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Alumni Affinity Groups

Bethel University's community of 50,000+ alumni is becoming more tight-knit than ever before, thanks to alumni who are dedicated to providing opportunities for their peers to connect with one another and support Bethel's mission.

To receive invites to events and opportunities provided by these groups, keep an eye on the Alumni Events calendar, and update your info so we can communicate with you. Are you part of a group of alumni that meets regularly and supports the mission of Bethel? We'd love to promote your group here, too! Contact us today.


Mission: To do business differently. We do so by engaging alumni (alumni to alumni, alumni to Bethel students, and alumni to the community) to promote excellence in the business community, the classroom, and the church. Christ calls us to pursue faith as a community. We aim to embody that faith in the workplace, pursuing Christ in every facet of our lives.

Events: Mentor-mentee gatherings, networking, leadership development.

Advisory Council: Linda Goodwin '79, Ryan Wahlund '06, Matt Douglas '05, Ben Canning '98, Ben Leistikow '13, Steve Strom '07, Susie Schultz '75Doug Wester '04, Dre Bartel '99, Kaia Larson and Joyce LeMay

Bethel Gridiron Club

Mission: Our purpose is to promote and advance Bethel Football by building a strong and viable alumni association with a vision for Bethel Football and a desire to reach others for Jesus Christ; lifting up praise and celebrating what God is doing in and through Bethel Football; building bridges to the alumni, players, coaches, fans, and future players; assisting Bethel Football in recruiting new student-athletes and retaining present students; fostering loyalty and good will towards Bethel Football; encouraging and mentoring current student-athletes and preparing them to be better husbands, dads, leaders, and men of God; creating open dialogue with the coaches, administration, faculty, staff, and students; and supporting Bethel Football each year through sacrificial financial giving and prayer.

Events: Gala, athletics-focused, other.

Led By: Bethel University Football Alumni

BUYA (Bethel University Young Alumni)

Mission: BUYA is on a mission to engage the Bethel community beyond graduation in supporting the mission of Bethel and extending Bethel University’s impact by living out its core values as Christ-followers, character-builders, learners, truth-seekers, world-changers, reconcilers, and salt and light.

Events: Socials, alumni-student/alumni-alumni networking, community service.

Led By: Mike Schmalzer '14, Erin King '12, Taji Onesirosan '17, and Stephen Tetzlaff '17

The Connection (MBA/MASL)

Mission: It is often said that adult learners return to school not only for the degree but to pay for a network. Bethel University is no different. The Connection is an affinity group of Master of Business Administration (MBA) and M.A. in Strategic Leadership (MASL) alums and current students committed to gathering with other professionals. Our purpose is simple: There is power in our network.

Events: Business-focused, networking, professional panels and speakers.

Led By: Jon Bonkoski '04, GS'16, Tracy Potocnik '07, CAPS'09, GS'11, Claire Giancola-Belmares GS'11, and Molly Christian GS'14


Mission: By connecting one-on-one with working professionals, COMMentor seeks to create a relational network that furthers the professional development of students. COMMentor will cultivate relational foundations between students and professionals through one-on-one mentorship, networking opportunities, and a diversity of learning experiences.

Events: Mentor-mentee gatherings, networking, leadership development.

Led By: Lambda Pi Eta (Communication Studies National Honor Society)

Sign up today, or to learn more, contact Ripley Smith at


Mission: An ongoing research initiative between Bethel University and beginning teacher alumni. The objective is to deliver a multi-faceted ‘inside-out’ professional learning environment for the first three years of new teacher induction. This project is an effort to improve teacher retention. TeachForward includes Illumination Lecture Series, Brainstorm requests providing resources for new teachers, and monthly seminar support for Bethel Alumni. Ultimately, the vision of this project is to foster a community of support. TeachForward is funded by the Bush Grant Foundation.

Events: Seminars, networking, idea collaboration.

Led by: Dr. Seann Dikkers '94, GS'99, Education Department Chair, and Becky Carlson '93, GS'13, Adjunct Instructor

To learn more, contact Seann at or Becky at

Alumni Features


Homecoming 2019 is October 4-6! Save the date and make plans to be a part of the festivities! Watch for more details.
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