Bemidji State University launches historic fund-raising campaign to secure bright future for students

Bemidji State University President Dr. Richard A. Hanson publicly announced the kick-off of the university’s five-year, $35 million “Imagine Tomorrow” fund-raising campaign on Friday, Sept. 27.

BSU_Imagine_Tomorrow_LogoAs the first-ever comprehensive campaign in Bemidji State’s 94-year history, Imagine Tomorrow will ensure that BSU continues to provide students an excellent educational experience while serving the Bemidji region and all of Minnesota, Hanson said.

“This is an investment in the future of our students and our great university,” he said. “We are committed to being one of the finest regional public universities in the country, preparing students who make an enormous contribution in their communities, the nation and the world.”

The Imagine Tomorrow campaign will grow over the next five years through gifts, pledges and planned gifts.


Of the $35 million goal, $20 million will go toward scholarships – a tripling of the current scholarship level that will provide affordable access to an excellent education for more students; $8 million will go toward academic excellence – allowing the university to attract and keep the highest-quality faculty in the academic programs most needed to serve its students and greater Minnesota; and $7 million will go for annual support – to be used for other specific needs, including scholarships, technology, academic programs, athletics and learning resources.

In making the announcement, Hanson was joined by Campaign Chair Dave Sorensen, a 1972 BSU alum; National Steering Committee Chair Mike Roberge, a 1990 alum; and BSU Foundation Executive Director Rob Bollinger.

Sorenson, of Minneapolis, is a retired vice president of worldwide sourcing at General Mills and current president of David L. Sorensen, LLC. Roberge is president of MFS Investment Management in Boston.

The BSU Foundation has been building momentum toward the launch of this campaign for several years by researching educational trends, interviewing alumni and asking for financial commitments from alumni, parents, friends, businesses and foundations. The campaign will formally kick off at BSU’s Sept. 27 Honors Gala at the Sanford Center events facility in Bemidji.

“The volunteer leadership from the BSU Foundation and the university’s advancement staff have played a central role in positioning the university for this historic effort,” Bollinger said.

Launch of the Imagine Tomorrow campaign begins an extensive outreach effort to seek financial support from BSU’s 40,000 alumni, its 525 faculty and staff, and the greater Bemidji community, which benefits from the university’s $166 million annual economic impact on the region and its many partnerships that serve many vital needs.

“We are confident we will reach this ambitious goal,” Hanson said. “We have very committed and generous alumni, as well as other supporters who have personally experienced the impact of an education at Bemidji State. They want to make sure the university remains strong far into the future.”

• Scott Faust, director of communications and marketing, Bemidji State University; (218) 755-2986, (218) 760-1783 (cell),

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About Bemidji State University
Bemidji State University, located in northern Minnesota’s lake district, occupies a wooded campus along the shore of Lake Bemidji. Enrolling more than 5,000 students, the University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and nine graduate programs encompassing arts, sciences and select professional programs. The University is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and has a faculty and staff of more than 550. University signature themes include environmental stewardship, civic engagement and global and multi-cultural understanding.
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