MSU President’s Column For Traill County Tribune

November 14, 2015 

Thanksgiving is a great time to open your home to a Mayville State student who is far from loved ones


For the beauties and abundance of the earth, for family near and far, for friends old and new, for the gift of each brand new day, and the chance to make a difference, let us give thanks.

The holidays are upon us. As the leaves tumble from the trees, the temperatures fall, and nature gets ready to take a rest, we prepare to share warm and happy times with our families. We at Mayville State have so many things for which to be thankful. We’re enjoying a bountiful harvest of good fortune, including record enrollment. What a blessing it is to have the opportunity to serve many wonderful students as they pursue their educational dreams and goals.

With the growing student population at Mayville State University, we are enrolling many students who come from a distance to study on the Mayville State campus. This special place has become home to a number of students from across the country and around the globe, many who are not able to travel to visit loved ones during the holidays. This is especially true for the short Thanksgiving holiday.

This paves the way for members of the community to open their homes and show the hospitality of the kind and caring folks of the Mayville-Portland area. Would you be interested in opening your home to share Thanksgiving with one or more Mayville State students who aren’t able to be with their families for the holiday?

Pam Braaten, MSU Registrar, is making arrangements to pair students with local families. If you’re interested in this opportunity, you may contact Pam at 701-788-4773 or She will share a student’s Mayville State email address and cell phone number and ask you to make the first contact. Please be aware that most of these students do not have transportation.

Scott Berry and those associated with the Laurie Berry Christian Home in Mayville will be serving a Thanksgiving meal for any students who wish to join them, and Steve and Aprill Hastings of Mayville have already stepped up to offer their hospitality to a student or two, as they have done in the past. Please consider joining them as hosts for other students who are unable to be with their loved ones on Nov. 26.

This is a great opportunity for you to get to know some of the members of the Mayville State family. It’s the people that make Mayville State a special place. I encourage you to get involved and to get to know our students on a more personal level. It is interesting to learn the students’ backgrounds and to hear more about what brought them to Mayville State. With our growing diverse and distant population, I think you’ll find that making a connection like this will be a great learning experience!

There is no obligation to you beyond inviting the student(s) to celebrate this holiday with you and your family, but we know you might find the experience so enjoyable that you’ll wish to continue to nurture the relationship and make lifetime friendships. Perhaps you’d like to invite a student to join you in an out-of-town shopping trip or event. You could show your support at their athletic, music, or theatrical events. Enjoy Thanksgiving together and feel free to stay in touch, if you so choose.

At Thanksgiving, and always, we are truly grateful for our friends and neighbors in the Mayville-Portland community. Thank you for considering this opportunity that allows us to expand the Mayville State family circle from the borders of the campus and into the community. Opening your hearts and homes to Mayville State students is a great way to make a difference, not only in their lives, but perhaps in yours as well.