Who we are and what we do
The Bemidji State Alumni & Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports the mission of Bemidji State University by engaging alumni, donors and friends of the university and by raising funds to support scholarships, academic programs and other initiatives. The organization seeks to build lifelong relationships between the university and its alumni and friends, and it celebrates the achievements and impact of BSU in the local community and beyond.
The Alumni & Foundation works closely with Bemidji State's administration, faculty, staff and students to identify areas of need and opportunities for growth and development. The organization also provides a range of services and resources to alumni, including networking events, career development workshops and other programs designed to foster personal and professional growth. Additionally, the BSU Alumni & Foundation is responsible for managing and investing the university's endowment and other charitable contributions to ensure that they are used effectively and efficiently to support the university's mission and goals.
Our alumni body of more than 50,000 Beavers started with just four students who earned their diplomas in 1920: Cora Bernhard, Georgia Brown, Josephine Parker and Margaret Romens.
Two years later, the BSU Alumni & Foundation was formed on June 2, 1922, at Sanford Hall in conjunction with that year's graduation. Then an all-female body, it was first called the Bemidji State Teachers College Alumnae Association.
Lila Jerdee, a 1922 BSTC graduate from Bemidji, was elected as our first president. Anne Brundin, a fellow 1922 grad from East Grand Forks, was elected as secretary-treasurer.
The organization was renamed to the Alumni Association in 1927 and has since evolved into the Bemidji State Alumni & Foundation to better reflect our expanded role in supporting the university.