Alumni Association Awards Dinner which will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the MSU Campus Center Luckasen Room. We’re extending a special invitation this year to all former recipients of these awards.

A long-time Mayville State dream will come true when former members of Francis Colby’s jazz bands will gather for a jam session in the Campus Center Luckasen Room beginning at 8:00 p.m. These musicians were, and still are, some of the best in the country. Several instrumentalists have indicated they will be there and are ready to play, and an excellent rhythm section is in place. It includes Kirk Overmoe, Kris Eylands, Steve Faison, Conrad Miska, and others. This is your opportunity to once again hear the players that gained Mayville State regional and national attention in music performance.

Rounding out the Friday activities are socials for alumni and friends at the Top Hat and VFW in downtown Mayville from 9:00 p.m. until midnight.

A couple of reunions will take place at the MSU Larson Alumni and Leadership Center on Saturday. The Red Caps will gather from noon until 2:00 p.m., and there will be a reception for friends and former students of Terry Kemmer from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

All former employees of Mayville State icon Bob Brown are invited to gather for a reunion in the Campus Center Heritage Room Saturday from 2:00 to 4:00. During his tenure, Bob worked in the campus bookstore, athletic training, the swimming pool, financial aid, and athletics, so he associated with a large cross-section of students over the years. We look forward to seeing these folks again!

The Mayville State University Alumni Association will host an all-class reunion on Saturday afternoon from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m. under the tent on the north side of the Larson Center. A meal including pulled pork and all the fixin’s for a great picnic meal will be available. This gathering is open to all alumni, friends, and current and former faculty and staff. It will be a great time to re-connect with your Mayville State friends!

Highlights of the Summerfest celebration include the Mayville 10k Run and 5k Run/Walk which will be held Thursday evening, June 19. It is sponsored by Sanford Mayville, and more information is available at The Masons will host a breakfast at the Mayville Armory Saturday morning. The Summerfest parade is planned for 10:30 a.m. that day, followed by food, fun, and games at the May-Port CG High School. The Mayville Fire Department’s street dance will be held outside of Heros & Legends Saturday evening. An all faiths worship service on Sunday morning, June 22, will round out the four-day celebration. The service will be held at Island Park.

Details about all of the Alumni Days plans can be found at Reservations are required for the Alumni Association Awards Dinner and the all-class reunion. Tickets may be purchased at the website. If you have questions or need more information, contact the MSU Foundation at 701-788-4750 or We look forward to celebrating with you this summer!