December 15, 2007
Issue 5 

Shaping Potential, Shaping Worlds

by Bemidji State University President Dr. Jon E. Quistgaard

No matter where I travel, whether it is the forested byways of northern Minnesota, the expressways of an American city or the exotic streets of an international setting, I am almost always assured of meeting – through a planned gathering or a chance encounter – a Bemidji State University graduate.
What stands out from the thousands of conversations I have had with our alumni is the frequent discussion of a common topic. No matter how different their experiences at BSU may have been, our alumni always seem to credit the University with shaping their potential and giving them the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in their personal as well as their professional lives.
Our new five-year plan at Bemidji State captures this dramatic contribution to people’s lives by setting our vision on shaping potential that subsequently shapes the world. While the starting point for each entering freshman is often unequal because of economic, social and educational factors, we are committed to shaping each person’s potential through a rich blend of liberal arts and professional programs, active learning experiences in the classroom and the community, career development opportunities and student services. Our students will leave the University equipped to help shape the communities in which they live and work.
Reinforcing our commitment to the well being of our local and global communities, Bemidji State’s core values are realized through three signature themes -- multicultural and international understanding, environmental stewardship and civic engagement. Woven into the fabric of campus life through course offerings and university activities, these signature themes call upon our campus community to learn about, experience, reflect on and integrate these values.
Like our students, we are working diligently everyday to reach our fullest potential. In less than 100 years, Bemidji State has transformed from a teacher training school with some 38 students to a major regional university with nearly 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students, and a robust online learning community complements our vibrant campus.
Surrounded by the unmistakable beauty of northern Minnesota’s lakes and forests, we are fortunate to have faculty, staff and students who are committed to building and sustaining community vitality worldwide while supporting individual development and growth here on campus.
 
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Bemidji State University is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System.