On Friday, April 17, 2015, Minot State University formally installed the university’s 11th president, Steven W. Shirley, who took office July 1, 2014. In his inauguration address, Shirley promoted the theme: Create. Connect. Collaborate.
“These are three very simple, yet powerful words upon which I want our faculty, staff, students, alumni and supporters to act,” Shirley said about the theme, which he felt would enable the university to meet the future’s challenges.
During the ceremony, delegates, faculty, staff and students praised Shirley for his energy and positive inspiration, his involvement on and off campus, and his ability to connect with people.
“Since arriving to our campus, you have proven your sincere investment in getting to know us as individuals,” said DeVera Bowles, MSU Faculty Senate president. “We look forward to many productive years under your leadership. Your deep well of energy and positivity are inspirational, and I hope we can keep up with you!”
“I am excited for what’s ahead in years to come,” Alex Buchholz, MSU Student Government Association president, said, “because I know that President Shirley will be working hand in hand with students as Minot State continues to grow and change.”
Shirley emphasized the importance of MSU’s commitment to educating students and the fact that faculty, staff, students, alumni, supporters and elected officials have been key in making that happen.
“As a state supported public university,” Shirley stressed, “I take seriously the role Minot State has in helping ensure North Dakota’s success. By creating, connecting and collaborating, I am confident we will meet society’s greatest challenges and build upon this great 100 plus year legacy at Minot State University.”
Throughout his comments, Shirley also reflected on the proud history of Minot State University and shared insights surrounding several important historical campus milestones. Shirley also spoke of his family’s Minot roots and his pride as a native North Dakotan serving the North Dakota University System.
The April 17 inauguration ceremony capped off a week of events celebrating Shirley as MSU’s 11th president and commemorating its honored past and history of service while advancing its future. As part of the celebration, Staff Senate donated proceeds from its charitable silent auction to the Minot Backpack Buddy Program in recognition of Shirley’s inauguration; the MSU Alumni Association honored President Shirley at a tree planting ceremony; students enjoyed numerous activities from Bingo Night with President Shirley to a Study Abroad Fair. MSU Student athletes visited area schools throughout the week, reading to elementary students, answering questions and sharing their experiences as university student athletes. MSU students, faculty, staff and groups participated in the creation of a tapestry, representing the diverse backgrounds, cultures, and other exceptional aspects of the campus community; and the entire community enjoyed “Celebration of Talents,” a showcase of faculty, staff and student talent. Shirley is also the president of Dakota College at Bottineau, and DCB hosted a public reception in Bottineau on April 21 in honor of Shirley’s inauguration.