About the project

The Mayville State University Alumni Association is spearheading a landscaping project on the north side of the Edson and Margaret Larson Alumni Leadership Center on the campus of Mayville State University. Physical work will begin in the spring of 2021, and targeted completion date is the end of the June. Plans are for a dedication/grand opening event to be held in conjunction with Mayville-Portland's Summerfest celebration.

Collectively named the Gardens of Remembrance, the Flag Pole Garden and the Garden of Personal Service make up the total project, which is being led by Doug Anderson and Lute Simley.

The spirit behind the establishment of these gardens is to honor those who have served in significant roles at Mayville State and who have been positive forces in the history of our beloved institution. This will be a place for those who have been a part of the institution's history to reflect on their memories. It will also be a place where future generations can learn about the treasured history that has endeared Mayville State University to so many.


Several members of the Mayville State alumni community played an integral role in salvaging architectural elements when three historic buildings, East Hall, West Hall, and the Old Gymnasium were demolished a number of years ago. Many of the architectural pieces are in storage and others were repurposed by Professor Emeritus Dr. Merwin Lyng.

Many of Dr. Lyng's creations were sold to those wishing to have memorabilia representing a significant piece of Mayville State history. Funds from these sales were collected in the MSU Foundation. These resources will help to fund this project.

The Alumni Association will incorporate some of these architectural elements into the Gardens of Remembrance.

Garden of Personal Service 04-2021.jpg

Plans: The Garden of Personal Service

The Garden of Personal Service will be located on the northwest corner of the grounds at the Larson Center. This garden will honor current and former employees of Mayville State, along with those who love and support our beloved institution. The garden's unique design will incorporate the existing evergreens and include sidewalk entrances, concrete walkways, granite rock ground cover, hosta varieties, Stella daylilies, relaxing seating, block edging, and solar lighting for nighttime enjoyment.

Historical elements that will be featured in this garden are four of the lions that once guarded the south entrance to the former Old Gymnasium. The 1927 fountain that was once located on the southeast lawn in front of Old Main will also be incorporated. The original cherub that once topped off the fountain has not been located, but another cherub sculpture has been donated and will take its place in the Garden of Personal Service.

Shade Garden detail of lion Jan 20, 2021.jpg

Plans: The Flagpole Garden

The Flagpole Garden is an extension of the Edson and Margaret Larson Alumni and Leadership Center building sign. This garden has been designed with complementing plants, granite rock ground cover, block edging, white fence, stepping pavers, nighttime lighting and a special flagpole. This artifact stood proudly atop Old Main for decades. It was removed years ago and will now proud fly a Mayville State Comets flag at the Larson Center.

Flag Pole Garden Jan. 20, 2021 looking south.jpg

Are you interested in helping out?

Contributions of funding and volunteer efforts are needed and would be very much appreciated. If you're interested in lending your support, contact the MSU Foundation at 701-788-4750 or alumni.mail@mayvillestate.edu.

Soon, a "Friends of the Gardens" group will be established. This will be a vehicle for providing your ongoing support for the gardens.