MSU President's Newspaper Column

July 3, 2021 

Work of MSU Foundation board makes Mayville State student lives better

July 1 marks the beginning of a new round of grant funding available through the North Dakota Higher Education Challenge Fund. Mayville State will have a pool of $700,000 available to match gifts made July 1, 2021-Dec. 31, 2022.

The North Dakota Higher Education Challenge Fund is intended to ignite a philanthropic spirit to support North Dakota colleges and universities. The State Board of Higher Education awards one dollar in matching grants for every two dollars of non-state, non-federal dollars raised by the institutional foundations of North Dakota public colleges and universities. Projects must be dedicated to the advancement of academics. Distributions of grant awards are made based upon the review and approval of the legislatively prescribed grant review committee.

The grant review committee consists of the Governor, or the Governor’s designee, who serves as the chairman of the committee, two members of the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, two members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, two members appointed by the Governor, and two members appointed by the State Board of Higher Education.

The North Dakota Legislature has made Challenge Grant funding available to North Dakota’s public institutions of higher education since 2013. The fund has provided a huge boost for the 11 North Dakota University System institutions during this time.

Mayville State leveraged $299,690 in Challenge grant funding in the first biennium it was available (2013-2015). In the most recent biennium (July 1, 2018-Dec. 31, 2020), we were fortunate to leverage the entire $700,000 available to us. This means that our alumni and friends contributed $1.4 million in scholarship support. Add this to the Challenge Grant funds for a total of $2.1 million! That’s fantastic work toward our goal to reduce the cost of education for our students and reduce their indebtedness. More than 1/3 of all Mayville State students receive scholarship funding.

For those who are considering a gift to scholarships at Mayville State, this is a great time! Your gift will have 150% the impact. For more information about how this works, contact MSU Foundation Executive Director Lon Jorgensen at 701-788-4787 or

The purpose of the MSU Foundation is to serve as the vehicle for resource development in support of Mayville State University; and to raise, manage, and disburse funds for the sole benefit of Mayville State University approved needs.

Thanks to generous alumni and friends, along with the work of MSU Foundation board members and staff who make it a priority to be good stewards of the foundation resources, the MSU Foundation is doing very well. MSU Foundation assets have increased from $6.5 million in 2014-15 to $8.9 million in 2018-19. The MSU Foundation balance sheet on January 31, 2021 showed assets of $11.4 million.

The MSU Foundation is led by Chairman Joe Dunn, Bemidji, Minn. Lynn Slaathaug Moen, Mayville, N.D., is vice chair; Nick Storhaug, Lisbon, N.D., is treasurer; and Johnny Jorgensen, Hunter, N.D., is secretary. Executive Committee members are Tim Garrett, Blanchard, N.D.; Heather Holman, Maple Valley, Wash.; Todd Olson, Fargo, N.D.; Don Cavalier, Crookston, Minn.; Rhonda Nelson, Portland, N.D.; Donn Hanson, Big Lake, Minn.; Mike Kolness, East Grand Forks, Minn.; Tom Capouch, Portland, N.D.; Steve Lovas, Cheyenne, Wyo.; Jim Lipsiea, Annandale, Minn.; and Joe Eisenmann, East Lansing, Mich. Lon Jorgensen, Beth Swenson, Stacy Buchl, Andrew Workin, the MSU Athletic Director, and I serve as ex officio members of the board.

The Board of Trustees - Members at Large - are Terry Bachmeier, Mesa, Ariz.; Dawn Cruff, Maple Valley, Wash.; Jon Ewen, Mayville, N.D.; Dianna Krogstad, Minneapolis, Minn.; Chris Lindberg, Detroit Lakes, Minn.; and Connie Tharaldson, West Fargo, N.D.

It is our great fortune and privilege to have these professionals on Team Mayville State. They truly have the best interest of Mayville State University and MSU Foundation in mind as they do their work. Their support comes in the form of not only volunteer assistance, but also financial backing. They invest many hours of time, their extraordinary talents, and their desire to do good into the betterment of Mayville State University. We are sincerely grateful for all they do.