MSU President's Newspaper Column

February 12, 2022

These are our people

As I write my newspaper column this week, I am in the midst of what has been so far a fantastic few days in the Mesa, Ariz. area. My first lady, Nina, and I have been renewing acquaintances with members of the Mayville State family and meeting others for the first time. The kindness and friendliness of Mayville State alumni and friends is second to none. To be among these special people is an absolute pleasure and truly a big deal.

A great Comet Family reunion took place when about 35 Mayville State alumni and friends got together for an afternoon of golf at the Springfield Golf Resort in Chandler, Ariz. Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022. Several more Comets joined in socializing at the clubhouse when the golfers came in. It was heartwarming to see how much those in attendance genuinely enjoyed being together. There were lots of handshakes and hugs, many stories to tell, and experiences to reminisce about.

This was the first time we’d tried such an event in Arizona. I am grateful to Tim Garrett, who had some help from Mike and Mark Osland, for his excellent work that made it all come together. It was such a big success that we’re giving some serious consideration to making it an annual occurrence. Stay tuned for further information.

There was more reminiscing and renewing of acquaintances at a dinner gathering Monday evening. Good friends and good food combined for good times. 

In last week’s column, I mentioned the important role the members of the Mayville-Portland and greater Traill County community play in the success of our students. We hear over and over again from students who truly value the support, financial and other, of the community.

We can take that a step further and include alumni and friends from all across the country whose support plays a major role in the success of the university and its students. These are people who place a great value on the university and our important mission of providing students with a high quality and affordable education and the opportunities that go along with it.

In some cases, our supporters are paying forward the financial assistance they realized when they themselves were Mayville State students. Some are appreciative for the friendships they made. Others are thankful for the leadership opportunities they were afforded. Still others are happy about the personal service they experienced. The list can go on and on, but no matter the reason, we are grateful beyond words to the kind and thoughtful people who hold Mayville State in high regard and generously support the institution in a variety of ways. It’s a great team effort and I could not be more proud of Team Mayville State!

We will continue a decades-old tradition tomorrow, when the annual Traill County/Mayville State University Luncheon is held in Mesa. We know the sentiments will be the same as those we’ve experienced during the last few days, a deep appreciation for our Traill County and Mayville State roots. A feeling of family and connectedness will be in the air and I for one am looking forward to the good times I know we’ll share.

You probably recall how the members of the Mayville State University campus community and our Mayville-Portland friends came together for an all-out effort to make Farmers Bowl 2021 memorable for all. With a schedule that began bright and early on Sept. 18 and lasted well into the evening, the much-anticipated annual Farmers Bowl event was extraordinary in 2021. Rodney Miller and Jann Carl, along with their production crew for Small Town Big Deal, joined in the celebration and recorded highlights for a future episode of the television show. In the day prior, they were also able to record interviews and visits to other community attractions.

When the crew left town, we knew only that the episode featuring Mayville State would air during the current season which ends in May. I’ve just learned from the show’s executive producer that it will run in syndication the weekend of Feb. 19 and 20, 2022. The episode of Small Town Big Deal featuring Mayville State University and the community will air in syndication the weekend of Feb. 19-20, 2022. Locally, the show airs on KVLY at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 19. It will also air on the cable network RFD-TV Wednesday, Feb. 23 at 4 p.m. CST. We have learned that there are some discrepancies with the Small Town Big Deal website that indicates where you can watch in various locations across the country. If you are out of the local area, we recommend that you check your local listings to verify when and where you can watch.

It is the people who make Mayville State University, Mayville-Portland, and the greater Traill County area a big deal. They may be current or former residents, university alumni who live elsewhere, or people who go away to warmer weather for just the winter. They carry the values of our area with them wherever they go, never forgetting where they came from. This is an extra-special quality and one for which we can all be grateful.