BSU surpasses $100,000 goal in 24-hour fundraiser

BEMIDJI--Bemidji State University and the BSU Alumni and Foundation topped its $100,000 goal for its 24-hour fundraiser held April 4 called "Back to Bemidji State."...


BEMIDJI-Bemidji State University and the BSU Alumni and Foundation topped its $100,000 goal for its 24-hour fundraiser held April 4 called "Back to Bemidji State."

Officials said Wednesday the fundraiser brought in a total of $101,714 through various events and promotions.

The campaign's 24-hour, $100,000 fundraising goal "celebrated BSU's centennial year and the impact BSU alumni, faculty and staff and supporters have had on the university during the past 100 years," a foundation release said.

During the campaign, supporters were able to donate to a variety of causes, including student scholarships, emergency financial support, athletics, the American Indian Resource Center or another fund of their choosing, the release said. Donors were able to make their gifts online, via text message or by phoning into a calling center staffed by BSU students and employees

A brat lunch fundraiser was held at the David Park House, which benefited the Lakeside Opportunity Fund. Nearly 80 students, faculty, staff and other BSU supported students with the greatest financial need on campus, a release said. Special green and white popcorn, donated by Big River Scoop in Bemidji, was available for sale as well.


The "Back to Bemidji State" event began with a kickoff celebration in the Hobson Memorial Union's Terrace Lounge. Students, faculty, staff and community members learned more about the campaign from Jesse Grant, associate vice president for student life and success, and the BSU jazz band provided live music, the release said. Special "I Love BSU" T-shirts were given to participants to wear during the day.

The BSU Student Alumni Association collected stories and photos of students who have been impacted by donor support during their time at BSU as part of the event. The photos were shared on BSU social media throughout the day.

Beaver Treats was held in the HMU Leadership Center at 3 p.m., and the "Back to Bemidji State" celebration continued later at Bemidji Brewing, where attendees were able to purchase a limited-edition BSU Centennial pint glass for $15, which included a free fill of Bemidji Brewing tap beer or a non-alcoholic beverage. Officials said nearly 100 limited-edition pint glasses were sold during the event.

Several local restaurants also participated in the event, donating a portion of their sales the week of April 1-4.

Officials said that by the early morning hours of April 5, donors surpassed the campaign's goal. At final tally, between online and matching gifts, the brat lunch fundraiser, Bemidji Brewing's Community Spotlight and support from local restaurants-and 438 donors from 19 states-BSU's "Back to Bemidji State" collectively raised $101,714 in under 24 hours.

Here's a look at donations to specific funds:

• Lakeside Opportunity Fund: $44,383

• American Indian Resource Center: $12,970


• Beaver Pride/Athletics: $9,554

• S.O.S. (Support our Students): $8,324

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