Dr. Annie Henry, a Bemidji State professor emerita of professional education, is surrounded by friends during her 81st birthday party on Tuesday, June 27, 2023, at the David Park House. (Micah Friez / Bemidji State)
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By BSU Alumni & Foundation

Published 11:55 a.m. on June 28, 2023

Members of the Bemidji State University and Bemidji communities packed the David Park House on Tuesday to celebrate the 81st birthday of professor emerita Dr. Annie Henry.

Henry joined BSU's Department of Professional Education in 1987 and taught until 2007. During her time at BSU, she was instrumental in raising awareness of Black culture, traditions and issues at Bemidji State by organizing Black History Month activities on campus.

She also presented programs on civil rights to students of all ages across northern Minnesota. She taught an African American class outside of the education curriculum and mentored many Black students in their studies and as they prepared for the future. She created the university's first endowed scholarships for Black students in education, as well.

Tuesday's reception was filled with singing, joyful speeches and deep appreciation for Henry's dedication to Bemidji State and its students.

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Originally from Jacksonville, Fla., retired Bemidji State Professor Annie Henry has long considered Bemidji her second home.

Having taught in the professional education department from 1987 to 2007, Henry has created a legacy that students, faculty and community members continue to honor as she makes semi-annual visits to her alma mater.

With community support ever-so-present, Henry celebrated her 81st birthday at the David Park House at BSU on Tuesday with song, birthday cake and memories shared.

“My first home is where I was born. My second home is where I live and where I worked my last job,” Henry said, addressing the crowd. “Bemidji will always be my second home and you will always be my sisters and brothers.”

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