BEMIDJI, Minn. (April 26, 2011) — Approximately 860 students will receive undergraduate and graduate degrees from Bemidji State University during the University’s 92nd commencement exercise on Friday, May 6.
Bemidji State President Dr. Richard A. Hanson will preside over the commencement ceremony for the first time, overseeing the University’s first commencement exercises to be held in Bemidji’s Sanford Center. Commencement exercises at the Sanford Center, which is located on First Avenue in Bemidji, will begin at 2 p.m. Central time.
Commencement ceremonies at Bemidji State University are free and open to the public; no tickets are required. Seating in the Sanford Center is general admission, and there will be no parking charge for the event. While adequate parking will be available at the Sanford Center, free bus transportation will also be available from campus to the center. Beginning at noon, bus transportation between the parking lot of Bangsberg Hall on campus and the center will run approximately every 20-30 minutes.
Commencement guests should enter the Sanford Center through Gate 2, through the main concourse. Only the lower bowl of the Sanford Center will be open for seating. Seating in Sections U and V will be reserved for handicapped visitors and their families. Section W has been designated as the section for hearing-impared guests and their families. Section X is reserved for international students and guests. Concessions will be available in the concession stand behind Section U.
In addition, 14 faculty members with a combined total of more than 377 years of service to the University of will be rewarded with emeriti status during the ceremony.
Commencement activities on campus begin with a pre-commencement bruch, where each college and department at the University will host graduates and their families from 9:30-11:30 a.m. The Beaux Arts Ballroom in the upper union will host physical education, health & sport; professional education; and accounting and business majors. Other graduates will meet in the Lower Union. College of Arts and Sciences graduates will be in the Lakeside North and Lower Lakeside-East areas, with mass communication grads also gathering in Lakeside North. The Scandanavian Room will host psychology grad, criminal justice majors will meet in the Viking Room and social work grads will gather in Lower Lakeside-South. Technological studies will be in the Crying Wolf Room.
Guest drop-off will be available along Birchmont Drive and handicapped parking will be open behind the lower union. Wheelchair access will be provide through both the upper and lower unions. Guides will be available to provide assistance. No tickets are required for access to the brunch.
Visitors to campus for the brunch are reminded that the campus is tobacco-free. For more information on the University’s tobacco-free policy, visit http://www.bemidjistate.edu/about/tobacco_free/.
Commencement ceremonies will begin shortly before 2 p.m. when Bemidji State faculty and staff will partake in the traditional Commencement Walk. Students will exit the Sanford Center through Gate 5 and walk between the Sanford Center and Lake Bemidji before re-entering the center through Gate 2 and moving into the arena for the ceremony.
In the event of inclement weather, the walk will take place through the Sanford Center concourse.
Complete information about commencement activities, including area lodging options, directions and maps, is available at http://www.bemidjistate.edu/commencement.