MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

June 25, 2016 

Summer swim program among opportunities for kids and adults at Mayville State


The activities of summer are well underway. A great number of students are enrolled in college courses, not only on campus, but also online. In addition, there are many opportunities for elementary, junior high, and high school students, and others who wish to broaden their horizons during the summer months. These include a number of athletics camps and a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) College for Kids. In a couple of weeks those participating in the annual Shrine Bowl will be spending a week at Mayville State University practicing and preparing for the big game.

Another summer highlight at Mayville State is the ever-popular swimming program. Mayville State started the summer “Learn-to-Swim” program after the Mayville city pool stopped offering swimming lessons in the early 1970s. Mayville State’s former Campus Center Director Bob Brown was the first coordinator of the program. Lessons were offered to Mayville-Portland area children, as well as to those in outlying communities such as Buxton, Reynolds, Hunter, and Arthur. 

Mayville State’s swimming program continues today. Becky Gunderson served as the coordinator for many years. Becky taught lessons for the program in the early 1970s when she was a Mayville State student. With Becky’s retirement this spring, the torch has been passed along to Jeffrey Powell, who is now coordinating the program. The tradition of employing college students as swimming teachers continues.

The summer swim program brings between 250 and 300 swimming students to the Mayville State campus each year during the month of June. These students range from 6 months of age to adults. They participate in parent/child classes, children’s learn-to-swim classes, water exercise classes, lap swimming, and adult learn-to-swim classes. The participants are from Mayville-Portland and surrounding communities including Hunter, Arthur, McVille, Buxton, Reynolds, and Aneta.

The program is about wrapped up for this summer, but if you’re interested in enrolling your children in lessons, you’ll have additional opportunities during the fall and spring semesters. Classes will include parent/child and children’s learn-to-swim. Plans are to offer American Red Cross Levels 1-5. There will also be classes for preschoolers. Please see the Mayville State website at www.mayvillestate/edu/swimmingpool for details about lessons and open swim, lap swimming, and water exercise opportunities. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact Jeffrey Powell at 701-788-4697 or

It is a privilege for us at Mayville State to offer lifelong learning opportunities for young and old. I encourage everyone to take advantage of the many opportunities Mayville State offers. You’ll be enhancing your quality of life and gaining knowledge that will benefit you always.