Listen to this article

Bemidji State University

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Bemidji State University
Bemidji State University seal.svg
Former names
Bemidji State Normal School;
Bemidji State Teachers College;
Bemidji State College
Type Public
Established 1919
Endowment $10,912,494
President Richard Hanson
Academic staff
Students 6,349[1]
Undergraduates 5,912
Postgraduates 437
Location Bemidji, Minnesota, [U.S.
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[2]


Nickname Beavers
Mascot Bucky the Beaver
Bemidji State University wordmark.svg

Bemidji State University (BSU) is a public state university in Bemidji, Minnesota, United States, located on the shores of Lake Bemidji. Founded as a preparatory institution for teachers in 1919, it provides higher education to north-central Minnesota. It is a member of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.


BSU was founded in 1919 and opened under the name Bemidji State Normal School. The first President Manfred Deputy was appointed to run the new institution[3] and the first class consisted of 38 students.[4] 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 Board of Trustees recommended changing the name of the university to Minnesota State University–Bemidji, to reflect a change toward unification within the newly formed Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System after other larger institutions had done so. Prominent vocal and written opposition from students, alumni, and local Bemidji residents forced the board to withdraw the recommendation to change the name. Current enrollment is about 5,300 students, with students from 44 US states and 40 countries.

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.[5] Hanson was formerly president of Waldorf College. With the college facing bankruptcy, Hanson[6] oversaw the sale of Waldorf College to a for-profit provider, Columbia Southern University.[7] He was named interim president of North Dakota State University in December, 2009, and was one of twelve semi-finalists for the permanent position.[8]

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[9] RNP
U.S. News & World Report[10] 92
Master's University class
Washington Monthly[11] 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.


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.

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.[12] 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.[12] In his account, the team earned an upset homecoming victory and dove 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.[12]

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "MnSCU Viewbook 2014" (PDF). Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. Retrieved 2015-07-28. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Richard Hanson named 10th president of Bemidji State University :: News & Updates :: BSU Today :: Bemidji State University". 2010-05-19. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  6. ^ "Iowa Private College Sells Assets to For-Profit University - Graduate Students - The Chronicle of Higher Education". 2009-02-23. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  7. ^ Jaschik, Scott (2009-05-06). "The Sale of Waldorf". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  8. ^ [1] Archived July 23, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "America's Top Colleges". Forbes. Retrieved August 15, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Regional Universities Rankings". America's Best Colleges 2012. U.S. News & World Report. September 13, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011. 
  11. ^ "The Washington Monthly Master's University Rankings". The Washington Monthly. 2011. Retrieved October 6, 2011. 
  12. ^ a b c Forde, Pat (2 October 2012). "Forde-Yard Dash: Look before you leap". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 

External links[edit]