BEMIDJI -- In lieu of a traditional in-person commencement ceremonies, Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College will host virtual celebrations via Zoom, according to an announcement Wednesday.

BSU celebration

Honoring feedback from seniors indicating that most graduating students preferred to postpone the formal commencement ceremony over a fully virtual ceremony, Bemidji State will hold a brief graduate recognition at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 8, on Zoom. The event is open to all students, families and university representatives and will include messages from President Faith Hensrud, Acting Provost Allen Bedford, Student Body President Matthew Sauser, academic deans and more.

More than 1,000 students will receive undergraduate and graduate degrees from BSU this year.

Stacia Goodman, a Minneapolis-based artist commissioned to install a mosaic on the new Hagg-Sauer Hall, will speak at the Zoom event on her intent to dedicate the piece to the BSU class of 2020.

Additionally, a virtual mosaic will be displayed on the BSU website using photos posted on public social media accounts, due to a recommendation from a BSU student.

A link to the Zoom event can be found on BSU’s website. BSU and NTC will hold official commencement ceremonies at a later date.

NTC celebration

A virtual celebration will acknowledge NTC graduates on May 7 at 9 a.m. on Zoom, more information can be found on their website.

The event is open to all students, families and college representatives and will include messages from President Faith C. Hensrud, Vice President for Academic Affairs Darrin Strosahl, academic deans and more.

More than 200 students will receive certificates, diplomas and degrees from NTC this year.

Additional virtual events

The BSU Nursing Pinning Ceremony for the class of 2020 will be held virtually at 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 7, where students will be formally admitted into the profession as graduates of BSU’s nursing program.

During the event, nursing staff and faculty will deliver speeches and welcome guest speaker Dr. Helen Erickson, nurse theorist and author. Among other awards, Erickson has received the Living Legend Award from the University of Texas, San Antonio, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Holistic Nurses Association and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Michigan School of Nursing, Ann Arbor.

The NTC Nursing Pinning Ceremony for the class of 2020 will be held virtually at noon on Sunday, May 10, where students will be formally admitted into the profession as graduates of NTC’s nursing program.

At 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 7, students in Bemidji State University’s Honors Program will be virtually recognized for their accomplishments in the program on Zoom.

Graduates were asked to pre-record a one-minute recap of their Honors theses to be revealed during the virtual event and recently received their commencement stoles to wear at the formal commencement exercise held at a later date.