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Baccalaureate Service & Commencement Information

Bethel College 2021 commencement ceremonies take place Sunday, May 16, on the Bethel College Campus. 300 E. 7th St., North Newton, KS  67117.

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

Virtual Commencement Recording

After further reviewing the need to have a virtual commencement video, the Graduation Committee has decided that there is no need to do a virtual commencement video and has cancelled the recordings. Since commencement will be held in person this year, unlike last year, and it will be livestream for family and friends to watch, it was decided to forgo the recordings and the video. The Livestream video of Commencement will be available after graduation.

Commencement Rehearsal – May 15

Commencement rehearsal for graduates will take place on Saturday, May 15 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.

Baccalaureate Service – May 16

The Baccalaureate service begins at 10 a.m. at Thresher Stadium with the worship theme, music, and other content selected by a committee of seniors. For Baccalaureate, graduates do not need to wear their graduation robes, and they are welcome to sit with their families. Baccalaureate service will be limited to five guests per graduate if outdoors or two guest per graduate if held in Memorial Hall. The tickets will be handled electronically and more information will be forthcoming.

Class Photo – May 16

All senior graduates report to the Administration Building steps in cap and gown at 3:00 p.m. for a class photo. After the photo, seniors proceed to the sidewalk around the Green to assemble and prepare for the commencement procession.  All senior graduates are required to attend. In case of inclement weather, the photo will be taken in Krehbiel Auditorium on the stage. Graduates will report to Thresher Gym to lineup for commencement after the class photo. 

Commencement – May 16

The formal commencement ceremony takes place at 4 p.m. at Thresher Stadium. Commencement ceremony will be limited to five guests per graduate for outdoors or two guests per graduates if held indoors. The tickets will be handled electronically and more information will be forthcoming.  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 or other locations as there are no restrictions on parking on campus. The gates to the stadium will open at 3 p.m. In order to keep with the safety COVID requirements, family members are asked to sit together and social distance 6 feet apart from others, masks are required, and temperature checks will be taken at the entrance to the stadium. After the ceremony, the graduates will exit the stadium and meet their family at a pre-arranged location on campus.  Since graduates keep their caps and gowns, they are welcome to go anywhere on campus to take photos with family.

President Jon C. Gering, 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.

Livestreaming for Baccalaureate and Commencement will be available for those unable to attend in-person.  In addition, a pre-recorded virtual commencement (similar to the one last year) will be shown right after the in-person commencement. More information will be posted at a later date on how to access the livestream and virtual commencement.

2021 Commencement Speaker

Brooke Powers, Football Athletic Trainer and Clinical Education Coordinator, has been selected by the seniors as the Senior Class of 2021 Commencement Speaker. Please check back for more details.

Important Dates for 2021 Commencement

*Masks and social distance required at all events due to COVID safety guidelines.

Friday, May 14
7 p.m. Senior Art Exhibit and Reception, Robert W. Regier Art Gallery, Luyken Fine Arts Center
Saturday, May 15
10 a.m. Mandatory graduation rehearsal for all senior graduates at Thresher Stadium.
Inclement weather rehearsal will be in Memorial Hall.
11 a.m. “Graduate Gathering” in the Cafeteria of Schultz Student Center. Graduates only. Special meal for graduates including presentation of senior gifts. Hosted by Student Life, Student Alumni Association, and the Alumni Association in the Cafeteria.
2 p.m. Nursing Pinning Ceremony, Krehbiel Auditorium, Luyken Fine Arts Center.
Check back for more details.
Sunday, May 16
10 a.m. Baccalaureate service, Thresher Stadium.
In case of inclement weather, baccalaureate will take place in Memorial Hall. Guest will be limited to 5 per graduate if outside and 2 per graduate if inside.
3 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 5 p.m. on Saturday and notification placed on the website. Guest will be limited to 5 per graduate if outside and 2 per graduate if inside.

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.