MSU President's Newspaper Column

October 9, 2021 

Scholarship support translates to a brighter future

We at Mayville State University are sincerely grateful for the wonderful scholarship support that comes from numerous alumni and friends. This assistance is extremely important to students who are in pursuit of their educational goals and dreams. Often times, a scholarship makes the difference in whether a student can begin, and sometimes finish, the requirements of earning a college degree.

One such friend and supporter of Mayville State University and its students is the Edson and Margaret Larson Foundation. Edson and Margaret Larson were members of the Mayville community and constant supporters and donors of scholarship assistance at Mayville State University. They recognized the importance of the university to their community and took pride in helping Mayville State students, consistently participating in opportunities to socialize with other supporters at university-sponsored events.

This loyal support has been sustained even in the death of the Larsons as the foundation that bears their name has continued to provide funding for Mayville State University and its students. The Larson Foundation’s financial support has been key to the success of a number of Mayville State’s programs and activities. In addition, the Larson Foundation has consistently provided funding for the Edson and Margaret Larson Annual Scholarship.

Edson and Margaret Larson Annual Scholarships are available to Mayville State University juniors and seniors. Larson Scholarship recipients are chosen based on their demonstrated levels of community service and academics/entrepreneurial success. They must have a grade point average of at least 3.25; must be residents of North Dakota or graduates of North Dakota high schools; intend to attend a graduate school to pursue graduate studies at a North Dakota/Minnesota institution; and intend to work in the state of North Dakota following graduation.

Twelve students have been selected to receive scholarship assistance in the 2021-22 academic year. They are Taylor Reilly from Hoople, N.D., Emily Kennelly from Grafton, N.D., Stephanie Miller from Cando, N.D., Brooklyn Handly from Hatton, N.D., Austin Urlaub from Cavalier, N.D., Erika Ochsner from Bismarck, N.D., MiKara Johanson from Edmore, N.D., James Zimmerman from Devils Lake, N.D., Cole Dukart from Killdeer, N.D., Jennifer Gebhardt from Mayville, N.D., Paul MacSteves from Williston, N.D., and Alexis Ljunggren from Grand Forks, N.D.

We are Comet Proud of each and every one of these outstanding Mayville State students. They have all proven themselves to be exceptional individuals who are making a difference for others and displaying exemplary leadership as they make their journeys toward impressive educational and career goals. They are the future of our state, and I can say with confidence that because of them and others like them, the future is bright.

As an example, Austin Urlaub is a captain and plays tight end for the Comets football team. He is a senior who is pursuing a major in biology with a minor in fitness and wellness. Austin considers his role as a team captain a great honor as it gives him the opportunity to help young student athletes stay on track and exemplify what it means to value the right things.

Austin has worked in the Mayville State scientific research labs where he was involved in cell research. He and his colleagues had opportunities to present their findings and interact with professors and students at other universities, a valuable experience for all.

Many local businesses rely on Mayville State students to fill their workforce needs. Austin was able to help the Luther Memorial Home in Mayville with that need for three years when he worked as a Certified Nurse Assistant. He found the experience to be extremely rewarding. He was able to help the elderly cope with their conditions, comforting and assisting them in their daily tasks and needs. He feels the relationships formed were not only important to the residents, but also to him personally.

After graduating in the spring, Austin plans to further his education in physical therapy school with the ultimate goal of serving as a physical therapist in a rural area or small town in North Dakota, places where these kinds of resources are not always readily available.

You can see how the generosity of the Larson Foundation and so many others supporters comes full circle in student leaders who have solid career goals and a desire to give back to their home state. It’s a great investment!