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Bethel College 2019 graduation ceremonies take place Sunday, May 19, 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.

Commencement Lunch

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.

Class Photo

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 18 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.

Dr. Jon 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.

Baccalaureate and Commencement photos by Vada Snider will be available online.

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.

2019 Commencement Speaker

Dwight KrehbielDwight Krehbiel, Ph.D., professor of psychology, came to Bethel as a student in 1965 and began teaching there in 1978. He recently announced he will retire at the end of this academic year.

He has titled his address “Why a Bethel Education? Careers, Professions and Vocations.”

Krehbiel grew up on a farm in the Moundridge area and pursued his interest in science at Bethel, graduating with a degree in natural sciences.

He spent two-and-a-half years with Mennonite Central Committee’s Teachers Abroad Program (TAP), from 1969-72 (seven months of French language study in Brussels, followed by two years teaching secondary school math and science in Bondo, Democratic Republic of Congo).

Krehbiel then entered graduate school at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, earning master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology, specializing in physiological psychology (major) and animal behavior (minor), along with (outside psychology) biochemistry and neurochemistry.

When Krehbiel joined Doug Penner ’69 in the psychology department, it marked the first time Bethel had two full-time faculty in the discipline, which has been true to the present. Krehbiel attained full-professor status in 1988.

Krehbiel has taught a number of courses in his 41 years at Bethel but may be most remembered by alumni for General Psychology (a general education course that launched many a psychology major), Animal Behavior and, especially, Applied Statistics.

Krehbiel leaves a legacy at Bethel of helping guide STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) into the computer age, especially through a course he first developed, Computers in the Sciences; coordinating – and greatly expanding – the Summer Science Institute for high school students; a fruitful relationship, including several successful grant proposals, with the National Science Foundation; and a robust tradition of undergraduate research, as shown by a consistent record of Bethel students presenting annually at national undergraduate research conferences, including 16 last year at NCUR in Edmond, Okla., and several more this academic year.

Krehbiel has received numerous grants, awards and honors over the years, including, at Bethel, the Julius A. and Agatha Dyck Franz Service Award twice, in 1994 and 2007, and the Ralph P. Schrag Distinguished Teaching Award in 2002, as well as being named the David H. Richert Distinguished Scholar in 1989.

Krehbiel and his wife, Bonnie Krehbiel ’69, live in North Newton. They are the parents of Stephanie Krehbiel ’98.

Senior Celebration Weekend Events

Friday, May 17
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 18
10 a.m. Mandatory graduation rehearsal for all senior graduates at Thresher Stadium.
Inclement weather rehearsal will be in Memorial Hall.
11 a.m. Luncheon for senior graduates and families hosted by President Gering and Deborah Gering on the lawn of Goerz House (Cafeteria if inclement weather). 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 19
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.

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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.