New BUnited Breakfasts Provide Opportunity for Connection

Students, faculty, and alumni from all majors gathered for a BUnited breakfast last month. The first of the school year, it’s also the first networking breakfast of its kind.

By Katie Johnson ’19

November 05, 2018 | 2 p.m.

New BUnited Breakfasts Provide Opportunity for Connection

Students, faculty, and alumni from all majors gathered for a BUnited breakfast last month.

BethelBiz mentees and fellows smiled and handed out nametags as alumni, students, faculty, and friends of Bethel filtered into the Underground in the early morning on October 23. The occasion? The first quarterly BUnited Breakfast of the academic year. Unlike similar, previous gatherings which catered primarily to those connected to Bethel’s business program, this breakfast was open to everyone in the Bethel community—past and present—and served as a time of connection on Bethel’s campus.

Realizing how many alumni consistently attended BethelBiz breakfasts, the Office of Alumni and Family Relations team wanted to add funding and expand their reach to all Bethel alumni and friends. This fall’s event was the first breakfast sponsored by the new partnership, and the hope is that the events keep growing “until they have to rent out a conference center,” according to Associate Vice President for Alumni and Family Relations and Advancement Operations Jim Bender.

Business major Laura Norling ’19 has taken part in the BethelBiz mentorship program since she was a freshman, and she has relished the opportunities to grow in the business community. “The reason I wanted to be a part of BethelBiz was because I wanted to learn more, do more, and become my best self,” Norling says. “I had never had an official mentor before and knew that I could learn so much from a person who had once been in the same place years before me.” The Office of Alumni and Family Relations hopes that this type of mentorship, while concentrated in the BethelBiz program, can expand between alumni and students from all majors, and this first event revealed a promising start for those future connections. 

About 66 people attended the breakfast. Some, like business major Joe Dahl ’20 and his dad Steve Dahl were friends of the Hed family, who spoke at the event. Anne Hed, CEO of Hed Cycling, shared how falling in love with her husband Steve ’77 morphed into the creation of their cycling company. Steve was the visionary behind the company, while detail-oriented Anne helped bring his dreams to life. When her husband died just over three years ago, she took over leadership of the company with grace. Even as she mourned the loss of someone so dear to her, she relied heavily on her faith to continue thriving. “It’s hard because I lost my very best friend,” Anne Hed says. “But, I decided I needed to continue his legacy, and I needed to continue to have faith in moving forward.”

Andrew Hed ’18 graduated from Bethel with a degree in media production, which he is using to share Hed Cycling’s story with the world. He considers himself and his camera to be a window through which the world can see not only his family’s company, but Jesus as well. “Once you get through my videos, what’s next? You’re going to find me. And hopefully, you find us—Bethel alumni. My goal is that you find Jesus,” Andrew Hed says. Already in his young career, companies like Forbes, USA Today, Fed-Ex Small Business, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Minneapolis Business Journalhave taken notice of his work advertising for the company and have connected with Hed Cycling.

His sister Rebecca Hed ’21 is an art student at Bethel. She was a sophomore in high school when her father passed away, and she remembers a conversation with her guidance counselor at the time, who told her, “Rebecca, I don’t want you to graduate high school and be known as the girl whose dad died. I want you to be remembered for who you are and what you did.”

Duct tape is Rebecca Hed’s primary art medium, and—in typical Hed fashion—her work revolves around bikes. She’s made bicycle wheel art, using duct tape shellacked in mosaic patterns, for charity auctions. She was recently awarded the Taco Bell Foundation Live Más Scholarship for innovators and creators making an impact on their community.

As each member of the Hed family graciously shared his or her story, the audience—spread out across tables filled with strangers and friends, sipping on coffee and nibbling on pastries—was drawn to the powerful stories of loss, love, and innovation.

Alumni Events at Bethel.

BUnited Breakfasts will happen regularly, probably once per semester. Keep an eye on the alumni event calendar for future breakfasts and other events like them.

Find out more