Volume 56 / Number 2
Keeping up with the Jones’s took a new twist last summer for Bethel alumna Elizabeth Bransen ’01 (third from left) who, with her father and sisters, competed against nine other families in CBS TV’s reality show “The Amazing Race: Family Edition.” Elizabeth, Lauren, Lindsay, and Walter Bransen had to do rapid backpacking across several continents and work in harmony on grueling tasks—all on a dizzying timetable. Families were eliminated week by week, and the Bransens hung on through the final episode December 13, coming in second. Along they way, they won several “smaller” prizes including gas for life and a Buick Lucerne. Elizabeth earned her master’s degree in social work after graduating from Bethel and lives in Park Ridge, Ill.
Laura Nichols ’04 (first on the left) and Marci Harder ’02 (second from the left) met with President George Bush during his visit to the Twin Cities last summer. Nichols and Harder worked with the Salvation Army as Social Security outreach workers. (Nichols is now with Ramsey County Access.) President Bush spoke in Maple Grove about Medicare legislation.
Bethel Alumnus Jeff Nelson ’87 was an umpire in the World Series last October, and appears in this photo on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Nelson graduated from Bethel with a degree in history and intended to become a lawyer. But after graduating at the top of his class in umpire school, he has made a career out of his former hobby. “There’s always a challenge to it,” Nelson says of working with professional athletes. “My skill is balls and strikes, safes and outs. I enjoy the challenge of competing against perfection.”
Nelson says his Bethel education gave him thinking, writing, and speaking skills that haven’t gone to waste. He has put them to use negotiating for the World Umpires Association, the professional union for umps. “I’d be hard-pressed to face a room full of attorneys without that. It helps umpires keep their jobs and make life the best for their families.”
[Some material courtesy of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities]