Bemidji State University students, alumni, Beaver fans and Bemidji community members amassed upon campus September 12-18 for Homecoming Week events.
Homecoming Week kicked off Monday with the Mr. Beaver pageant, coronation and comedian Josh Novey in the BSU Gym. Other student events included a hypnotist, grocery bag bingo, a bonfire at the university’s lakeside fireplace and tailgating before Saturday’s football game.
On Thursday and Friday, 15 Bemidji State alumni shared their knowledge and professional experiences with BSU students during six Alumni Leaders in the Classroom panels. Student attendees were encouraged to ask questions and network with alumni before, during and after the panels.
- Nursing panelists: Abby Sorenson '17, Jennifer Fraik '06, Mathew Hartmann '13, Brittany Hull '16, Mikayla Kath '20.
- Social work panelists: Cheri Goodwin '11, Brian Ophus '14, Anna Whitlow '16
- Environmental sustainability panel: Elise Durbin '01, Alex Fredberg '18, Jordan Lutz '18, '21
- Chemistry and scientific research panel: Dr. James Foster '89, Dr. Joseph Provost '88, Dr. Katherine Sukalski '76
- Business panel: Dr. Thomas Chong '92
A celebration of BSU’s distinguished alumni and most generous donors, the Honors Gala was held Friday evening at Bemidji’s Sanford Center. The gala event recognized four new outstanding alumni inductees and one new member of the BSU Professional Education Hall of Fame. Outstanding alumni for 2022-23 included Dr. Timothy Beebe ’87, Dr. Thomas Chong ’92, Dr. Joseph Provost ’88 and Cheri Goodwin '11. Sally Soliday ’78 was inducted into BSU's Professional Education Hall of Fame.
Live music, food, family-friendly activities and photo opportunities with Bucky drew hundreds to Diamond Point Park for the Beaver Tailgate & Pregame Party before the Beavers football game at Chet Anderson Stadium. After tailgating, the Beavers celebrated a 34-24 victory against Winona State University by continuing a long-time Homecoming tradition of taking a swim in Lake Bemidji.
Over 100 Bemidji Alumni Choir members returned to campus over Homecoming weekend to take part in an alumni reunion and performance in honor of the Bemidji Choir’s 85th anniversary. On Saturday, attendees rehearsed several pieces of music with current Bemidji Choir members before celebrating with a dinner reception at Beaux Arts Ballroom. Bemidji High School choir teacher, Christopher Fettig ’86, was recognized following dinner for his longtime support of choral activities in the Bemidji area.
Homecoming weekend concluded with one of the most memorable Carl O. Thompson Memorial Concerts in event history. Performing to a standing-room only audience in the Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex, the Bemidji Choir, members of the Bemidji Alumni Choir, the Wind Ensemble and Blue Ice Jazz Band awed the crowd with over two hours of powerful music. Dr. Paul Brandvik, BSU choral director from 1967-1998, conducted the final number of the choral portion, “In the Palm of His Hand.” The song, which Brandvik wrote for his daughter’s wedding, is sung by the Bemidji Alumni Choir every concert season.