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Bethel College Baccalaureate Service and 129th Commencement

Bethel College’s 2022 graduation ceremonies take place Sunday, May 15, on the campus, 300 E. 27th St., North Newton, KS 67117(All times indicated are Central Daylight Time, CDT.)

Commencement Weekend Photographs Update:

Click the link below to view and download the photos from the Commencement weekend events. The photos may be downloaded at no cost. Congratulations to all the Graduates! https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1Ha1lh4ucBrAT2lT-KeM2maG4t-PCA1Sp?usp=sharing

Graduation Program pdf

Commencement rehearsal – Saturday, May 14

Commencement rehearsal for graduates will take place Saturday, May 14, from 10-11 a.m. Memorial Hall. The registrar’s office will send more details through campus mail at a later date.

Baccalaureate service – Sunday, May 15

Baccalaureate begins at 10 a.m. in Memorial Hall, with worship, music and other content selected by a committee of seniors. Graduates do not need to wear their graduation robes, and are welcome to sit with their families.

Class photo – Sunday, May 15

All graduates report to the Administration Building steps in cap and gown at 2:45 p.m. for a class photo. After the photo, graduates proceed to Luyken Fine Arts Center to assemble and prepare for the commencement procession. All senior graduates are required to attend. Graduates will receive inclement weather plans from the registrar’s office. 

Commencement – Sunday, May 15

The formal commencement ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. in Memorial Hall due to possible inclement weather. The closest lot to Memorial Hall is the stadium parking lot. Other options include the Kauffman Museum and Luyken Fine Arts Center parking lots.

Graduation robes, caps and tassels can be ordered and paid for through Thresher Shop in Schultz Student Center. Order graduation announcements through CB Announcement online or by calling 800-433-0296. Order forms are also available in Thresher Shop.

Photographs

A professional photographer will be taking photos of graduates at baccalaureate and commencement, including graduates receiving their diplomas. These photos will be available to graduates and family members at no cost. A link will be provided as soon as possible after May 15.

2022 commencement speaker, William Eash, D.M.A.

Dr. Bill Eash

Paragraphs

William Eash, D.M.A., is professor of music and director of choral activities, and will retire from Bethel at the end of the 2021-22 school year.

Eash came to Bethel as director of choral activities in 1999. In that position, he has been responsible for three choirs, as well as the annual Masterworks concert with orchestra and mass choir, and more than a dozen musical theater productions, most recently Bright Star (March 2022).

He has also taught conducting and music history, has been a frequent leader of First-Year Seminar and serves as department chair.

His large choir, the Bethel College Concert Choir, has been recognized often for its excellence, having received an Emmy® Award for the soundtrack of the documentary Through the Desert Goes Our Journey, sung at various statewide music events, participated as a guest choir with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, and been a featured choir at the regional convention of the American Choral Directors Association.

Eash graduated from Bluffton (Ohio) College, now University, with a bachelor’s degree in music performance (voice and string bass), then studied voice at the Hochschule für Musik and darstellende Kunst in Vienna.

Eash’s first teaching position was at Iowa Mennonite School (now Hillcrest Academy) in Kalona, Iowa. He completed his master’s and doctoral degrees in choral conducting at the University of Iowa.

While in Iowa, Eash founded the Eastern Iowa Men’s Chorus, the Kalona Community Choir and the Kalona Chamber Orchestra, and directed the Mid-Prairie Children’s Choir.

He has participated in the Carnegie Hall Choral Workshops as a singer and auditor. His teachers have included Robert Fountain, Weston Noble, Jan Harrington, Julius Hereford, Don V Moses and Ann Jones.

Before coming to Bethel, Eash was director of choral activities at the University of Evansville, Ind., and director of music and director of athletics at Newman University, Wichita.

He received one of the highest faculty honors, the Distinguished Teaching Award, at both Newman (1996) and Bethel (Ralph P. Schrag award, 2010).

In 2012, Eash developed and led a trip to South Africa and Lesotho, where students experienced village life and worked in plant research. His interest in Gregorian chant took him, during a 2006 sabbatical, to study chant at St. Peter’s Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in Solesmes, France. During his most recent sabbatical, he was named a Writing Fellow recipient at St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minn.

As a church musician, he has served in Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist and Mennonite settings, currently directing the Chancel Choir at Bethel College Mennonite Church. He has prepared choruses for orchestral performances with Alfred Savia, Michael Luxnor, Margaret Hillis and Daniel Hege.

Eash and his spouse, Esther Kreider Eash, have two children and two grandchildren.

Important dates for commencement 2022

Weekend of May 14
Saturday, May 14
10 a.m. Mandatory graduation rehearsal for all senior graduates, Memorial Hall.
11 a.m. Graduate Gathering, The Caf, Shultz Student Center. Graduates only. 
Special meal for all senior graduates, with presentation of senior gifts, sponsored by the Bethel College Alumni Association, Student Alumni Association, Student Life Office and President's Office.
2 p.m. Nurses Pinning Ceremony, Krehbiel Auditorium, Luyken Fine Arts Center
4 p.m. Concert Choir "Home" Concert, Memorial Hall
Sunday, May 15
10 a.m. Baccalaureate service, Memorial Hall
2:45 p.m. Senior class photo, Administration Building steps
All senior graduates are required to attend. In case of inclement weather, the photo will be taken in Krehbiel Auditorium. 
4 p.m. Commencement, Memorial Hall

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.