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News Bemidji,Minnesota 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
Ready to take the next step
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Commencement ceremonies

BSU: 2 p.m. today at the Sanford Center

NTC: 7 p.m. tonight at the Sanford Center


Oak Hills: 10 a.m. Saturday at Evangelical Free Church

BEMIDJI -- The graduation season is now in full swing.

First up, beginning today, are commencements for the local colleges, followed later this month and early next month by those for the local high schools.

Nearly 1,000 seniors have been invited to take part this afternoon in the commencement for Bemidji State University and around 200 were invited to tonight's commencement for6 Northwest Technical College.

BSU commencement begins at 2 p.m. and NTC's is at 7 p.m.; both will be held at the Sanford Center. Tickets are not required.

Commencement for Oak Hills Christian College is set for 10 a.m. Saturday at Evangelical Free Church of Bemidji.

BSU details

Today's activities begin with a pre-commencement brunch from 9:30-11:30 a.m. on campus as each college and department at BSU will host graduates and their families.

The Beaux Arts Ballroom in the upper union will host physical education, exercise science and sport health; professional education; and accounting and business majors.

Other graduates will meet in the lower Union. College of Arts and Sciences graduates will be in the lower Lakeside area, with mass communication grads gathering in Lower Lakeside-North. The Scandinavian Room will host psychology grads, and criminal justice majors will meet in the Viking Room. Social work grads will gather in Lower Lakeside-South. Technology, art and design graduates will gather in the Crying Wolf Room, while the Bemidji School of Nursing will gather outside the Crying Wolf Room overlooking the lower Lakeside area.

Guest drop-off will be available along Birchmont Drive and handicapped parking will be open behind the lower union. Wheelchair access will be provide through both the upper and lower unions. Guides will be available to provide assistance.

No tickets are required for the brunch and vehicles will not be required to have BSU parking permits for graduation day.

Likewise no tickets are required for commencement and parking for that event is free, both at the Sanford Center and at BSU. Car-pooling to the events center is encouraged.

Commencement guests should enter through Gate 2, and just the lower bowl of seating will be open. Sections U and W are reserved for handicapped visitors and their families; Section W is for hearing-impaired guests and their families; Section X is for international students and their guests.

The commencement walk will begin shortly before 2 p.m. as BSU faculty, staff and students will exit the Sanford Center through Gate 5, walk between the facility and the Lake Bemidji before re-entering through Gate 2, and then move into the arena for the ceremony. Inclement weather will prompt a relocation of the walk throughout the concourse.

The ceremony is expected to last about two hours. A live online video-stream of the event will be available. For details, visit

Delivering the keynote address will be BSU alumna Trudy Rautio, the CEO of Carlson Companies, Inc. based in Minneapolis. Rautio this year was named the recipient of BSU's Distinguished Minnesotan award.

NTC details

Commencement ceremonies at NTC are free and open to the public; no tickets are required. Doors to the Sanford Center will be open at 6 p.m. Commencement guests should enter the Sanford Center through Gate 2. Handicapped or hearing-impaired guests are invited to enter through Gate 3. Only the lower bowl of the Sanford Center will be open for seating. Seating in Sections U and V will be reserved for handicapped visitors and their families. Section W has been designated as the section for hearing-impaired guests and their families. Concessions will be available in the concession stand behind Section U.

This year's commencement address will be delivered by Richard A. Hanson, president of NTC and BSU.

The ceremony will be available also through a live online video stream. For details, visit /

Oak Hills

Oak Hills Christian College and the Mokahum Ministry Center together will hold commencement services Saturday.

Twenty-five students from Oak Hills Christian College will be awarded diplomas, including its first full-time online graduate, having earned a Bachelor's degree in Leadership and Ministry.

An additional six students from the Mokahum Ministry Center will be honored during the ceremony. Mokahum Ministry Center is a sister ministry of Oak Hills Christian College, along with Camp Oak Hills. It is located in Cass Lake and offers a one-year Discipleship certificate and a three--year Ministry certificate.

Family and friends are invited to greet the graduates and enjoy refreshments in the church's family life center following the commencement service.