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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


Bethel College 2016 graduation ceremonies take place Sunday, May 22, 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 take 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, Luci Johnson, and food service director, Nolan Corne, with Aladdin Food Service. Advance reservations and payments are required. Graduate’s 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


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 21 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 the Thresher Shop. Graduation announcements can be ordered through CB Announcement by visiting or by calling 800-433-0296. Order forms are also available in the Thresher Shop.

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

Baccalaureate and Commencement will be recorded. DVDs can be ordered through the Thresher Shop or by downloading an order form. The DVD can be picked up at the Thresher Shop, 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.

2016 Commencement Speaker

Daniel Hege is widely recognized as one of America’s finest conductors, earning critical acclaim for his fresh interpretations of the standard repertoire and for his commitment to creative programming.

Daniel Hege is widely recognized as one of America’s finest conductors, earning critical acclaim for his fresh interpretations of the standard repertoire and for his commitment to creative programming.

He served for 11 seasons as music director of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. In June 2009, he was appointed music director of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra and, as of the 2015-16 season, is principal guest conductor of the Tulsa Symphony.

Following a nationwide search, Hege was named to his position with the Syracuse Symphony in April 1999. In June 2001, he completed a five-year tenure with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, where he held the titles of assistant, associate and resident conductor and led the orchestra in subscription, family and runout concerts.

Hege also served as associate conductor of the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra, assistant conductor of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, music director of the Encore Chamber Orchestra in Chicago and music director of the Chicago Youth Symphony, where he was twice honored by the League of American Orchestras for innovative programming. He has guest conducted the Houston, Detroit, Seattle, Indianapolis, Oregon, Colorado, San Diego, Columbus and Phoenix symphonies and the Buffalo and Calgary Philharmonics, and led the orchestras at the Grand Teton and Aspen Music Festivals.

International engagements include performances with the Singapore Symphony and the St. Petersburg Symphony at the Winter Nights Festival. In addition, Hege has worked with the Syracuse Opera, conducting productions of Madame Butterfly, La Traviata, Tosca and Don Pasquale. Recent and upcoming guest conducting engagements include appearances with the Rochester, Rhode Island and Naples Philharmonics; the Louisville, Sarasota and Florida Orchestras; the Houston, Edmonton, Pacific, Puerto Rico, Hartford, Omaha, Madison, Tulsa and Virginia Symphonies; and at the Music Academy of the West.

Hege has made numerous recordings, including a disc with the Baltimore Symphony and the Morgan State University Choir featuring works by Adolphus Hailstork, and three CDs with the Syracuse Symphony. He also made a recording on the Cedille label, Violin Concertos by Black Composers of the 18th and 19th Centuries, with Rachel Barton Pine and the Encore Chamber Orchestra.

Hege received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1987 from Bethel College, where he majored in music and history. He continued his studies at the University of Utah, earning a Master of Music degree in orchestra conducting and also founding the University Chamber Orchestra and serving as assistant conductor of the University Orchestra and music director of the Utah Singers. He subsequently studied with Paul Vermel at the Aspen Music Festival, and in Los Angeles with noted conductor and pedagogue Daniel Lewis.

In May 2004, Hege was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Le Moyne College in Syracuse for his contributions to the cultural life in central New York State. Born in Colorado and raised in Idaho, Hege currently lives in Syracuse with his wife and their three daughters.

2016 Senior Celebration Weekend Events

Friday, May 20
5 p.m. Senior graduation 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 21
10 a.m. Mandatory graduation rehearsal for all senior graduates at Thresher Stadium.
Inclement weather rehearsal will be in Memorial hall.
11 a.m. Outdoor luncheon for senior graduates and families hosted by President White and Dalene White on the lawn of Goerz House. Graduate’s meal covered by President’s Office. Advance reservation and payments required. Attendance is 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 on the Centennial Plaza by Schultz Student Center hosted by the Office of Student Life. There is no charge to attend. Attendance is optional.
Sunday, May 22
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 payments required. Graduate’s meal complimentary. Attendance is 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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