MSU President's Newspaper Column

June 18, 2022

An outstanding event to benefit a noble cause

We have had the absolute privilege of hosting the players and coaches associated with the 2022 North Dakota Shrine Bowl All-Star Games on the Mayville State University campus this week. They have been preparing for the much-anticipated big games at Jerome Berg Field Saturday, June 18, with a 4 p.m. start time for the 11-man game and a 7 p.m. start time for the 9-man game.

The North Dakota Shrine Bowl is sponsored by the Kem and El Zagal Temples of Grand Forks and Fargo, N.D. Teams are made up of 120 athletes from North Dakota and 12 from northwest Minnesota, areas included in the Kem and El Zagal territories. The 16 coaches are all members in good standing with the North Dakota High School Coaches Association. Selections were based on the coaches’ respective 2021 seasons.

Camp week excitement began at about noon on Tuesday, June 14, when coaches and players checked in at Agassiz Hall, their home away from home during camp week. Throughout the week, they enjoyed meals in our cafeteria as well as some special treats from area restaurants and a meal prepared by our local Shriners.

The week was filled with practices as well as fun activities such as a special showing of Jurassic World at the Delchar Theater in downtown Mayville. Thursday was Patient Ambassador Day and Media/Press Day. Players and coaches had their photos taken and engaged in interviews with media. In addition, there was opportunity for players and coaches to interact with patients who are being served by Shrine hospitals, giving them the opportunity to see the great work and positive impact made by the Shriners.

While Mayville State has hosted the Shrine Bowl camp week activities on campus for several years, this year marks the first time ever that we have been given the opportunity to also host the game. Fans have been invited to see the best North Dakota high school football players compete in the oldest (1941) active college stadium in the state. They were encouraged to bring their chairs and blankets for of old time family fun, food, and football.

Game day activities include a parade and banquet. There’s nothing quite like the fun and frivolity that Shrine units bring to a parade. The parade is a wonderful addition to the festivities and a wonderful way for community members to get in on the action. Mayville State’s Dining Services crew is preparing and serving the banquet meal which will take place in the Lewy Lee Fieldhouse.

Hosting the camp week and Shrine Bowl games is a tall order for our small campus and community, but definitely one for which we are up to the challenge and will happily take on. We know all about being hospitable, providing superior service, and rolling out the red carpet and we are delighted to have the opportunity to welcome our guests and give them a chance to experience “The School of Personal Service” and the wonderful community in which we live.

We consider it an honor to have these outstanding players and coaches who represent high character and hard work on our campus. To know that all of this is happening for an excellent cause is icing on the cake. Profits benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children. With 22 locations in three countries, the hospitals are dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, conducting innovative research, and offering outstanding teaching programs for medical professionals. All care and services are provided regardless of the families’ ability to pay. This is a kind and noble undertaking.

I extend my sincere appreciation to the Shrine Kem Temple and El Zagal Temple for giving us this wonderful opportunity and for working together with us to ensure a positive experience for all involved. Our campus organizers Rocky Larson and Lon Jorgensen, along with Physical Plant Director Dan Lorenz and Facilities Services Director Bob Kozojed and their employees, and so many of our faculty, staff, and students, have worked tirelessly to make sure everything goes off without a hitch. I am truly grateful. 

Now, let the games begin! Best wishes to all players, coaches, and fans.