MSU President's Newspaper Column

May 7, 2022

Summer is on the horizon

In just a short time, we’ll be transitioning to summer mode, but in the meantime, we’ll be very busy with the traditional events and activities that help us close out the academic year. It’s hard to imagine that it’s already that time, but when I reflect back to the beginning of the fall semester, it all comes together.

So much has happened, including kicking off the fall in grand style with a super-sized Farmers Bowl celebration where we had the honor of hosting the Small Town Big Deal hosts and crew as they gathered footage for a future episode featuring our university and community. What a wonderful memory that is! The opportunity to showcase Mayville State and the greater Traill County community on the national stage was truly special. If you missed it, you can see the episode at

By the way, the show hosts, Jann Carl and Rodney Miller, and their crew very much enjoyed the experience too. In a heartfelt note he sent in December, Rodney let me know that visiting our area was among his most treasured experiences. Thank you to all who helped to make their visit enjoyable and memorable.

Last week, senior athletes were recognized at a banquet held for them, and during this week, we’ve honored students for their achievements at the annual Academic and Student Senate Awards program. I watched from the audience with a great sense of pride in our outstanding students. Those honored included the traditional residential students as well as those studying online. In fact, the event was the first time for one of our online students to meet her Mayville State instructors in person. That in itself was a great moment.

All Dean’s List students were recognized, as were students who excelled in English, theater, Collegiate DECA, accounting, business, early childhood education, elementary and secondary education, athletics and academics, health and physical education, mathematics, psychology, tutoring, and Student Senate.

In addition, the Jeff Sieg Award for Teaching Excellence was presented to Assistant Professor of Education Clayton Dodson. The award is presented each year by the Student Senate to the faculty member who has shown dedication and excellence in teaching at Mayville State. Formerly called the Teacher of the Year Award, it was renamed in 2020 to honor Jeff Sieg, an incredibly gifted educator, mentor, and role model for what excellence in the classroom should be. Sieg, who taught in the Mayville State science department, passed away unexpectedly in 2019. Other nominees for the award this year were Pam Johnson, Lonamalia Smith, Brittany Hagen, and Fred Strand.

The grand finale for the awards program was the naming of the 2021-22 Students of the Year. This recognition underscores my feelings and demonstrates that Mayville State is blessed to have outstanding students, each with his or her own strengths and attributes, who come together with our wonderful faculty, staff, alumni, and friends, to form the Mayville State family, where each person is valued and appreciated.

On the evening of May 4, we were able to celebrate all Mayville State employees at the annual Employee Recognition Dinner. Employees marking anniversaries of employment in five-year increments received special recognition. We are fortunate to have staff and faculty who are competent and dedicated to the mission of educating students while delivering the Mayville State brand of personal service.

Speaking of the Mayville State family, I am delighted that 1991 Mayville State University Jay DeCann will be coming home to Mayville State to be our next Athletic Director. Jay is currently Activities Director at West Fargo (N.D.) High School. He will formally begin his duties at Mayville State on July 1, although I know he is already reaching out and getting involved on campus and in the community.

Commencement will be held Saturday, May 14, officially closing out the 2021-22 academic year. We look forward to celebrating with the newest Mayville State alumni. It will be a special day for sure. Commencement officially marks the transition to summer.

We’re excited for the opportunities the summer session affords, including more than 100 online summer courses. For the first time ever, we’ll be offering dual credit in the summer, giving high school students the chance to earn high school and college credit simultaneously. Dual credit courses give high school students a great jump start into college. Summer classes begin May 23. You can see all the details at I hope you’ll check it out.