More than a year into a pandemic that is weighing on all of us, M State has reason to celebrate!

Spartan fans have feasted this year as our men’s golf team has earned its 11 th consecutive trip to the national tournament and Spartan golfer Audra Ewan qualified individually for the women’s national tournament. The volleyball team took third in the NJCAA Division III National Tournament, our football team ended its season at No. 5 in the nation and our clay target team, in its inaugural season, finished sixth in its nine-team division, with Kalli Steinbach winning her individual season championship. What great seasons they had! I’m incredibly proud of the hard work and determination of our student athletes and coaches. Now we look forward to cheering on our basketball teams; I hope to see you in the stands.

The Theatre department just finished their fall production of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Abridged” and it was a success. The spring production is scheduled for March 2022. The Music Department invites music lovers to an “Awakening” at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 5 in Legacy Hall. The doors open at 1:30 p.m., and the concert is free and open to the public.

Dr. Carrie Brimhall, M State President
Dr. Carrie Brimhall, M State President

We also celebrate M State’s designation as a Hunger Free Campus by the Lead MN student advocacy group. This recognition is the result of our focus on the success of students both inside and outside the classroom. We know that many students face barriers that affect their ability to do well in college, including not only food insecurity but housing and homelessness, transportation and childcare needs.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

We carry this important work of addressing student barriers forward in the coming months as we expand our food pantry, funded in large part by a donation from Fergus Area College Foundation. When students are hungry, it’s hard for them to focus on anything else, including their education. We believe that food pantries are key to supporting students.

On the national level, M State was named a Top 150 U.S. Community College for the seventh consecutive time by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. This recognition speaks highly of our staff, faculty and administrators who focus constantly on student success. The designation makes M State eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence for 2023. The selection was based on student success in the critical areas of teaching and learning, certificate and degree completion, transfer and bachelor’s attainment, workforce success, and equity for students of color and students from low-income backgrounds.

M State has a history that has made us the strong institution we are today. Although we’ve had to face tough challenges, we remain united in working together to create a welcoming, inclusive and innovative culture. I am incredibly grateful for the entire M State community. Our staff and faculty show up every day and bring an incredible energy and passion to the work we do. They work to create safe and healthy spaces for students to learn and connect.

I am proud of the number of new and returning students who continue to choose M State for their educational journey. They are talented and resilient despite having to continue to adapt to big and small changes. I am also grateful for the support we receive from our partners, alumni, donors and friends of M State that helps us achieve our mission.

As we wrap up the fall semester, M State is focused on moving the college forward so we can continue to change the lives of our students. We are determined to remove barriers, teach and serve and build relationships with students. Our mission is accomplished in our day-to-day interactions that we have with students, partners and each other.

M State is a special place, and I am certainly inspired by the work we do every day. We will continue to spend the year reflecting on all that we are thankful for.