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College of Arts & Sciences Celebrates Commencement

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Bethel University held commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 25, for 535 graduates of the College of Arts & Sciences. David Horsager ’95, G’07, author of national bestseller The Trust Edge: How Top Leaders Gain Faster Results, Deeper Relationships, and a Stronger Bottom Line, was this year’s commencement speaker. This was the second time Horsager spoke at graduation; the first time was his own in 1995. Horsager focused on three of the eight characteristics of great leaders and organizations detailed in his book: consistency, competency, and commitment. He reminded graduates that it starts with trusting God. “Be committed to being a trustworthy servant every day,” he said. From that foundational relationship, he explained, you must learn to trust yourself. “If you don’t trust yourself,” he said, “you have a hard time gaining trust from others.”

Graduate Elizabeth “Betsy” Payette enjoyed Horsager’s speech. “I’m glad the speaker’s message was funny because it kept me from crying the whole time,” she joked. “It was a good mixture of sentimental and inspiring.” An elementary education graduate, Payette said her next step is to send out job applications this summer and trust that God will open the right door. Her father, Tony Payette, a fifth grade teacher at Thomas Lake Elementary in Rosemount, Minn., was impressed with the teacher preparation his daughter received at Bethel and the community she experienced, both at the university and among her education classmates. Her mother, Cindy Boyum ’82, also an elementary teacher, noted how much Bethel has changed since she was a student and said that she especially enjoyed the senior reflection offered at the 9 a.m. ceremony. “I’m so impressed with what I’m hearing,” she said. “The message I’m hearing is to love, to listen more than you talk, and to get out of your comfort zone.”

College of Arts & Sciences graduates attended one of three commencement ceremonies, held in Benson Great Hall, depending on the degree they received. Three seniors were chosen to speak at the ceremonies: Katie Hayden, bachelor’s degree in biokinetics, at 9 a.m.; Hilary Ritchie, bachelor’s degree in history and biblical and theological studies, at 12:30 p.m.; and Joel Edwall, bachelor’s degree in biology, at 4 p.m.

Music education graduate Trevor Krahn had mixed emotions after his 9 a.m. graduation ceremony. “I don’t really know how to feel. I’m happy, sad, and excited all at the same time,” he said. “I look around at professors and even people I don’t know and feel the love of the Bethel community. I almost didn’t come here, and I am so thankful I came here and that it was God’s will for me.”

Ceremonies for Bethel Seminary St. Paul, College of Adult & Professional Studies, and Graduate School will be held on June 1. Commencement services for Bethel Seminary San Diego will take place on June 8 and Bethel Seminary of the East on June 15.