Around 200 members of Bemidji State University’s incoming student class wrapped up their 2023 Orientation Week activities and officially launched their higher education journeys at the university’s annual Convocation ceremony, held August 20, 2023, in the Beaux Arts Ballroom.
BSU’s annual Convocation ceremony is meant to bookend a student’s time in college, providing a ceremonial beginning to a journey which eventually ends at Commencement and the awarding of degrees. Faculty in regalia processed into the ballroom, joining students who heard welcome messages from Travis Greene, BSU’s vice president for student life & success, and John L. Hoffman, BSU and Northwest Technical College president.
In his remarks, Hoffman challenged students to take advantage of the myriad opportunities that life on a college campus can present to them and to identify and share their superpower — a special skill that each student can use to support others.
The ceremony concluded with a solemn candle-lighting ceremony. From a flame burning on stage, faculty and students used their candles to ignite candles held by their neighbors to symbolize the exchange of knowledge that will happen while they attend BSU.
The ceremony featured a welcome song from Red Lake Nation, and Greene read and explained BSU’s Land Acknowledgement.