Illustrating History: BSU Centennial Poster Wins CASE Gold Award

IllustrationBemidji State University has won a 2019 Circle of Excellence award for poster design from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

BSU’s Office of Communications & Marketing received a Gold award in the category for its BSU Centennial Celebration Commemorative Poster, illustrated by 2017 BSU alumna Hope Wall.

“When we started planning for all the promotional pieces we would need for BSU’s centennial events, I suggested that we commission recent alumna Hope Wall to create an illustration for the front cover of Bemidji State Magazine,” Mike Lee, graphic design and publications coordinator, said. “After art directing several drafts that Hope presented, we realized that this illustration could have many more uses for celebrating BSU’s centennial. We decided to design a poster to present to the participants who attended the 100th Kick-off event.”

In the council’s announcement of the award, judges said the poster “gives the viewer a sense of pride and appreciation for the university with a seamless interchange between diverse intercollegiate experiences. This collectible poster/work of art engages the viewer to come closer and explore the special illustrations representing historical decades representative of the alumni experience on campus.”

“In addition to the magazine cover and poster, the illustration was also used on the 2018-19 student planner and on BSU’s homepage. The 100th anniversary year is coming to a close, but I’m sure we will be finding more uses for this visual narrative. It is fitting that one of BSU’s talented students has helped to create such a beautiful artifact that visually displays the story of BSU,” Lee said. “While celebrating our history we have become a part of it.”

Carleton College won silver in the category for an admissions poster, and the Shanghai American School took bronze.

About the Circle of Excellence Awards

The CASE Circle of Excellence awards program honors outstanding work in advancement services, alumni relations, communications, fundraising, and marketing at colleges, universities, independent schools and affiliated nonprofits.

In 2019, CASE received 2,856 entries for consideration in 100 categories by 611 member higher education institutions, independent schools, and nonprofits from 20 countries. Judges gave more than 400 awards in the following categories: bronze, silver, gold and grand gold. Winners are selected based on a number of factors, including overall quality, innovation, use of resources and the impact on the institution or its external and internal communities, such as alumni, parents, students, and faculty and staff. More than 500 judges volunteered to evaluate the entries.

About CASE

CASE believes in advancing education to transform lives and society. As a global nonprofit membership association of educational institutions, CASE helps develop the communities of professional practice that build institutional resilience and success in challenging times. The communities include staff engaged in alumni relations, fundraising, marketing, student recruitment, stakeholder engagement, crisis communications and government relations. CASE is volunteer-led and uses the intellectual capital of senior practitioners to build capacity and capability across the world.

CASE has offices in Washington, D.C., London, Singapore and Mexico City. Member institutions include more than 3,700 colleges and universities, primary and secondary independent and international schools, and nonprofit organizations in 82 countries. CASE serves nearly 88,000 practitioners. For more information about CASE, visit


MN State logoBemidji State University, located amid the lakes and forests of northern Minnesota, occupies a wooded campus along the shore of Lake Bemidji. Enrolling more than 5,100 students, Bemidji State offers more than 80 undergraduate majors and eight graduate degrees encompassing arts, sciences and select professional programs. BSU is a member of the Minnesota State system of colleges and universities and has a faculty and staff of more than 550. The university’s Shared Fundamental Values include environmental stewardship, civic engagement and international and multicultural understanding. For more, visit or find us at BemidjiState on most of your favorite social media networks.