We would like to hear what you love about BSU! This may be a singular moment, a special place or a remarkable person who has remained in your heart; it could also be something you experienced as a student, an athletics fan, a visitor, a parent, or a donor.  

Please send your short story, favorite photo, or a brief video to: alumni@bemidjistate.edu.

Take a moment to read some "I Heart BSU" stories, submitted by BSU alums...



Nicole Borwege ’11 - Bemidji, MN

Residence Life at Bemidji State assigned me my freshman roommate.  I was extremely nervous, as most incoming new students are. I met Becca for the first time on move-in day August 2008. She immediately offered to help me and my family bring my stuff in. I wasn't sure what I was in for, but she and I became fast friends. Becca was a complete stranger to me before attending BSU, and will be a forever friend to me.  I was even a bridesmaid in her wedding last spring.  

Attending Bemidji State was truly my Best Decision Ever!

*photos attached (Becca and I sophomore year of college, and at her wedding!)


Pearl Walker-Swaney ’11 – Fargo, ND

Pearl Walker '11 Coach Hougen always made me feel welcome as ifI were one of his own kids, he was that way to all of his athletes. Looking back on my undergrad years, I miss running for Coach Hougen and being a part of a team.  It was a rewarding experience that I will always be proud of knowing I represented not only my family, but my communities of Standing Rock and White Earth.

I loved the small class size at BSU. I always felt comfortable asking questions during class and was able to connect with my classmates. I made friends at BSU in Track & Field and from my courses in what was called Indian Studies back then, but now it’s called Indigenous Studies and Native Nations Studies.  It was actually from those courses I developed strong writing skills because of the technical language used in tribal laws, codes, and regulations we had to understand.  I know it’s from those courses that I have had the wonderful experiences that led me to my current career in Public Health (i.e. NAISA Conference Panelist, AISES Sequoyah Fellow, Masters in Public Health, Native Nation Rebuilders program- Cohort 7, working with tribal colleges to build research capacity). 

Go Beavers!    

Shannon Thomton '06 - Cold Spring, MN
I was a graduate with a BS degree in Applied Psychology with some of the best classmates and professors I could have ever experienced.  It wasn't just a program but a family. We were there for not only academics but for friendships that has lasted many years.  I am greatful for their compassion and knowledge I received and learned. From Driscoll to Jackson, they all gave me more than education, they gave a part of themselves.
Thank you BSU! 
Proud to be a beaver alumni!


Angela Pinsonneault ’98 – Anchorage, AK

I loved the campus and the smaller class sizes
and the personal feel of my classes.  I came back from Alaska, where I
seriously considered going to school at UAA, because of the great accounting
program at BSU. Some of my favorite memories are:

  • Being able to say I had accomplished my freshman year in college when I graduated
    from high school, thanks to the great program BSU offered
  • Circling for what felt like hours outside Decker Hall in search of a parking space
  • Being excited when the lake finally froze, because it meant less circling time
    outside Decker Hall thanks to the lake-parking-lot
  • Getting stuck in the tunnels when the lights went out – of course pretty much as close
    to the middle of the tunnel as I could have been!
  • A great education that helped prepare me for the real world
  • And last but not least, following in the footsteps of both my parents who went to


Todd Dahl ’93 – Brainerd, MN

Several years ago I attended a Hockey Camp at BSU and subsequently attended many more as a young player. This started a love for the campus that stills stands today.  Playing hockey for the BEAVERS, quality academics, hunting, trapping and fishing were all part of my experience that I wouldn't change for the world. Long term friends that I met at BSU are still a large part of my life to this day and I attempt to "talk" up the college every chance that  I get. What a great time for me and I certainly cherish the memories.


Shelly Orr '83 - Red Wing, MN

I have lots of wonderful memories of BSU. My absolute dearest friends are the ones I met there-we still get together and it's like time stood still. We helped each other grow up and were with each other for some life experiences that I wouldn't trade. I remember going to Diamond Point when there was still ice on the lake-tinfoil in hand to get more sun reflection-and work on our tans. Sitting at Tbones for many a night. Being challenged by Herr Doktor Krummel (I went on to major in German so it couldn't have been that bad!).Once a Beaver, always a Beaver.


Jim Frazee '75 - Minnetonka, MN

I love BSU because of all the friendly students, teachers, and exceptional scenery with the lake!  The professors gave me extra confidence, especially Dr. R. Decker, Dr.R. Beitzel, Dr. Cletus Kemper, Dr,R. Fraizee, who were on the Financial Affairs Policy Committee with me. The counseling dept. encouraged me, Dr.D. Dryhaug, and Dr. R.Nagele to become Minnesota's youngest City Administrator, and the City of Bemidiji 's first City Manager Intern! Also, I was one of the marketing department's first interns at Gill Brother's clothing store. Mr. Ed Aalbert's encouraged me with The Minnesota Common Market Program, where I was an exchange student at St. Cloud State, and Mankato State University, where I received a Major in Urban and Regional Studies and studying abroad independently at Paris, France and throughout Germany. I became politically active running for Tamarack hall President and The Hobson Union President and Governor. Even though my G.P.A. was not exceptional, I graduated in June 1975 with a B.S. in Bus. Adm.  B.S.U. was some of the very best years of my life.  I will always support new students and have been a member of the Alumni Assoc. since my graduation! I carry the BSU Beaver License plate proudly on my car!



Dianne Sizer '69 - Bemidji, MN

I go back to 1966 when I met my roommate and  3 other close friends in the dorm at BSU. We  5 have met every 3 years at each other's home state and hosted a week every time. They so enjoyed coming back here to Bemidji where I have resided for all these years. I never left after graduating. Of course we visited BSU,and they were impressed at how much it had changed since we all had graduated in 1969. One always remembers the special teachers like Stittsworth,Nadesen, Hegstad,and others.Working with students at the lab school was a huge honor. I feel so blessed to have been a student and now to be active with the alumni and be able to give back to such a great university.


Jim Nickel '69 - New Brighton, MN

The years were 1966 to 1969. My home was Pequot Lakes. I journeyed up to BSU to register for classes not knowing a sole. It was not long before I met an army buddy also standing in line to register for classes. We both ended up staying at the Bemidji Fire Department. A year later I met my Finnish Wife from Hibbing. We married after graduation moving to Minneapolis. She taught for 40 years at North St Paul – Maplewood Schools. I worked for 40 years in the credit industry. We are now retired, but always have loved Bemidji and we wish we could have stayed in there.
Thank You BSU for being very instrumental in my Life’s Journey.


Robert Lykins '62 – Hutto, TX

It provided me with a solid foundation on which I built a successful career in Education.  The setting, small
classes, and great instructors combined to provide me with a positive atmosphere in which to learn.  Just a great experience.