Mayville State University is one of ten charities that each received $500 from Marc de Celle, author of How Fargo of You and Close Encounters of the Fargo Kind. The gifts were presented at a gathering in Fargo Tuesday, April 15. De Celle had pledged to donate a dollar for every first edition of Close Encounters of the Fargo Kind sold. Mayville State’s gift will be used for student scholarships.
Pam Soholt, manager of the Mayville State University Bookstore, accepted the gift on behalf of Mayville State University. “With the cost of higher education, we all know that every scholarship dollar is so helpful to each and every student. We are greatly appreciative of this gift.”
Close Encounters of the Fargo Kind is a follow-up to de Celle’s How Fargo of You, a book that grew out of de Celle’s experiences after moving here from Arizona eight years ago. When de Celle and his family settled just outside of Fargo in the summer of 2005, “strange things started to happen, things we never imagined possible, things that left us speechless… until we found just the right thing to say: ‘How Fargo of You,’” de Celle explains. It was these incidents of “anonymous kindness” that prompted de Celle to write both of the books.
Close Encounters of the Fargo Kind includes stories supplied by students at Mayville State University. De Celle first visited Mayville State University in January of 2011 when he met with students in Dr. Carolyn Baker’s Intercultural Communication and English Essentials class. Members of the class researched and wrote stories for consideration by de Celle, who was planning for his second book.
One of the Mayville State stories tells of a Saturday morning trip to Wal-Mart in Grand Forks made by Mayville State student Jordan Melendo, from San Diego, Calif., and his roommate Estevan Carrillo. When the two found themselves unable to pay the bill for the $120 worth of groceries the clerk had just rung up, they were surprised and confused to learn that the family behind them in the line paid their bill. As Melendo summed it up, “This is how people described North Dakota to me. I still can’t believe what that family did for me. I will never forget it.”
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Pam Soholt (left) is pictured with bestselling author Marc de Celle. On behalf of Mayville State University, Soholt accepted a gift of $500 from de Celle.