September 9, 2014 | 12:30 p.m.
By Tricia Theurer, Communications Specialist
One of the many exciting traditions at Bethel’s Welcome Week is the legacy photo, which captures Bethel alums and their children who are enrolling at Bethel.
For the Nelsons, that Bethel connection extends to three generations.
Incoming freshman Sarah Nelson is now part of the Nelson-Bethel family legacy that includes her dad Gregg ’85—who served as chair of Bethel’s National Alumni Board—her mom Heidi (Busse) ’87, and her dad’s parents, Gordon and Judy (Larsen) Nelson, who attended Bethel in the 50s, all of whom were present for the legacy photo during Welcome Week 2014.
The family’s Bethel connections don’t end there. Gregg’s siblings, Jeff ’87, Gary ’90, and Janine ’90, followed in his footsteps. And two of Heidi’s siblings, Linda ’85 and Nancy ’91, are also Royals.
But family ties weren’t the main reason Sarah, the oldest of Gregg and Heidi’s children, chose to attend Bethel: it was her sense that she belonged here. Says Gregg, “Sarah decided to come to Bethel in November of her senior year, after visiting and staying overnight on campus with some volleyball players. Upon leaving she said, ‘I don’t feel like a visitor here,’ and decided on the spot this was the place for her.”
It’s no secret the Nelsons are committed to Bethel. “We think the Christian leaders of tomorrow being developed at places like Bethel today are essential to bringing the hope of Christianity to a broken world,” says Gregg.
“I know this sounds corny,” he admits, “but the Bethel campus is my second home. I get that feeling with amazing consistency whenever I set foot here.”