After years of hard work, more than 1,100 students can officially change their title to Bemidji State University graduate.
“I’ll probably miss being on the lake the most. Honestly, I love being outside, and it’s just an absolutely beautiful campus,” says new BSU graduate Lindsay Iverson.
Many have dreamed of the day when they would finally get to walk across the stage with their degree in hand. For some graduates, this moment represents a journey of hard work and perseverance.
“I honestly flunked out of school twice before going back to Northwest Technical College, and then after I succeeded there I went back to BSU,” says Naomi Johnson, another BSU graduate.
“Five or six years ago, I didn’t see myself in college at all. I’m originally from Philadelphia, PA, and when I moved up here I started working and I was like, ‘you know what, why not take a shot at education and see what it can do for me,” says Kenneth Bentley III, another graduate.
BSU is known for diversity, and the class of 2018 is no different. This year, there were 53 American Indian graduates, the most in the University’s history. There were also 64 master’s degree recipients and 39 veteran graduates. There were also 338 students who graduated with honors, not to mention a number of international students.
Spriha Praden, a BSU graduate from Nepal, says, “The reason that I came here is because it feels like home. I wasn’t here before, but with all the pictures and there are some other Nepali students and because of what they said, I really feel at home.”
Many of the graduates say they’re excited to get started in their career.
“I’m looking forward to being in the data science field and seeing what it has to offer,” says Praden.
When asked what she’s looking forward to, Iverson says, “Not going to class, mostly, and not having to worry about taking tests. I’m excited to actually get out there and start teaching.”
Some will be furthering their education, like Johnson, who received a full ride to the Medical College of Wisconsin.
“I’ve had so much support and so many great people at BSU. I would’ve done okay by myself, but everybody here makes the difference,” says Johnson.
Bentley III says he’s looking forward to spending time with family, in particular his son. “This is probably the best four-year investment that possibly I’ve ever made, and I thank BSU a lot for all the things they’ve done for me.”
Northwest Technical College also had their graduation today. This year, more than 200 students earned degrees from NTC.