On Wednesday, Sept. 2, 1919, Bemidji State University started its first fall session as Bemidji State Normal School. At that time there were 38 students and 10 faculty members.
Today, Bemidji State University has nearly 5,000 students and a faculty and staff of about 600.
To commemorate its 90th birthday, the university has launched a special birthday Web page that includes pictures from across the decades. It also features a time line of important events, a campus map with building dates, and a message board.
Visit www.bemidjistate.edu and click on the "90th Birthday" symbol found on the website.
Bemidji was the site of Minnesota's sixth normal school. The Normal School Commission looked at Cass Lake and Thief River Falls as potential sites, but unanimously selected Bemidji on July 15, 1913.
According to information gathered from a book titled "University in the Pines," by Arthur O. Lee, the school's first library included a Webster's dictionary and a second-hand set of Encyclopedia Britannica. One extracurricular activity was offered, the Dramatic Club, and no athletic teams existed.
Today, the university has 375,000 catalogued books in its library, more than 75 student clubs and organizations, and 17 athletic teams.
As BSU marks its 90th anniversary this year, it continues to evolve, from construction projects to new programs and resources for students.
The Harold T. Peters Aquatics Laboratory was removed this summer and relocated in the newly remodeled Sattgast Hall science building.
At the start of 2008 spring semester, BSU reopened the dorms of Linden Hall, which had been renovated into suites. Residence halls are filled to the brim this year and student enrollment is increasingly growing.