Three Bemidji State Commencement Ceremonies Set for May 6

Jartue Kroma, master of special education graduate

Jartue Kroma, master of special education graduate

More than 1,010 college graduates have been invited to celebrate their accomplishments at Bemidji State University’s 102nd Commencement ceremony on May 6.

The university will hold three graduation ceremonies at Bemidji’s Sanford Center — one for each of the university’s colleges. Graduates were not required to attend the ceremony and not all graduates will be in attendance. BSU’s 2022 ceremonies will be the university’s 102nd Commencement celebrating its 103rd graduating class. Commencement exercises were canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. BSU instead held a virtual recognition of graduating seniors.

The ceremony to honor the 226 graduates from the College of Arts, Education and Humanities will kick off the day at 9 a.m. followed by the ceremony for the 410 College of Business, Mathematics and Science graduates at noon. The 411
College of Individual and Community Health graduates will close the day with a 3 p.m. ceremony. Each ceremony will last about an hour and will be live-streamed on Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo with ASL services available.

Members of the media are invited to attend. Please contact Rachel Munson, assistant director of communications and marketing, for a media pass.

All events were coordinated following COVID-19 guidelines set forth by the State of Minnesota and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Commencement Speakers

Bemidji State’s class of 2022 will hear from a number of speakers both in-person and virtually including university President Faith C. Hensrud and Dr. Allen Bedford, provost and vice president of academic affairs. BSU’s Commencement address will be delivered by the 2022 Distinguished Minnesotan Dr. Arne Vainio.

Vainio has spent the last 25 years as a family practice physician on Minnesota’s Fond du Lac Ojibwe Reservation. In 2017, he was named the Physician of the Year by the Association of American Indian Physicians, adding to a list of honors that includes a 2016 Virginia McKnight Binger Unsung Hero Award, which recognizes individuals for having significant impact on the state of Minnesota, and the 2008 Early Distinguished Career Award, given annually to a single graduate from the University of Minnesota’s medical school, in addition to dozens of others.

Roger Moe, a member of the Minnesota State Board of Trustees, will also provide remarks at each Commencement ceremony. Moe is the current president of National Strategies, Inc. He previously served 32 years in the Minnesota Legislature, including 22 years as Senate majority leader. After serving a full term on the board, Moe was re-appointed by Governor Tim Walz for another six-year term which ends June 30, 2026.

Each ceremony will also feature a student speaker:

  • Tristen Heller, music education graduate from Verndale, Minnesota; College of Arts, Education and Humanities.
  • Shawn Crawford, sociology graduate from Eden Prairie, Minnesota; College of Individual and Community Health.
  • Dana Sabers, science education graduate from Lake Park, Minnesota; College of Business, Mathematics and Science.

Additionally, vocal music performance graduate Emily Bergeron will perform the national anthem for all three ceremonies.

Tickets & Parking

Commencement ceremonies at Bemidji State are free and open to the public. No tickets are required, but students are asked to limit guests to 10 or less. If the Sanford Center reaches capacity, guests will be directed to an overflow location offsite where the live stream can be viewed.

There are approximately 1,000 parking spots at the Sanford Center available at no charge.

Seating & Accommodations

Doors to the Sanford Center will be open at 8:30 A.M for College of Arts, Education, and Humanities, 11:30 P.M. for College of Business, Mathematics, and Science, and 2:30 P.M. for the College of Individual and Community Health. Commencement guests should enter the Sanford Center through Gate 2, through the main concourse. Guests who are hearing-impaired or need accommodations are invited to enter through Gate 3.

Online Streaming

Commencement will again be available through a live online video stream. The stream will be available at the start of each ceremony, Central time; viewers are encouraged to visit the stream in advance to ensure that necessary plug-ins are present and properly functioning.

Tobacco-Free Campus

The Bemidji State University campus grounds will be open to the public for self-guided tours and visits throughout May 6. BSU’s visitors are reminded that the campus is tobacco-free.


May 6 – 9 a.m, 12 p.m. & 3 p.m. – Bemidji State University’s 102nd Commencement ceremony. Location: Sanford Center, 1111 Event Center Drive NE, Bemidji. Closed to the public.