Bemidji State University officially unveiled the newly renovated Memorial Hall during an Oct. 2 ribbon-cutting ceremony on campus.
Memorial Hall, among the oldest buildings on campus, underwent a $13.79-million renovation that began in September 2014 which transformed the 75-year-old basketball gym into a state-of-the-art home for BSU’s business and accounting programs. The building opened for classes this fall semester.
“One thing that is clear to me is that the leaders of this community have rallied around Bemidji State,” Dr. Richard A. Hanson, president of BSU and Northwest Technical College, said at the ceremony. “I think we’re on our way, not just in terms of the College of Business, Technology and Communications, but in our other colleges and programs as well. It’s time to shine a light and encourage the teaching and learning that develops students every day.”
Dr. Shawn Strong, dean of BSU’s College of Business, Technology and Communication, and BSU students Lisa Kittleson, a senior marketing communication major from Young America, Minn., and Marie Schwinghammer, a senior accounting major from Bemidji, also addressed the gathered crowd.
“Although this building is one of the oldest on campus, it is now the most technically advanced,” Strong said, pointing out the building’s active-learning classrooms, community learning spaces, video conferencing capabilities and computer connectivity features available to students in the building’s classrooms. “Ultimately, these features, both in terms of design and technology, are all focused on student learning.”
Strong also said the new Memorial Hall has been designed to meet LEED certification, using 20 percent less energy and 40 percent less water than conventional buildings.
“The new Memorial Hall is everything I hoped it would be,” Kittleson said. “When I proudly point out this building as a university ambassador, I always emphasize how it maintains a connection to the past as well as providing a completely modern atmosphere for teaching and learning.”
After the dedication ceremony, the building hosted alumni in accounting, marketing and business for the traditional Alumni Leaders in the Classroom event, which brings alumni into the classroom to share their professional experiences with current students.