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Baccalaureate & Commencement Information

The 2021 commencement ceremony will take place Sunday, May 16, on the Bethel College campus in North Newton.

Please keep checking back for any updates and changes. All times indicated are Central Daylight Time (CDT).

UPDATE: Baccalaureate and Commencement have been moved inside due to inclement weather. Please see the changes below.

Ticket information

Tickets for indoor events: The site to reserve tickets for Baccalaureate and commencement is now live (link below). Each graduating senior will receive a passcode, after which you can begin reserving your tickets at any time. You will need your passcode to reserve tickets. You may share your passcode with your guests if you want them to reserve their own tickets. Please remember that you are limited to 5 tickets per event (children 5 and under do not need a ticket). If you will not be using all of your tickets, you are welcome to share the unused tickets with other graduates who may need additional tickets. Instructions for reserving tickets:

  • Click to go to the ticketing portal.
  • Click "GET TICKETS" next to either the Baccalaureate or Commencement options. (PLEASE NOTE: You will need to check out two different times if you are attending both events.)
  • Scroll to the bottom left and click "Have a passcode?".
  • Enter your assigned passcode.
  • Add the tickets to your cart and proceed to checkout.
  • Tickets will be e-mailed to you. You can print and bring them with you to the event, or scan them from your phone.

Commencement rehearsal – May 15

Commencement rehearsal for graduates will take place Saturday, May 15, 10-11 a.m., at Memorial Hall. More details will be sent from the registrar’s office through campus mail.

Baccalaureate service – May 16

Baccalaureate is Sunday, May 16, 10 a.m., at Memorial Hall with worship, music and other content selected by a committee of seniors. Graduates do not need to wear their graduation robes for Baccalaureate, and they are welcome to sit with their families. Tickets will be taken at the door

Class photo – May 16

All graduates should report to Thresher Gym in cap and gown at 2:45 p.m. for a class photo. After the photo, graduates will stay at Thresher Gym to line up for the commencement procession. All graduates are required to participate in the photo.

Commencement – May 16

The formal commencement ceremony takes place Sunday, May 16, 4 p.m., at Memorial Hall. Tickets will be taken at the door or handled electronically (see above).

Commencement guests are welcome to park in the Thresher Stadium parking lot or other locations, as there are no parking restrictions on campus. Stadium gates (Memorial Hall doors if bad weather) will open at 3 p.m. In order to follow COVID safety requirements, family members are asked to sit together and distance 6 feet apart from others. Face coverings must be worn.

After the ceremony, graduates will exit to meet their families at a pre-arranged campus location. Since the graduates will keep their caps and gowns, they are welcome to go anywhere on campus to take photos.

Livestream – Baccalaurette and Commencment

Livestreaming of Baccalaureate and commencement will be available for those unable to attend in person. To access the live stream visit the Bethel College YouTube channel.

2021 commencement speaker

Brooke Powers headshot

The Class of 2021 selected Brooke Powers as their commencement speaker. 

Powers has served as assistant athletic trainer and clinical education coordinator at Bethel since 2018.

She is a 2015 Bethel graduate who received a B.A. with a double major in athletic training and natural sciences (biology emphasis).

After graduating from Bethel, Powers completed an M.S. in exercise science from Concordia University in St. Paul, Minn.

From 2015-18, she was a graduate assistant in athletic training and assistant athletic trainer at William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo.

In addition to her positions at Bethel, Powers has been the head athletic trainer for the Newton Rebels baseball team since 2019.

In 2020, she received the J.O. and Esther Schrag Helping Hand Award, given to a current faculty or staff member who has had "a significant impact on [a student's] life above the call of their work."

The student who nominated Powers, Ryan LaCombe, wrote: "Much to [her annoyance], we athletic training students oftentimes refer to Brooke as 'Mom.' Whether it be appropriately dishing out tough love, or being a needed foundation of comfort – everyone who walks in her clinic leaves a little bit better than when they walked in."

The title of Powers' commencement address is "Life Challenges, Choices and Service."

Important dates for commencement 2021

*Face coverings and physical distancing required at all events due to COVID safety guidelines*

Friday, May 14
7 p.m. Senior Art Exhibit reception for Adam Kroeker, Robert W. Regier Art Gallery, Luyken Fine Arts Center
Saturday, May 15
10 a.m. Mandatory graduation rehearsal for all graduates, Memorial Hall
11 a.m. “Graduate Gathering,” the Caf, Schultz Student Center. Graduates only. Special meal for graduates, with presentation of senior gifts. Hosted by Student Life, Student Alumni Association and Alumni Association.
2 p.m. Nurse Pinning Ceremony, Krehbiel Auditorium, Luyken Fine Arts Center
Check back for more details.
Sunday, May 16
10 a.m. Baccalaureate service, Memorial Hall
Krehbiel Auditorium will also be available to watch the live stream and provide additional ADA seating.
2:45 p.m. Senior class photo, Thresher Gym
All graduates required to attend.
4 p.m. Commencement, Memorial Hall
Krehbiel Auditorium will also be available to watch the live stream and provide additional ADA seating.

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.