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Bemidji State University

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Bemidji State University
Bemidji State University seal.svg
Former names
Bemidji State Normal School;
Bemidji State Teachers College;
Bemidji State College
Established 1919
Type University
Endowment $10,912,494
President Richard Hanson
Academic staff
Students 5,365
Undergraduates 4,928
Postgraduates 437
Location Bemidji, Minnesota, USA
47°28′54″N 94°52′32″W / 47.48175°N 94.87557°W / 47.48175; -94.87557Coordinates: 47°28′54″N 94°52′32″W / 47.48175°N 94.87557°W / 47.48175; -94.87557
Campus Suburban
Colors Green and white


Nickname Beavers
Mascot Bucky the Beaver
Bemidji State University

Bemidji State University (BSU) is a public state university in Bemidji, Minnesota, USA, located on the shores of Lake Bemidji. It is a part of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU).


BSU was founded in 1919 as Bemidji State Normal School. The name was later changed to Bemidji State Teachers College, then shortened to Bemidji State College and finally Bemidji State University. During the 1998–1999 academic year, the University Board of Regents recommended changing the name of the university to Minnesota State University–Bemidji, just as Moorhead State University and Mankato State University had changed their names to Minnesota State University Moorhead and Minnesota State University, Mankato, respectively. The board argued this would emphasize the fact that BSU was a Minnesota university and thus attract more students from both in-state (who would otherwise be unaware that it was located in Minnesota) and out-of-state (who saw Minnesota as a good state in which to attend university). Large vocal and written opposition from students, alumni, and local townspeople made the board withdraw the recommendation. Current enrollment is about 5,300 students, with students from 44 US states and 40 countries. Each student attending BSU pays a 43 cent per credit fee to sustain the Minnesota State University Student Association, a student-led non-profit that advocates on behalf of all Minnesota State University students.

President Richard Hanson[edit]

Dr. Richard A. Hanson was named Bemidji State University's 10th president on March 19, 2010, and took office on July 12, 2010.[1] Hanson was formerly president of Waldorf College. With the college facing bankruptcy, Hanson[2] oversaw the sale of Waldorf College to a for-profit provider, Columbia Southern University.[3] He was named interim president of North Dakota State University in December, 2009, and was one of twelve semi-finalists for the permanent position.[4]

Academic programs[edit]

Bemidji State University is becoming well known for its programs and conferences in writing.[citation needed] It offers the only BFA in professional and creative writing in the MnSCU system. The program includes a minor and certificates in electronic writing, consisting of courses in weblogs, wikis, web content writing, web design, digital rhetoric, and teaching writing with technology. Bemidji State also has a 96% rate of social work majors passing their licensing exams compared to the 76% rate for the entire state. In addition, Sattgast Hall is home to a number of natural sciences programs and pre-professional studies.

University rankings
Forbes[5] RNP
U.S. News & World Report[6] 92
Master's University class
Washington Monthly[7] 465

Foreign programs[edit]

For 16 years BSU has had a relationship with Liaoning University, a university in China. Each year a professor from Liaoning University goes to BSU to teach Chinese and each summer BSU students participate in "Sino-Summer", a month-long visit to China with half of the time spent at Liaoning University and half touring other parts of China including Beijing, Xi'an and Guilin. In 2007, for the first time in almost two decades, no group of BSU students went to China through the Sino-Summer program.

Euro-Spring[clarification needed]

Notable alumni[edit]


Main article: Bemidji State Beavers

The school sports teams are called the Beavers and compete in NCAA Division II, except in men's ice hockey and women's ice hockey. The Beavers are members of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference in most sports, with the men's hockey team competing at the Division I level.

Fight song[edit]

Go Bemidji Beavers,
Go you Green and White.
Go Bemidji Beavers,
Fight with all your might.

We are here to cheer you.
We're out to bring you fame.
So go Bemidji Beavers,
Fight and win this game.

B-E-M-I-D-J-I Bemidji, Bemidji, Go Beavers.

Homecoming tradition[edit]

In a tradition dating back to the mid-1990s, anytime the team wins homecoming, the players run from the football stadium to nearby Lake Bemidji and dive in.[8] The tradition dates to 1995 when Bemidji State upset the defending conference champion Winona State University in the homecoming game and took their first "victory dip" in the lake. The roots of the tradition date back two years earlier however when, in 1993, an assistant coach attempted to inspire the winless team. He wrote a fictional news story of the upcoming homecoming game.[8] In his account, the team earned an upset homecoming victory and dived into Lake Bemidji in celebration. A real-world victory didn't happen in 1993, nor 1994, but when homecoming victory came in 1995 it was time to get wet. Between 1995 and 2012 the Beavers have won twelve of the seventeen homecoming games.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Richard Hanson named 10th president of Bemidji State University :: News & Updates :: BSU Today :: Bemidji State University". 2010-05-19. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  2. ^ "Iowa Private College Sells Assets to For-Profit University - Graduate Students - The Chronicle of Higher Education". 2009-02-23. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  3. ^ Jaschik, Scott (2009-05-06). "The Sale of Waldorf". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ "America's Top Colleges". LLC™. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Regional Universities Rankings". America's Best Colleges 2012. U.S. News & World Report. September 13, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011. 
  7. ^ "The Washington Monthly Master's University Rankings". The Washington Monthly. 2011. Retrieved October 6, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c Forde, Pat (2 October 2012). "Forde-Yard Dash: Look before you leap". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 

External links[edit]