Mardy and Lynn Karger

Class of '72 & '91, '96

It’s a typical Wednesday morning and BSU’s Gillett Wellness Center is abuzz — students lifting weights, BSU staff running the track and working professionals swimming laps before work. Mardy ’72 and Lynn ’91, ‘96 Karger, who exercise together most Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, are just walking in. Like old friends, they warmly greet those around them before beginning their workouts.

A Detroit Lakes native, Mardy came to BSU in 1963. After two years, he found he wasn’t ready for college and joined the Air Force, serving 13 months in Korea. He returned to BSU and graduated with his biology degree and a mass communications minor in 1972. Lynn, who immigrated to California from Luton, England, with her family in 1964, double-majored in English education and French and later earned her master’s degree in English.

Mardy was drawn to the radio industry after early experiences with the campus radio station. He joined Bemidji’s Paul Bunyan Broadcasting (now Hubbard Broadcasting) as a student in 1971, sparking a 43-year career as news director, sports broadcaster and morning show host. Lynn taught English at Bemidji High School and as an adjunct at BSU for 25 years.

Living in Bemidji, the Kargers appreciate what Bemidji State offers to the community, including access to campus resources, guest lectures, art displays, sporting events and yes, the Gillett Wellness Center. What’s more, their four children – Brodie ‘94, Lyan ’96, Marnie ’99 and Bonner ’99 – are all alumni. Brodie and Bonner work at the university.

In 2019, the couple established the Mardy and Lynn Karger Lakeside Scholarship, which funds two $1,250 scholarships for BSU students each year. With the opportunities, memories and successes the Kargers have enjoyed in Bemidji, it’s no surprise why they choose to be generous. The couple explains it simply.

“We’re proud of Bemidji State,” they said.