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There’s a strong sense of community at Bethel. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming. It’s hard not to feel like you belong here.
Erica Buller ’12

Baccalaureate & Commencement

Baccalaureate

Bethel College 2015 graduation ceremonies take place Sunday, May 17, on the Bethel College Campus.

The Baccalaureate ceremony starts at 10 a.m., with musical selections by seniors, and worship beginning at 10:30 a.m. Services will be taking place at Bethel College Mennonite Church. For Baccalaureate, graduates do not need to wear their graduation robes, and they are welcome to sit with their families.

Commencement Lunch

Following baccalaureate, graduates, family members, and guests are invited to a commencement lunch from 12–1:30 pm in Schultz Student Center. The meal will be prepared by our executive chef, Trinity Homewood, and food service director, Nolan Corne with Aladdin Food Service. Advance reservations and payments are required. Graduates’ meal complimentary.

Class Photo

All senior graduates report to the Administration Building steps in cap and gown at 2:45 p.m. for a class photo. After the photo, seniors proceed to the Luyken Fine Arts Center to assemble and prepare for the commencement procession. All senior graduates required to attend. In case of inclement weather, the photo will be taken in Krehbiel Auditorium

Commencement

The formal commencement ceremony takes place at 4 p.m. at Thresher Stadium. Both the baccalaureate service and the commencement ceremony are open to the public. In case of inclement weather, commencement will take place in Memorial Hall located on campus. Commencement guests are welcome to park in the Thresher Stadium parking lot. The gates to the stadium will open at 3 p.m. for general seating.

Commencement rehearsal for graduates will take place on Saturday, May 16 from 10–11 a.m. at Memorial Hall. More details will be sent from the Registrar’s Office through campus mail at a later date.

President White, faculty, graduates, and designated others will begin the Commencement ceremony with the traditional Walk Around The Green. Commencement guests are invited directly to Thresher Stadium for the ceremony.

Graduation robes, caps and tassels can be ordered through Thresher Bookstore. Graduation announcements can be ordered through CB Announcement by visiting www.cbgrad.balfour.com or by calling 800-433-0296. Order forms are also available in Thresher Bookstore.

Baccalaureate and commencement photos by Vada Snider will be available online.

Baccalaureate and commencement will be recorded. DVDs can be ordered through Thresher Bookstore or by downloading an order form. The DVD can be picked up at the bookstore or, for an additional fee, it will be mailed to the address provided, approximately 4 weeks after graduation. Video of both ceremonies will also be posted on the Bethel website for viewing.

2015 Commencement Speaker

E. LaVerne Epp

Executive Chair, Bioscience & Technology Business Center at KU

Mr. Epp is currently the Executive Chair of the Bioscience and Technology Business Center (BTBC), commercialization partner of the University of Kansas. The BTBC has grown to over 35 companies since its inception in 2010 and is now the largest center for commercialization affiliated with a major research university in the Midwest. In addition, he currently is a Trustee for the Kansas University Center for Research as well as a director of KU Innovation and Collaboration. He serves as an Advisory Board member of the Entrepreneurial Council of the KU School of Business where he is also a lecturer.

Mr. Epp is the Chair and member of the board of directors of Lifespace Communities, Inc., a national retirement community company in Des Moines, Iowa. He is also a member of the board of trustees of the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment Association, Lawrence, Kansas and a director of the Douglas County Community Foundation.

In 2001 Mr. Epp was named President of Bethel College, North Newton, Kansas. He served in that position from 2002 until late 2005. Bethel College is a 127-year old private undergraduate residential liberal arts college, located on a 90 acre campus associated with Mennonite Church USA. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association.

In 1986 Mr. Epp co-founded Retirement Management Corporation, a development and management company for senior living accommodations and services. During its fifteen year history Retirement Management Corporation grew to a dozen retirement communities in six states. The company was sold in 2001 in a private transaction.

In 1976, Mr. Epp joined a private law practice in Newton, Kansas which later became Adrian and Epp, P.A. The firm operated out of multiple offices in several cities and provided a broad range of legal services. During his years in private law practice Mr. Epp served as Municipal Administrative Judge for Hesston, Kansas.

Mr. Epp received his undergraduate degree from Bethel College, North Newton, Kansas in 1972. He received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the College of Law, University of Nebraska, in 1976.

He is married to Marilyn Epp and has three adult children.

2015 Senior Celebration Weekend Events

Friday, May 15
5 p.m. Senior graduate party in the atrium of the James A. Will Family Academic Center.
Special meal for all senior graduates and senior gift provided by the Student Alumni Association. By invitation only.
7 p.m. Senior Art Exhibit and Reception, Robert W. Regier Art Gallery, Luyken Fine Arts Center
Saturday, May 16
10 a.m. Mandatory graduation rehearsal for all senior graduates at Thresher Stadium.
Due to today’s weather, rehearsal will be held in Memorial hall.
11 a.m. Senior graduates and their families are invited to a luncheon hosted by President White and Dalene White in the cafeteria in Schultz Student Center (note: location changed due to potential for inclement weather).
Advance reservation and payments required. Graduate meal complimentary. Attendance optional.
2 p.m. Nursing Pinning Ceremony, Krehbiel Auditorium, Luyken Fine Arts Center.
Family and friends of the nursing graduates are invited to attend. Reception following.
8 p.m. Senior graduates and their families are invited to an ice cream social hosted by the Office of Student Life in the Cafeteria, located in the Schultz Student Center. There is no charge to attend.
Sunday, May 17
10 a.m. Baccalaureate ceremony, Bethel College Mennonite Church.
All are welcome to attend.
12 p.m. Commencement lunch, Cafeteria, Schultz Student Center.
Advance reservation and payment required. Graduate meal complimentary. Attendance optional.
2:45 p.m. Senior class photo, Administration Building steps.
All senior graduates required to attend. In case of inclement weather, the photo will be taken in Krehbiel Auditorium.
4 p.m. Commencement, Thresher Stadium.
In case of inclement weather, commencement will take place in Memorial Hall. Also in case of inclement weather, relocation decisions will be made by 1 p.m. and notification placed on the website.

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