‘She’s Going to Be Awesome Here’

They met at Minnesota State Mankato in 1989 as members of the concert wind ensemble.

They married ten years later, lived in nearby St. Peter and raised one child, a daughter, amid music, theatre and the family business — a hometown bar and grill.

Lauren Mayer moves in
Move-in can be an exhilarating and emotional day. Just ask John and Tamara Mayer, both 1995 alums who moved their daughter Lauren into McElroy this week.

On Wednesday John and Tamara Mayer returned to the University in separate cars, one carrying a refrigerator and microwave, the other carrying clothes, furniture and their daughter, Lauren, who moved in to Minnesota State Mankato’s McElroy residence hall to start her first year of college.

“I thought it was a match made in heaven,” John said as he unloaded a push cart in Lauren’s new home (and his old one — John lived in McElroy, Tamara in Crawford). “It’s a fine college, she she likes theater and MSU has a great theater program. But she wanted to do this and try that and finally came to the decision that Minnesota State Mankato was the final pick for her.”

A stellar high school student, Lauren shopped a lot of colleges. At St. Peter she had danced in the high-energy Just for Kix ensemble, landed and nailed key roles in theater productions throughout her time and, toward the end, took college courses from the University and served as class president her senior year.

“I toured a whole bunch of [colleges] but I always found myself comparing every other college to MSU,” Lauren said in the McElroy lobby. “I was looking to still feel like part of a community and not just a number out of so many people going to a college.”

She had the advantage of frequently visiting the University throughout her childhood. She loved Minnesota State Mankato’s theater productions, its musical performances and its hockey games downtown, she said.

Lauren and mom checking in
Checking into McElroy.

Because students in learning communities get to move in a day earlier, the Mayer family move-in on Wednesday didn’t take long, and soon the three family members were nearing the point of having little else to do but … part ways.

“I’m excited,” said John, a 1995 earth studies major now resting a hand on his daughter’s shoulder, “because she’s worked very hard through high school to get to this point.”

One new home, three lives changed.

“It’s bittersweet,” said Tamara, the 1995 Scandinavian studies major whose words grew faint. “She’s going to do great things and we’re really proud of her. We’ll miss her. We’re not that far, but we’ll still miss her. She’s going to be awesome here.”

And Lauren Mayer – business major and theater minor at Minnesota State Mankato – was clearly ready to, as her parents’ generation might say, rock it.

Lauren in her decorated dorm room.
Lauren Mayer, moved in and ready for her time as a Maverick.

“I’m excited just to meet so many new faces of people who are just like me,” she said. “People who are into band and theater and just weird arts kids, I just can’t wait to find so many more of my own people.”