Former Bemidji State University President Jim Bensen, center, leads a crowd in singing the BSU fight song during a November 2019 Beaver Pride luncheon.
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By BSU Alumni & Foundation

Published 3:07 p.m. on July 20, 2023

Bemidji State University will celebrate the immeasurable accomplishments, impact and stewardship of former BSU President Jim Bensen with a send-off party from 5-7 p.m. on Aug. 10 at the David Park House in Bemidji.

Bensen and his wife, Nancy, are moving their permanent residence to Wisconsin in August and will be honored at a reception put on by the BSU Alumni & Foundation in conjunction with the Office of the President. The event is free, and the public is invited to attend.

The evening will include a social hour with hors d'oeuvres and beverages from 5-6 p.m., an unveiling of a new plaque on campus and remarks from community dignitaries at 6 p.m., and cake at 6:30 p.m.

Bensen became the university’s first alumnus to serve as president when he was selected by a unanimous vote. He is a 1959 Bemidji State College graduate and served as BSU’s eighth permanent president from 1994-01. In 2012, the Education Arts Building was renamed Bensen Hall in his honor.

Bensen has also invested countless energy into the university and the city of Bemidji, tirelessly leading by example in pursuit of the advancement of the community.

In lieu of congratulatory flowers, gifts can be made to the Lakeside Fund, which provides scholarship support to students and funding for presidential priorities on campus.

The David Park House is located at 1501 Birchmont Drive NE.

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