MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

July 18, 2020 

The Mayville State legacy of service to others continues

We often categorize those who are connected to Mayville State University as members of the Comet family. This title goes hand in hand with our signature moniker, “The School of Personal Service.”

The qualities known to make strong families of parents, sisters, brothers, grandparents, aunts, and uncles apply in the case of Mayville State University as well. Members of the Comet Family express appreciation and affection. There is a strong commitment to one another. We spend enjoyable time together.

I had the great pleasure of working together with members of the Mayville State family who sprang into action to help fellow family members during the course of a couple of days last Friday and Saturday. This group personified the meaning of “The School of Personal Service.”

Merwin and Myrna Lyng, treasured members of the Mayville State family, reached out for help as they prepared for and carried out the work involved with holding a huge auction sale of antiques and treasures. The Lyngs have for years attended auctions and had gathered quite an assortment of collectibles, including furniture, unique items, signs, clocks, kitchen items, and much, much more. Together with their children and grandchildren, they had been working for weeks prior to the July 11 auction to organize and assemble the items that would be sold.

They asked for some assistance with lifting and moving items, a task that needed to wait until the last hours and minutes prior to the beginning of the sale. I couldn’t have been more Comet Proud of some of the newest members of the Comet family, our newly assembled staff of football coaches, who answered the call for help on Friday as well as on Saturday.

At 6:30 a.m. Saturday, the Comet Football worker bees assembled, along with me and MSU Athletic Director Ryan Hall and his young daughter, Berkeley, at the Lyng “Ranch,” the site of the sale, ready to get the job done. Future Comets Gunnar Petersen, Sammy Satrom, and Brennan Beaudin joined the work crew, which also included members of the Lyng family. A rain shower delayed the effort for a short time, but in a few hours, hundreds of flats of small items and hundreds of furniture pieces and more were out of the barn and on the lawn, ready to be sold. The process unfolded like a well-oiled machine. When the auctioneer found himself short of helpers for displaying of items during the auction, some of the young coaches volunteered to spend the day acting as his assistants.

The Comets Football crew included Head Coach Rocky Larson, Micheal Koch, Tyler Ledbeter, Jake Litecky, Logan Levy, Nick Flesland, Eric Tonkin, and Andrew Loudenback, as well as some of their spouses and girlfriends. These young people, who are very new to the Comet family, seem to have the qualities for which Mayville State is legendary built right in. Not only are they blowing us all away with their over-the-top work ethic as they recruit players and prepare for the upcoming football season, they have shown through their actions that they are truly Comet Blue.

And how about those future Comets? Gunnar and Sammy, from Mayville, and Brennan, from Northwood, will be suitemates at Agassiz Hall when they begin their college adventures at Mayville State with the fall semester. Each of these young men already has a good feel for what it means to be a member of the Comet family. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Dr. Merwin and Myrna Lyng have been incredibly faithful members of the Mayville State family, as alumni, employees, sports fans, volunteers, donors, and more. Their three children are all Mayville State alumni. The Lyngs have supported their alma mater to the nth degree. Having the opportunity and ability to show our appreciation and gratitude to them in this way was a privilege. That’s what family members do. They support and assist one another whenever help is needed, and even when it’s not. We know that when Mayville State needs the Lyngs, they are there in an instant, generously giving of their time, their talents, and their resources.

My heart overflows with great pride when I see the legacy of personal service pass from one generation to the next. Experiences such as lending helping hands for this auction are what makes Mayville State special. The spirit of helpfulness and generosity that exudes from members of the Comet Family makes Mayville State University stand out, and I am #CometProud!