Four New Arts and Humanities Students Receive $68,000 in Scholarships

Four students have been selected from among 54 applicants who answered the question: “What matters to you, and why?”

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

May 14, 2020 | 7 a.m.

Brianna Mutterer, Claire Hipkins, Claire Nelson, and Soraya Keiser (left to right)

Brianna Mutterer, Claire Hipkins, Claire Nelson, and Soraya Keiser are this year's winners of the arts and humanities scholarships at Bethel University

In fall 2019, Bethel announced that one full-tuition and three $10,000 scholarships would be awarded to arts and humanities students beginning at Bethel in fall 2020. Fifty-four prospective Royals submitted applications and essay responses, visited campus, and interviewed with arts and humanities faculty. They represented 10 different areas of study and had an average Grade Point Average of 3.7 and ACT score of 27.

“We were impressed with the quality of the students and the excitement such students had about majoring in our division ... we awarded scholarship money to students we would enjoy having not only in our own classrooms, but in the classrooms of our peers. The scholarship winners, I am confident in saying, will enrich the campus as a whole even if they major in the Arts and Humanities division.”

— AnneMarie Kooistra, Professor of History

Bethel University is pleased to announce this year’s scholarship recipients:

Brianna Mutterer - Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
Major: History
Award: Full-Tuition 

“In 1943, my great-grandmother Lorraine saved countless lives, but her story has not been written down. She discovered that a batch of gunpowder being sent to American troops was faulty and would take the lives of the men fighting for her country,” Mutterer wrote in her application essay. “Her story is one example of thousands of women who joined together to change history. It is easy to forget history lessons about the facts of the war, but much harder to forget the contribution of a single young woman. This is why the stories of the past matter to me. They are intensely personal and go untold for years if we don’t remember and acknowledge them. They teach lessons about the past and the present, about morality and corruption, and about ourselves and the world we live in.”


Claire Hipkins - White Bear Lake, Minnesota
Major: English Literature and/or History
Award: $10,000

“When I walked through the towering glass doors of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, or Mia, the first thing I saw was a brilliant blown glass sculpture hanging from the ceiling, so captivating it seemed to fill the room. It was yellow, with tendrils extending from the center, and glowing—a sun in captivity. I stepped up an impressive marble staircase in the echoing hall. I passed suits of armor, sculptures and busts, tapestries and mosaics,” Hipkins wrote, recalling that experiencing Mia for the first time as a kindergartner created a foundation and curiosity on which her lifelong love of art theory and history has been built. 


Soraya Keiser - Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Major: Journalism
Award: $10,000

“What matters to me can be summed up with a phrase often championed at my school: faith, heart, and intellect. To be a young woman marked by these things acknowledges and affirms who God created me to be,” Keiser writes. “Curiosity has fueled my love of learning. I value hearing unique stories and gaining new perspectives. For example, I recently read a fascinating memoir about growing up in former Yugoslavia. It shook me into awareness about the painful history of that part of the world and more expansively, about the roots of conflict and the complexities of ethnicity, geography, tradition, religion, and politics. Learning more about our world—families, neighborhoods, and cities on up to countries—this is something I never want to stop doing.”


Claire Nelson - Farmington, Minnesota
Major: English and/or Communication Studies
Award: $10,000

“The life-changing, near-impossible, almost-beyond-what I-can-even-imagine goals are what I live for. It feels like I’ve always been chasing after some hypothetical future where all the wrongs of the present are made right, where all of my fantastic fantasies are fully-realized,” Nelson writes. “What I consider to be the true mark of my progress is the fact that I pursue God even if I don’t feel like doing so, even if I begin to doubt Him…God has moved me closer and closer towards perfection in Christ, and I know that I will keep progressing all the days of my life.”

Arts & Humanities at Bethel University

At Bethel, we’re rooted in faith and committed to excellence, with a robust selection of academic concentrations allowing students to go deep in an area they love while gaining a broad base of learning in a variety of disciplines. Award-winning faculty work side-by-side with students, giving them unmatched personal attention as they create, understand the world around them, and step into their unique calling. Explore Bethel’s list of majors and minors and apply! 

Learn More