Nearly 1,000 students have been invited to celebrate the beginning of the rest of their lives at Bemidji State University’s 95th Commencement ceremony.
Bemidji State’s commencement ceremony will be held Friday, May 9, in Bemidji’s Sanford Center, located on First Avenue. Commencement will begin at 2 p.m. Central time and is expected to last approximately two hours.
Bemidji State’s commencement is 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 there are approximately 1,000 parking spots at the Sanford Center, based on previous attendance carpooling is encouraged to minimize overflow parking on the streets. Students and guests may park in the Bangsberg parking lot on the BSU campus and carpool from there; no permits are required in BSU parking lots on Commencement Day.
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-impaired guests and their families. Section X is reserved for international students and guests. Concessions will be available in the concession stand behind Section U.
Parking and assembly information is available here.
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.
Live Online Video
BSU’s commencement ceremony will again be available through a live online video stream. The stream will be available beginning at 2 p.m. Central time on May 9; viewers are encouraged to visit the stream in advance to ensure that necessary plug-ins are present and properly functioning. More information on the web stream is available here.
This year’s commencement address will be delivered by Trudy Rautio, CEO of Minneapolis-based Carlson Companies, Inc., a BSU alumna and this year’s recipient of BSU’s Distinguished Minnesotan award.
Commencement activities on campus begin with a pre-commencement brunch, where each college and department at BSU 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, exercise science and sport health; 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 lower Lakeside area, with mass communication grads gathering in Lower Lakeside-North. The Scandanavian Room will host psychology grads and criminal justice majors will meet in the Viking Room. Social work grads will gather in Lower Lakeside-South. Technology, art and design graduates will gather in the Crying Wolf Room, while the Bemidji School of Nursing will gather outside the Crying Wolf Room overlooking the lower Lakeside area.
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; read more about the university’s tobacco-free policy.
• BSU Commencement website