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Bethel College prepares for students’ return, annual Week of Welcome

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College welcomes all new and returning students with a slate of activities for the annual Week of Welcome.

“Orientation activities in the first days on campus are intended to integrate students into the Bethel College community,” said interim president John Sheriff, “and to help create relationships with other students, faculty and staff.”

Participants in the Champions of Character Leadership Team arrive already on Aug. 20, with all fall sport athletes moving into residence halls and beginning practice and team meetings on Tuesday, Aug. 22. First-year students begin moving in on Friday, Aug. 25.

The opening activity for all first-year freshmen is “The Ultimate Road Trip” on Friday afternoon in Krehbiel Auditorium at 3:30, before they meet with Liberal Education Advisors at 4:30. Parents are invited to a picnic at Goerz House at 5 p.m., hosted by interim president Sheriff and president-elect Barry Bartel. The evening concludes with an ice cream social on Centennial Plaza, sponsored by the Parents’ Association.

Freshman registration continues on Saturday, when returning students and new transfer students will arrive on campus.

On Sunday, Aug. 27, there will be a campus worship service at 10 a.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium. All students, parents, faculty and staff are invited to a barbeque on Franz Plaza in the sports complex at 6 p.m., followed by games in Thresher Stadium.

The official Week of Welcome starts on Monday, Aug. 28. Classes begin at 8 a.m. Students should watch for faculty and staff handing out lemonade in Week of Welcome cups between 9 and 11 a.m. in front of the Ad Building. The opening convocation takes place at 11 in Krehbiel Auditorium, followed by the traditional “Walk of Welcome” around the Green.

Special evening activities during the Week of Welcome include a “drive-in” movie with free watermelon on the Green, sponsored by Student Senate, Tuesday, Aug. 29, beginning at 9; Druber’s Night at Druber’s Daylight Donuts in downtown Newton ($1 off food purchase with a Bethel College student ID), Thursday, Aug. 31, starting at 11; and a band bash at the mods on Friday, Sept. 1, beginning at 10.

And don’t forget the first chapel service of the school year, Wednesday, Aug. 30 at 11 a.m. in the Administration Building chapel, and the first soccer games of the season on Joe W. Goering Field in the sports complex later that day, starting at 4 p.m.

A complete Week of Welcome schedule, along with times and places for Champions of Character Leadership Team and fall sports activities for Aug. 20-25 and registration weekend events Aug. 25-27, is available in all pre-registration material sent to students at their homes or in the Student Life office in the basement of the Ad Building.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and has been named a Top Tier college by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1998. For more information, see the Bethel web site at

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