Approximately 700 to receive degrees at 89th commencement

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Approximately 700 students will receive degrees from Bemidji State University during the University’s 89th commencement exercise, to be held Friday, May 16.

Bemidji State President Dr. Jon E. Quistgaard will preside over the commencement ceremony, which will begin at 2 p.m. in the John Glas Fieldhouse, located at the corner of 19th Street and Bemidji Avenue.

Commencement ceremonies at Bemidji State University are free and open to the public, and no tickets are required. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

As part of the commencement ceremony, Dr. Alex Cirillo, vice president for community affairs with 3M and vice president of the 3M Foundation, will be recognized as the recipient of the 2008 Distinguished Minnesotan Award.

First presented by Bemidji State in 1981, the Distinguished Minnesotan Award acknowledges the contributions of current or former residents of the state who have performed exemplary service to the people of Minnesota or the United States.

In addition, nine faculty members with a combined total 271 years of service to the University of will be rewarded with emeriti status during the ceremony.

Pre-Commencement Brunch
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 10 a.m. to noon. The Beaux Arts Ballroom in the upper union will host physical education, health & sport; professional education; graduate studies and the graduate student organization; and accounting and business majors. The lower union will host College of Arts and Letters graduates in the Scandinavian Room and Lakeside North; the College of Social and Natural Sciences in the Viking Room and Lower Lakeside; and technological studies in the Crying Wolf Room and Lakeside Lounge.

Handicapped parking will be available along Birchmont Drive and wheelchair access will be provide through the upper level of the Hobson Memorial Union. Guides will be available to provide assistance.

Commencement Walk
Commencement ceremonies will begin at 1:25 p.m. when Bemidji State faculty and staff will lead the traditional Commencement Walk from Bangsberg Hall across campus to the Gillett Recreation & Fitness Center. When the end of the faculty and staff line reaches Deputy Hall, the students will join for the march across campus. In the event of inclement weather, students will gather in the Gillett Center at 1:15 p.m.

Construction on Bemidji Avenue between 3rd and 23rd streets has affected access to the John S. Glas Fieldhouse, site of Bemidji State’s 2008 commencement. Crossing Bemidji Avenue to access the University will be possible at 15th Street and 23rd Street.

For more information on commencement ceremonies at Bemidji State University, please contact the Records Office, located in Deputy Hall on the Bemidji State campus, at (218) 755-2020.