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Guest FAQs

These FAQs pertain to our St. Paul ceremonies in Benson Great Hall. Details about the May 15 ceremony in San Diego will be emailed directly to those Seminary graduates. If your question is not answered below, please contact us at conference-event@bethel.edu. Whether you celebrate with your graduate in person or via our livestream link, we look forward to sharing this special occasion with you.

How long is the ceremony?

Each ceremony will be 30-45 minutes.

When do doors open?

Doors open 45 minutes before each ceremony. Ticketed guests who arrive before this will need to wait outside the building. All ticketed guests must be seated at least 5 minutes before the ceremony starts. There are no walk-up ticketing options on commencement day.

Do I have to wear a mask?

Everyone is required to wear a face covering inside campus buildings.

Why can't more guests attend in person?

We wish we could accommodate more people, but our seating is distanced for safety according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

How do I get to campus, and where do I park?

See a campus map and get driving directions to 3900 Bethel Drive, St. Paul, MN 55112. Please allow extra time to enter campus and park. All traffic must enter through the west entrance; the east entrance is currently closed. Main parking is in the West Lot (overflow parking in the East Lot). Benson Great Hall is located in the Lundquist Community Life Center.

How do I get a guest ticket for the ceremony?

Your graduate must reserve a guest ticket on your behalf. Graduates will receive instructions about this on or after May 3. There are no walk-up ticketing options on commencement day.

What kind of guest seating is available in Benson Great Hall?

There is a limited number of seats available for guests. These seats are in tiered rows on a sloped floor, and stairs are required to access almost all guest seats. Very few seats are wheelchair-accessible.

All guest seats reserved by your graduate will be side by side (shoulder to shoulder). In other words, your seat will be right next to other guest seats reserved by your graduate; they WILL NOT be distanced from each other. However, your graduate’s guest seats WILL be at least 6 feet from another graduate’s guest seats. Please note that all guest seats are in pods of four, and all pods are distanced from each other. There are no other configurations or combinations. 

All guest tickets are reserved seating. Each guest must show a mobile or printed ticket, which will be provided by their graduate. The ticket will specify a seat assignment by row and number.

How do I request accessibility services?

If you will need an accessible seat or an ASL interpreter, please ask your student to call the Ticket Office at 651.638.6333 or email box-offices@bethel.edu between May 3 and May 7.

I don't have a ticket.  Can I briefly enter Benson Great Hall to see my student cross the stage and then leave?

In alignment with Minnesota Department of Health guidelines, we are unable to accomodate extra guests, even briefly. Only ticketed guests will be admitted.

Can I take photos?

Families are welcome to take photos with their student outside on the campus grounds during May 17-20. Ticketed guests may take photos from their seats in Benson Great Hall as long as they do not block the view for others. Do not leave your seat to take a photo. A professional photographer will also take a photo of your student with President Allen while on stage. You may view and purchase that photo later at pictureplace.com.

Can families enter campus buildings when we come to take photos May 17-20?

To limit building density, please remain outside when taking photos. You may enter your student's residence hall to help with move-out.

Where are good photo ops around campus?

Here are favorite places to take photos: 

On the 3900 campus: 

  • On the Valentine Patio by the lake
  • Along the Lake Valentine path
  • On the dock
  • At the west entrance monument sign
  • On the bridge across from the south residence halls
  • In front of a favorite residence hall
  • On the Legacy Patio

On the Anderson Center campus:

  • By the fountain in the parking lot
  • At the entrance monument sign

How many guests can watch the online ceremony?

There is no limit to the people who can watch the livestream of each ceremony! Please share the link, which will be posted soon on the commencement homepage.

Are there livestream viewing options on campus?

We are unable to offer any campus venues for livestream viewing.

Will I see my student cross the stage on the livestream view?

Yes, the livestream camera will capture each student as they cross the stage.

What COVID-19 safety precautions is Bethel taking?

All seats for graduates and faculty in Benson Great Hall will be 6 feet apart. The guest seats of one graduate will be at least 6 feet from the guest seats of another graduate. Everyone must wear a face covering. Entrances and exits are one-way. Only ticketed guests and graduates may enter the buildings. Immediately following the ceremony, faculty, graduates, and ticketed guests will gather outside.