MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

December 29, 2018

There is much for which to be grateful at Mayville State

The holiday season is a time for reflection. It is a time when we should all pause and think about what is important in our lives. This has been a big year for me as I have become the newest president of Mayville State University. I have very much enjoyed the opportunity to become a part of the campus and community and look forward to building upon the great success Mayville State has enjoyed over the last several years.

I am especially grateful for all those who came before us. Pioneer educators populated these campus buildings and built a philosophical framework for those of us who were to follow. This framework included passion and concern for students, pride in doing a good job, a desire to excel, and a yearning for a better future for all. It is the responsibility of our current employees to protect these values and pass them on to a new generation.

I am grateful for our students. Mayville State can boast of many outstanding individuals who have chosen to further their education at Mayville State University, and I have had the great pleasure of meeting many of them. Our students come from near and far and it is a privilege to see how they all rally around the common thread of Mayville State as they enhance their lives in terms of both education and leadership.

The examples of student volunteerism and giving back to the community that supports them so tremendously are many. Helping community members with chores around their homes and visits to the local elementary school to interact with students come quickly to mind. Other students have lent their service to assist in reversing the problem of world hunger. One particular point of pride for me is how the Comets football team shows their support for U.S. military veterans. I’m delighted in the respect they show by wearing representation of local veterans on their helmets and helping out at the Mayville State Military Honor Garden. These activities make me "Comet Proud" for sure!

I am grateful for our employees. Our faculty and staff continue to provide our students with some of the best service found anywhere. I hear about people personifying our university motto, “The School of Personal Service,” every day. It is wonderful that our campus personnel go to great ends to make sure our learning environment is positive and effective. Year after year, Mayville State pays forward the promises of our founding ancestors.

The parents and families of our students are also an important component of the Mayville State University family. Because our institution is relatively small, we are afforded the opportunity to meet and get to know the families of many of our students. They not only support their loved ones, but they are kind to the institution as well.

My thoughts also include our community and alumni. We have extremely dedicated supporters who unselfishly assist our university in many, many ways each year. Whether it is helping with an event, serving on a board, or assisting financially, our friends and neighbors are second to none. This support transcends our campus and is well-noticed far beyond our community borders. This support is crucial to Mayville State’s success.

One such example is the installation of turf at MSU’s Jerome Berg Field this past summer. The facility benefits both the campus and the community and all groups came together to support the project. The grand opening of the new and improved facility was a monumental event. Record numbers of alumni and friends gathered to celebrate and the Comets put the icing on the cake by pulling off a win. Almost every senior football player cited that this day provided their most special memories at Mayville State. I will always look back on this historic day with a smile on my face.

This fall, we received word of receiving a $2,249,009 Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) grant. The grant will be life-changing for Mayville State. Grant-funded activities will include establishing a cohesive advising and student success model that coincides with academics, student life, and student support. Our students will win big because of this influx of funding.

The good word about Mayville State University is out and we saw record-high enrollment again this fall. The MSU Foundation is experiencing unprecedented private giving. Our faculty members and their academic programs are highly successful and organizations across the state and country are recognizing the quality of these programs. I couldn’t be more “Comet Proud.”

In closing, I would be remiss if I did not express my appreciation for the warm reception I have received at Mayville State and in the community. Thank you to all who have welcomed me with open arms. I am happy to be here and thankful to call Mayville-Portland my home. I look forward to working together with all of you to help our beloved Mayville State University become the best it can be. Best wishes for the new year!