Bemidji State University (BSU) is a public state university in Bemidji, Minnesota, USA, located on the shores of Lake Bemidji. It is a part of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU).
BSU was founded in 1919 as Bemidji State Normal School. The name was later changed to Bemidji State Teachers College, then shortened to Bemidji State College and finally Bemidji State University. During the 1998–1999 academic year, the University Board of Regents recommended changing the name of the university to Minnesota State University–Bemidji, just as Moorhead State University and Mankato State University had changed their names to Minnesota State University Moorhead and Minnesota State University, Mankato, respectively. The board argued this would emphasize the fact that BSU was a Minnesota university and thus attract more students from both in-state (who would otherwise be unaware that it was located in Minnesota) and out-of-state (who saw Minnesota as a good state in which to attend university). Large vocal and written opposition from students, alumni, and local townspeople made the Board withdraw the recommendation. Current enrollment is about 5,300 students, with students from 44 US states and 40 countries. Each student attending BSU pays a 43 cent per credit fee to sustain the Minnesota State University Student Association, a student-led non-profit that advocates on behalf of all Minnesota State University Students.
Dr. Richard A. Hanson was named Bemidji State University's 10th president on March 19, 2010, and took office effective July 12, 2010. Hanson was formerly president of Waldorf College. With the college facing bankruptcy, Hanson oversaw the sale of Waldorf College to a for-profit provider, Columbia Southern University. He was named interim president of North Dakota State University in Dec. 2009 and was one of twelve semi-finalists for the permanent position.
Bemidji State University is becoming well known for its programs and conferences in writing. It offers the only BFA in Professional and Creative Writing in the MnSCU system. The program includes a minor and certificates in Electronic Writing, consisting of courses in weblogs, wikis, web content writing, web design, digital rhetoric, and teaching writing with technology. Bemidji State also has a 96% rate of Social Work Majors passing their licensing exams compared to the 76% rate for the entire state. In addition, Sattgast hall is home to a number of natural sciences programs and pre-professional studies.
For 16 years BSU has had a relationship with Liaoning University, a university in China. Each year a professor from Liaoning University goes to BSU to teach Chinese and each summer BSU students participate in "Sino-Summer", a month long visit to China with half of the time spent at Liaoning University and half touring other parts of China including Beijing, Xi'an and Guilin. Unfortunately, in 2007 for the first time in almost two decades, no group of BSU students went to China through the Sino-Summer program.
The school sports teams are called the Beavers and compete in NCAA Division II, except in men's ice hockey and women's ice hockey. The Beavers are members of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference in most sports, with the men's hockey team competing at the Division I level.
The Bemidji State Beavers men's ice hockey were a member of College Hockey America and have since joined the Western Collegiate Hockey Association as of the 2010–2011 season. The Bemidji State Beavers women's ice hockey team also competes in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. The men's ice hockey team qualified for the 2009 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament. The team defeated number one seed Notre Dame in a first round upset. The team later defeated Cornell to advance to its first Division I Frozen Four appearance, but then lost to Miami University in the semifinals. As of May 2011, the Men's Track and Field Program will be discontinued due to future budget constraints.
Go Bemidji Beavers,
Go you Green and White.
Go Bemidji Beavers,
Fight with all your might.
We are here to cheer you.
We're out to bring you fame.
So go Bemidji Beavers,
Fight and win this game.
B-E-M-I-D-J-I Bemidji, Bemidji, Go BEAVERS!!
If one were to tell a Bemidji football player to "go jump in a lake", they just might do it -- if the team had just won their Homecoming game. In a tradition dating back to the mid-1990s, anytime the team wins Homecoming, the players run from the football stadium to nearby Lake Bemidji and dive in. The tradition dates to 1995 when Bemidji State upset the defending conference champion Winona State University in the Homecoming game and took their first "victory dip" in the lake. The roots of the tradition date back two years earlier however when, in 1993, an assistant coach attempted to inspire the winless team. He wrote a fictional news story of the upcoming Homecoming game. In his account, the team earned an upset Homecoming victory and dived into Lake Bemidji in celebration. A real-world victory didn't happen in 1993, nor 1994, but when Homecoming victory came in 1995 it was time to get wet. Between 1995 and 2012 the Beavers have won twelve of the seventeen Homecoming games.