Nielson, Mary Lee Peterson
Awarded in 2015
Mary Lee Nielson is the twelfth recipient of the Alumni Service Award.
Mary Lee is a 1979 graduate of VCSU. She received her Bachelor of Education degree in Biology & Physical Education. She has served as the Mayor of Valley City (2008–2010), a City Commissioner (2004–2006 and 2012 to present), and currently works for the Sheyenne River Valley National Scenic Byway as their Marketing Coordinator.
Mary Lee strongly supports education and continues to participate on the forefront of student and adult educational experiences. She has been active in many VCSU initiatives including Camp Cyber Prairie, the Kathryn Center, and Prairie Waters Education & Research Center.
Mary Lee has been recognized with the Outstanding City Elected Official ND in 2009 and received the Valley City State University Presidential Service Award in 2008.
When Mary Lee was asked “What does being a graduate of VCSU mean to you?” she responded “My association with VCSU has been over 40 years. My education allowed me to take on many roles over the years. VCSU is part of my foundation. I am proud of VCSU and all the changes it continues to innovate through. It’s been a privilege to be a part of some of these innovations.”
Mary Lee has many special memories of her time at VCSU. She was able to work in two special jobs at VCSU: facilitating freshman on the high ropes course as director and working with VCSU professors and faculty at Camp Cyber Prairie and Prairie Waters.
Both programs showed VCSU at its best – Being Innovative!