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By BSU Alumni & Foundation

Published 7:00 a.m. on Feb. 19, 2024

Over 100 years ago, when the town of Bemidji first learned that it had earned the right to establish what's now Bemidji State University, the townspeople threw perhaps the biggest party Bemidji had ever seen.

Here's how it was described in the local paper back on July 15, 1913:

As the news reached Bemidji and first announcement of it made by the Pioneer the town almost went wild. The fire whistle was blown and both whistles of the lumber company mills were set off and continued to blow for almost an hour. Automobiles paraded the streets tooting their horns and shouts of joy from boys and men were heard everywhere.

The fire bell was clanging and together with the firecrackers and other explosives Bemidji celebrated one of the greatest events in its history.

A procession of automobiles loaded with enthusiasts was quickly formed and crowded the streets of the city, taking entire possession of every available thoroughfare. The Reynolds and Winter’s car loaded with Prof. Dyer, A.P. Ritchie, F.S. Arnold and others who were active in securing the school, led the big parade.

To say that all acted like a lot of “crazy hoodlums” is putting it mildly. Boys formed in line with tin pans and sticks and all in all the town presented one of the wildest scenes ever known in its history.

Almost 110 years later, we're counting on that same enthusiasm tomorrow.

Day of Giving returns to BSU on Tuesday, Feb. 20, and with it is the opportunity to give back to today's students. Support from donors is a life-changing gift that stretches every dollar as far as possible and is worth its weight in gold.

You can play a part in the festivities by visiting Visit today and you'll get a sneak peak of what's to come. Use the same link tomorrow and you'll automatically be sent to the right spot to give.

We're so excited to see how our community steps up tomorrow. (So excited that we've got dibs on clanging the fire bell.) We hope you'll join us in this history-making day!

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