Bemidji State University DEI Timeline

Year Event
1919 Teachers College Opens
1920 School colors of green and white adopted as suggested by student Cyrillus Freeman
1921 First extracurricular activity: basketball
1932 Dr. Manford Deputy declares Beavers the college mascot
1941 20 students lost to War II
1958 Enrollment surpasses 1,000: 653 men and 385 women
1961 Minnesota Viking football team names BSU as summer training camp
1965 Dr. Alexander Nadesan of Indonesia and Ray Jensen develop Asian Studies program
1969 First Ojibwe Language Program
1969 Start of varsity women’s athletics
1975 Faculty unionize
1977 First Pow Wow held on campus
1980 First Female President at BSU
1983 Office of Indian Student Services established
1988 First Chinese language classes offered
1988 First Japanese language classes offered
1988 Cultural Diversity, first and five-year plan
1989 First Cultural Diversity report released
1989 American Indian Resource Center established
1989 Minority Student Retention
1990 Alumni Arch constructed to mark main entrance in front of Deputy Hall
1990 Renovation of Pine Hall into apartments for single parents, now officially called Cedar Apartments
1990 First Affirmative Action officer, Lorena Cook, hired
1990 Year two Cultural Diversity report released
1990 BSU has largest ethnic minority students in State University System
1991 President Duly moves school from divisions to colleges: College of Arts and Letters, College of Social and Natural Sciences and College of Professional Studies
1992 BSU choir, first choir ever selected from a Minnesota public college to sing at the American Choral Directors Association National Convention in Texas
1993 April designated Cultural Diversity Month. Faculty and students participate in Hands Across Campus on April 22
1993 Dr. Annie Henry, only African-American faculty, speaks at Service of Remembrance for Dr. Duly.
1993 Ground breaking ceremonies for the construction of the Native American Center, expanded to American Indian History and Policy Center
1994 BSU has produced more American Indian graduates than any school in Minnesota (200+)
1995 Bemidji State joins the Minnesota State system
2008 Online Education Initiative begins
2012 Articulation Agreement with Weifang University, China
2013 Russian Scholar Lecture
2015 Girls Who Code
2016 German Trade Show
2016 BSU Choral Groups accessible
2017 Women in Leadership
2020 Food Pantry begins
2020 Spanish language offered
2022 Inaugural Director of Civil Rights and Affirmative Action
2022 Inaugural Director of Civil Rights and Restorative Justice
2024 Planning for Institute for Indigenous Education


Northwest Technical College DEI Timeline

Year Event
1966 Bemidji Area Vocational Technical School opens, located at the southern city limits on a 21 acre plot. Classes include: accounting, clerical, secretarial sequnes, carpentry, auto mechanics and mechanical drafting. Licensed practical nursing has been approved but must secure a director first.
1966 99 students enroll
1969 Basketball League, The Vo-Tech Cagers, formed
1975 Student strike for rights; first Student Senate formed
1984 Minority Student Recruiter, Larry Stately, hired
1989 Women’s Resource Center for single parents started by Linda Blessing
1991 Minority Women’s Advocate, Sharon Kingbird, hired
1992 School name change to Northwest Technical College
1995 Computer Age; laptops use begins
2003 22 Ojibwe Women Beat the Odds; Upon graduating from Northwest Technical College and earning degrees, 22 Ojibwe women from Red Lake reservation are the first in the country to earn their certification to change the lives of the education on the reservation.