Baccalaureate & Commencement
Bethel College 2017 graduation ceremonies take place Sunday, May 21, on the Bethel College Campus.
The Baccalaureate ceremony begins at 10 a.m. with musical selections by seniors. 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.
- View the complete schedule - keep checking back for updates
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.
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 20 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.
Interim President Sheriff, 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 and paid for through the Thresher Shop. Graduation announcements can be ordered through CB Announcement online or by calling 800-433-0296. Order forms are also available in the Thresher Shop.
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.
2017 Commencement Speaker
Aaron L. Austin has been Bethel vice president for student life since 2012.
A native of Garden City, Austin earned his undergraduate degree from Kansas State University in music education with a minor in American ethnic studies. He completed a master’s degree in higher and postsecondary education at Arizona State University in Tempe.
This spring, Austin successfully defended his dissertation, “An Exploration of Black Male Achievement Utilizing an Anti-Deficit Framework,” and earned an Ed.D. from Texas Tech University, Lubbock.
He has held professional positions at K-State, Arizona State, University of California-San Diego and Texas Tech, and has experience ranging from fraternity advising to multicultural student recruitment to helping coordinate and facilitate student conduct boards.
Austin lives in Newton with his wife, Carey Austin, and their young daughter.
Senior Celebration Weekend Events
|Friday, May 19|
|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 20|
|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 Interim President Sheriff and Elsie Sheriff 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.
|Sunday, May 21|
|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.