NORTH NEWTON, KAN. - Bethel College will open its doors to new and returning students Aug. 28 to Sept. 1 for a weekend of Fall Orientation and the start of the 2003-04 academic year. Classes begin Tuesday, Sept. 2. Athletes move in and start practices on Thursday. New students move in on Friday. Returning and transfer students check in Sunday. Registration is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, Sept. 1 in Fine Arts Center.
"We are expecting an outstanding class of freshmen and are very excited to welcome back our returning students to some significant changes and improvements on campus. These include the refurbishing of Warkentin Court, newly-surfaced roads and parking lots, as well as a remodeled and expanded bookstore," says Donna Becker, interim dean for student development.
Parents of new students will have their own schedules during Fall Orientation.
"Since we believe that parents and families are important to student success, even on the college level, parents too have some scheduled meetings with advisors and coaches, and the parents are invited to attend athletic practices while they are here for Orientation," Becker explains. Parents of first-year students will also attend a dinner at Goerz House, hosted by President E. LaVerne Epp.
Other activities during the weekend include an ice cream social sponsored by the Parents' Association, entertainment planned by Student Activities Board, Sunday evening worship around a campfire, and a watermelon social hosted by Student Senate.
New people have been added to the Student Development team staff. New campus pastor is Amy Barker, a 2002 graduate of Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Ind. Barker will also teach youth ministry courses. The new resident director for Haury Hall is Deanna Wisdom, who last year served as an admissions counselor at Bethel College.
"More than half of our resident assistants are returning from last year as well as three resident directors," Becker says. "The staff is eager to make the residence halls even better settings for creating relationships and helping students achieve their goals."
A Week of Welcome is planned for the students' first full week on campus, according to Becker. "Each evening there will be something special going on, like a video scavenger hunt, slip-and-slide softball, movies on the Green, a pie-eating contest and water tag. We're looking forward to a great year."
Founded in 1887 as a Mennonite coeducational liberal arts college, Bethel College in North Newton is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA.