The Top Stories from 2018

You clicked. We listened. Without further ado, here are the headlines from the most-read Bethel stories this year.

By Monique Kleinhuizen '08, GS'16, new media strategist

December 31, 2018 | 8 a.m.

The Top Stories from 2018

From new programs, spaces, and faces—to saying “goodbye” to some beloved ones—we’re counting down the top ten stories from 2018. Here are the headlines from the most-read stories this year:

#10 Lacy Brothers Establish Scholarship for First-Generation College Students

Growing up, Sam ’03 and Matt Lacy ’02 didn’t have much. They lived in a trailer park in west Texas with their parents, who both worked to hold down steady jobs but still had to cash welfare checks to make ends meet. It was a lifestyle they were expected to inherit—so the Lacy brothers surprised everyone, including themselves, when they became the first in their family to graduate from college, a feat made possible largely by scholarships. In 2018, they turned around and created a scholarship fund to make Bethel possible for more students who had a start like they did.

How Cool is That?


#9 Bethel Announces Partnership with Thrivent Financial 

What happens when you give students a million dollars, high-tech investment software, and a beautiful new space in which to work? Turns out they shatter national benchmarks. When Bethel announced in early 2018 that it would be partnering with Thrivent Financial to launch the Royals Investment Fund, the idea was that students would become familiar with all aspects of managing a financial services firm. Students manage client relationships and marketing, they choose and manage stocks, and even do reporting for tax purposes.

Big Gains in Biz/Econ


#8 The Value of Liberal Arts

Using complex algorithms and code-named projects, Google deduced that the very skills developed at liberal arts universities are critical assets in the high-tech marketplace. And if its growth trends and stake in the world economy are any indication, it seems the tech giant got it right. And Bethel’s been doing it all along.

Staying True to Our Core


#7 An Investment in Bethel’s Future

The new home of Bethel’s undergraduate Department of Business and Economics opened in fall, with ample space for students and the department to grow. There’s a high-tech financial markets lab with real-time stock tickers, collaborative space that’s perfect for group or independent work, and a priority-use, multimedia-ready classroom

Wait 'til You See It


#6 New Professors Start in the College of Arts & Science

Bethel welcomed eight new professors to its undergraduate programs in fall, including four alumni. They joined the departments of biology; business and economics; chemistry; education; nursing; math and computer science; and physics and engineering—and are now among the more than 300 professors who teach in Bethel’s 100-plus undergraduate degree programs.

Welcome, New Professors!


#5 Goats Take on Campus Buckthorn

Like most other campus residents, the ones who spent time on campus this spring and summer had names, identification, and an Instagram account. Twenty goats—part of a goat-for-hire company The Munch Bunch—set up shop on fenced acreage between Lissner Hall and Chalberg Hall. Their mission? To eat the invasive buckthorn that’s been giving the Bethel community headaches for decades while providing student research opportunities and lessons on sustainability.

"We’re called in Genesis to be stewards of the garden. Not just the Garden of Eden, but creation and the beautiful campus we have here. I believe we—humans—have created the problem. We moved buckthorn here from its native habitat, and it has very few natural predators. We need to help restore the natural function of our ecosystem, and this is just one, fun way we can do that.”

— Professor and Co-chair of Biological Sciences Jeff Port

Meet the New Kids on Campus


#4 Art Alum Receives Guggenheim Fellowship

Disbelief. That’s what Chris Larson ’90 felt when he was awarded the esteemed Guggenheim Fellowship—one of the highest honors in art and academia—in April. The annual competition recognizes individuals for exceptional scholarship or creative ability in the arts. Larson received a $55,000 grant to spend a year working with as much creative freedom as possible—so he moved his studio to an abandoned garment factory to explore how workspaces impact perceptions of social class and identity.

Read About His Big Year


#3 Heather Flies ’95, S’02 Named Seminary Alumna of the Year

Growing up, Flies watched her five older siblings leave their southern Minnesota town to attend Bethel University. After high school graduation, Flies followed suit. There, she discovered the heart God gave her for young people. Now she has her Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Bethel Seminary and is in full-time junior high ministry at Wooddale Church. Her passion is drawing on her experience with bullies and struggles with body image to speak truth and positive identity into young people.

She’s a Hoot


#2 Bethel Seminary to Move to Anderson Center

A complete renovation is nearly complete for a new, pastoral space that brings together favorite design elements from Bethel Seminary while paving the way for the future of theological education. Offices, collaborative learning spaces, and multimedia-ready conference rooms were outfitted this fall, making up 8,000 square feet on the first floor of Anderson Center. Staff and faculty move into the new space this week, with classes beginning there in January.

It Opens This Week


#1 Bethel Remembers Adam Johnson

Many people at Bethel and in the field of neuroscience agree that Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience Adam Johnson was one of the most brilliant people they had ever met. But Johnson shrugged off the attention; to him, work centered on teaching and mentoring students, and he simply hoped his widespread connections in the academic world would lead to more opportunities for his students. Johnson, 39, died on April 10 after an 8-year battle with cancer, leaving behind countless students and alumni whose careers were impacted for the better because of his legacy.

Celebrate Adam

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