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By BSU Alumni & Foundation

Published 12:00 p.m. on Jan. 25, 2024

The Bemidji State University Alumni & Foundation has launched “History in the Pines,” an interactive, digital museum of BSU history.

View the online collection by clicking here.

Drawing from both university archives and private collections, History in the Pines houses thousands of pieces of unique content celebrating the history, memories and lore of Bemidji State and its 50,000-plus alumni.

Visitors can explore campus traditions and landmarks, browse through hundreds of photos and videos, and play BSU-themed games. The online museum also features Bemidji State pioneers, long-lost athletics history, immersive articles on a wide variety of stories and more. We like to think there’s a rabbit hole for everyone.

“History in the Pines will be a really wonderful resource for Bemidji State’s alumni and friends,” curator Micah Friez said. “This platform is a big step in ensuring BSU’s past is preserved, accessible and celebrated by all who cherish it.”

The archive, named after BSU’s “University in the Pines” moniker, is freely accessible for all to use. Likewise, submitting your own materials for inclusion in the collection is free and encouraged.

“History in the Pines beautifully captures the essence of Bemidji State University and its students across the decades,” Alumni & Foundation executive director Allyssa Joseph said. “This unique platform encourages alumni and friends to play a key role in our history and storytelling – and we sure hope new stories emerge as our community interacts with the site. At the very least, we hope users are left feeling nostalgic and informed of our institution’s proud history.”

The work of the late Dr. Arthur O. “Art” Lee – a professor emeritus at BSU and unofficially the grandfather of Bemidji State history – was instrumental in the creation of History in the Pines. Lee taught from 1959-1995 and authored the 1994 book “University in the Pines,” which is considered the definitive historical narrative of Bemidji State University.

“Art Lee’s work is the cornerstone of this project,” Friez said. “I’m proud to share his passion for preserving local history. History in the Pines would not exist if not for his efforts, and I’m hoping our visitors – many of whom Lee taught – will appreciate the significant legacy he left at BSU.”

The Alumni & Foundation would also like to extend deep gratitude to the Bemidji Pioneer, Lakeland PBS, the Beltrami County Historical Society and countless individuals for their contributions to this collection.

The museum will continue to expand over time with updates and soft launches as well as grand openings of new exhibits.

Friez, the Bemidji State Alumni & Foundation’s communications coordinator, manages History in the Pines. He can be reached at or at 218-755-2779.

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