Staples-Graves wins Mark Welter World Citizen Award

Vincent Staples-Graves has been named Bemidji State University’s recipient of the Mark Welter World Citizen Award by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

Graves, a junior from Bemidji majoring in social studies education and Indian studies, was one of 20 students across the MnSCU system to receive the $500 awards.

“Vincent exemplifies the finest qualities of student leadership,” said Dr. Anton Treuer, executive director of Bemidji State’s American Indian Resource Center. “He’s smart, hardworking and dedicated to serving others. He always leads through example, and every one of the many positions he has held and events he has helped plan and run on the Bemidji State University campus have been richer and more fulfilling for everyone involved. This award is richly well-deserved. We are very proud of Vincent.”

Through the generosity of Dr. Mark Welter, the World Citizens Award provides an annual tribute to Minnesota State Colleges and Universities students who most exemplify the thoughts, words and actions demanded by a 21st-century world citizen. Recipients are nominated by faculty and staff at their institutions and share some or all of the following beliefs or commitments:

• All people are of a common species who share a common adventure in a common home.
• The world shares common problems, such as pollution, terrorism and other challenges, but views them through differing cultural and religious value perspectives.
• All citizens of planet Earth mutually share an interconnected, fragile biosphere.
• All people—all cultures, all creeds, all colors, and all countries—have been “depositors and withdrawers at the world bank of knowledge.”
• Our world is increasingly, inexorably and undeniably interdependent.
• No one nation, people, region, or creed can unilaterally deal with contemporary challenges of pollution, population, poverty, pandemics and peace.

For more information on the Mark M. Welter World Citizen Award or to contribute to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Foundation, contact Carmen Shields, director of development and marketing at or (651) 201-1566.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities include 24 two-year community and technical colleges and seven state universities serving more than 430,000 students. It is the fifth-largest higher education system of its kind in the United States.