Bemidji State Welcomes Class of 2026 at Convocation Ceremony

A tradition of Bemidji State University’s orientation weekend, the BSU Class of 2026 gathered for the new student convocation ceremony in the BSU Gymnasium on Aug. 19.

Dr. Allen Bedford, provost and vice president for academic affairs, addressed the significance of the ceremony to this year’s incoming students and how it is the first milestone on the journey toward becoming a BSU graduate.

“Convocation marks the start of your educational journey at BSU,” Bedford stated. “The graduation ceremony marks the completion of your degree. Together, these two ceremonies provide bookends to your educational journey here.”

Travis Greene, vice president for student life and success, explained the symbolism behind the candles used during the ceremony.

“You are holding a candle that will be lit by those who will be teaching, leading and guiding you here. Its flame represents the light of learning, which for millennia has been passed down from one generation of learners to the next,” Green said.

Following remarks by President John Hoffman, Bedford recognized student attendees as official members of the BSU campus community before the Bemidji Choir, led by Dr. Dwight Jilek, sang the university’s official song, “Alma Mater.”