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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.

Download the registration form.

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 Thresher Stadium. 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 will be available at www.vadasnider.com. Downloads will be available for a nominal fee or you can order prints from mpix.com.

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

E. LaVerne Epp, Lawrence, is executive chair of the Bioscience and Technology Business Center (BTBC), commercialization partner of the University of Kansas. The BTBC has grown to more than 30 companies since its inception in 2010 and is now the largest center for commercialization affiliated with a major research university in the Midwest.

Epp is a 1972 graduate of Bethel College and has his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the University of Nebraska College of Law. Upon graduating from law school in 1976, Epp joined a private law practice in Newton that 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, Epp served as a part-time municipal administrative judge for Hesston.

In 1986, Epp co-founded Retirement Management Corporation, a development and management company for senior living accommodations and services. During its 15-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 2001, while serving on the Bethel College Board, Epp was named Bethel president. He served in that position from 2002 until late 2005. Since then, he has returned to campus several times to teach a popular January interterm course on “Emerson and Management.”

Epp is a trustee for the Kansas University Center for Research and for KU Innovation and Collaboration. He serves as a member of the advisory board of the Entrepreneurial Council at the Kansas School of Business, where he is also a lecturer. He is a member of the board of directors of Lifespace Communities, Inc., a national retirement community company in Des Moines, and of the board of trustees of the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment Association.

LaVerne Epp is married to Bethel graduate Marilyn (Crabbe) Epp. They have three grown 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.
In case of inclement weather, rehearsal will be held in Memorial hall.
11 a.m. Senior graduates and their families are invited to an outdoor luncheon hosted by President White and Dalene White in the lawn of Goerz House.
Advance reservation and payments required. Graduate meal complimentary. Attendance optional. In case of inclement weather, the luncheon will be in the cafeteria.
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 on the Shultz Plaza, hosted by Student Life.
In case of inclement weather, the social will be in the Cafeteria in Schultz Student Center.
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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