October 14, 2013 | 9:33 a.m.
By Tricia Theurer, Communications Specialist
Soggy weather conditions couldn’t dampen the mood of Bethel’s Homecoming 2013 festivities. From the nail-biting, 31-28 Royals football win over Augsburg to the picnic, students’ Homecoming Cheer contest, Kids Zone, affinity gatherings, and class reunions, Bethel alumni, friends, and students enjoyed connecting on campus October 4-6.
New for Homecoming 2013 were the free family movie night on Friday with a showing of Monsters University, (a highlight for young children was interacting with Roy the lion) and Saturday evening’s Royal Celebration, an entertaining recap of Bethel’s past, present, and future. The evening featured the musical and dramatic creativity of Michael Donley ’87 and Joy Peterson Donley ’89 and a cast of Bethel alums in a parody of “Les Mis”--but with a decidedly Bethel twist (think “White Castle in St. Cloud”). Jay Substad ’88, College of Arts & Sciences Alumnus of the Year, finished off the night with his story of ministry born out of unemployment.
Class reunion parties followed for the classes of ‘63, ’73, ’83, ’93, ’03, and ’08. The Platinum Reunion, for those who graduated more than 51 years ago, was particularly poignant, as Rev. Bill McKinney (C’58, S’62) led the singing of hymns with Rod Erickson ’53 accompanying him on the piano. Former Bethel professor Elving Anderson ’41, his wife Carol ’44, and Bill Conrad ’57 shared stories with the group about their long connection to each other and to Bethel.
But the weekend included more than reminiscing and celebrating: members of the Class of 1993, along with six current students, served at Feed My Starving Children on Saturday morning.
For undergrad students, Homecoming festivities ran almost an entire week, with residence hall vs. residence hall competitions beginning Monday night. Students fought for the coveted “Royal Cup”--eventually won by North Waters--by designing a dorm banner, performing a “cheer,” competing in tug-o-war and dodgeball, and even choreographing a men’s dance routine. The student Homecoming experience was rounded out by the powderpuff women’s football game, a banquet and dance, and the Homecoming 5K run/walk on Saturday morning.