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Bemidji State graduates told to 'keep up your optimism'

Bemidji State University graduates Aleesha Larsen, left, Andrew Burnos and Luke Welle pass by the blossoming trees Friday afternoon outside the Sanford Center at BSU's 93rd graduation commencement. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI- Nearly 950 graduates walked across the state at the Sanford Center Friday afternoon, catching one dream and moving on to the next.

"Everyone who is successful must have dreamed something," said Trustee of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Alfredo Oliveiva, quoting from an Indian proverb.

Bemidji State University's 2012 graduating class received their diplomas, and despite the gloomy weather, did so with bright smiles across their faces.

Former BSU President James Benson gave the commencement address to students, congratulating the students and advising them to keep on giving back to their communities.

Benson, who lives on Big Turtle Lake and is still an active member of the community, paraphrased Albert Einstein, telling students that it is their job to aspire to do something worthwhile and make the world a better place.

"We need to realize that we need each other," Benson said.

Benson thanked the students for their support in the community; working with the Boys and Girls Club, Cub Scouts, the hospital and other places in the community.

"You are giving now. Keep on giving because it will be the most rewarding part of your life," Benson said.

He told graduates that there are stressful times in life where it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but Benson said all it takes is optimism to get through,

"Keep up your optimism and I guarantee you will come out the other end and it will really be exciting."