Mayville State’s newest freshmen, along with President Van Horn, Peer Leaders, and residence hall assistants.

MSU President's Newspaper Column

August 27, 2022

The new academic year is off to a great start!

Every day is a great day to be a Comet, but that sentiment is especially emphasized at the kickoff of a new academic year when current students return and a brand-new class of freshmen and new students join the Mayville State family. I treasure the opportunity to catch up with those who are returning and to get to know the newest members of the Comet family. Our family is overflowing with many special individuals. Each brings their own attributes and experiences to share, allowing all to learn and grow.

Move-in at the residence halls began Saturday, Aug. 20. It was fun to see the students and their families arrive to help them get settled in their new college home. It is a time of excitement, mixed with a little nervousness and anticipation for what lies ahead.

Mayville State’s Student Life department had a full slate of activities planned for all students during their Week of Welcome (WOW). Making new friends, renewing acquaintances, learning more about Mayville State, and just plain having some fun were the priorities. Activities throughout the week included a bonfire, pool party at the Mayville Water Park, yard games sponsored by CRU, and more.

I had the privilege of formally addressing the new students at a program held Monday morning, Aug. 22. I encouraged the students to get involved and embrace everything about Mayville State University and the community that surrounds it. We hear over and again from our students about how members of the community have helped to make their Mayville State experience extra-special. We thank the members of the community for being an extension of the university. Each one is extremely important to the work we do.

In my remarks I told the students about an unorthodox experiment I recently learn of. It was conducted in the 1950s by Curt Richter of Johns Hopkins University. Lab rats were placed in a bucket of water where they struggled to keep from drowning. After about 15 minutes, the exhausted and barely surviving rats were removed from the water. They were dried off and given some rest and TLC, then placed back into the water. Upon returning to the water, they were able to exist for a much longer time period of about 60 hours before becoming exhausted. Why? Because they had hope.

The findings of this experiment can be likened to what sets “The School of Personal Service” apart from the others. Our faculty and staff work hard to make sure all students receive the attention and personal service they need to succeed. I encouraged the new students to reach out for help whenever they need it. There is always hope.

Mayville State is a place where students are most definitely not numbers. They are individuals who are encouraged to do their best and who are given every opportunity to succeed. We take great pride in educating the whole student and encourage students to get involved, whether it be in attending planned activities and athletic events, or participating in intercollegiate athletics, intramurals, student government, band, choir, Collegiate DECA, Multicultural Club, Science, Club, and many more.

My parting words to the new students during my formal welcome were, “Go to class!” The first step to success in college is being present and participating. All the rest will follow and fall into place nicely.

Following the formal welcome, I joined the new students along with our Peer Leaders and residence hall assistants for a photo on the front lawn of Old Main. The group then headed out on a scavenger hunt that helped the newbies become more familiar with campus.

These are the kinds of things that make great memories and that make the family-style atmosphere at Mayville State extraordinary. We’re off to a great start for the new academic year, with happy hearts and optimism for a future filled with opportunity and success.