MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

September 1, 2018

Performing Arts Hall of Fame inductees for 2018 named

The Mayville State University Alumni Association Board and Mayville State administration approved the establishment of the Performing Arts Hall of Fame at Mayville State University in 2013. The purpose of the PAHOF is to honor and preserve the memory of those who performed in band, choir, speech, or theater, and the representative faculty, and others who have contributed in a very outstanding and positive way to the promotion of performing arts programs.

An executive committee was established and continues to oversee the overall operation of the Performing Arts Hall of Fame. The group meets each year to ensure that there is an adequate pool of nominees and to review the make-up of the selection committee

Current members of the executive committee are the director of alumni affairs, Beth Swenson; director of the MSU music department, Cody Hunter; director of the MSU theater department, Bob Sylskar; a member of the Alumni Association board of directors, Herb Thomson; and a member of the Mayville State performing arts alumni, Lucia Jacobson. As Mayville State’s president, I also serve on this committee as an ex-officio, non-voting member.

A selection committee met in June to make selections for this year’s inductees, who will be honored during Homecoming 2018 festivities. A program will be held as part of the annual Homecoming concert which begins at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30 in the Classroom Building Auditorium. As a special treat, members of the 1978 Mayville State jazz band will be performing with the current jazz band. The Alumni Association will host a reception in the MSU Campus Center Luckasen Room to honor the inductees immediately following the concert.

This year’s inductees to the MSU Performing Arts Hall of Fame are the 1978 Mayville State jazz band; Doug Barta, Parker, Colo.; Conrad Miska, Eagan, Minn.; Lynn Schroeder, Cavalier, N.D.; Cynthia Kaldor, Bismarck, N.D.; and Richard, Rousseau, St. Paul, Minn.  

Plaques representing these folks and their contributions will be hung with the other Performing Arts Hall of Fame recognition plaques that are on permanent display. They are located in the lighted case in the corridor that joins the Science Building to the Campus Center, at the far west end of the Classroom Building.

We are elated by the opportunity to recognize these distinguished Mayville State alumni who have made a difference for others throughout their careers. We have so many successful alumni. We are very proud of them, and it is a privilege to recognize them for their good work.

Performing Arts Hall of Fame selection committee members represent the last five decades of speech/theater and music alumni. Making up the group this year were Ruth Hall, Shireen Grinager, David Trottier, Debby Haugen, Greta Paschke, Ann Kraft, Kelly Kornkven, Samantha DeLong, and Heather Torgeson. Members of the executive committee also serve on the selection committee. We are grateful to them for taking their time to serve Mayville State in this way.

Please mark your calendar and plan to join us for the Homecoming 2018 festivities when we honor the Performing Arts Hall of Fame inductees, as well as this year’s Athletic Hall of Fame and Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame inductees. Athletic Hall of Fame inductees, former Mayville State men’s basketball coach Craig Smith and his 2004-05, 2005-06, and 2006-07 teams will be recognized at a dinner planned for Friday evening, Sept. 28. David Dose, Maxine Mehus, and David Strand will be inducted into the Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame at the dinner. Everyone is welcome to attend. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling the MSU Foundation at 701-788-4687. Reservation deadline is Sept. 15.

See all the details about Homecoming 2018, Sept. 28-30, at or call 701-788-4750.

To wrap up this week’s column, I want to tell you about what an honor it was to attend an event Thursday evening, Aug. 23. The Comets football team and coaches assembled at MSU’s Lewy Lee Fieldhouse with a group of area military veterans. Each veteran and a football player were paired up and each student athlete was presented with a helmet sticker. The sticker represents the branch of the military in which the veteran he was paired with served. I was very touched by the respect that was shown to the veterans who served so that the young football players may enjoy many freedoms, including playing a game that they love. I tip my hat to Harlan Johnson and MSU head football coach Sean Thom for organizing the event and to the Comet Athletic Club board members who served hot dogs and chips to the crowd immediately following the program. This allowed the veterans and football players some time for socializing. This is just one more reason why I am “Comet Proud.”