The Memory of a Lifetime

Curt Fauth ’54 makes meaningful connections wherever he goes, especially within the network of over 50,000 Bethel alumni. To honor his continuing Bethel legacy, the Fauth family has offered a gift to create the Curt and Zelda Fauth Alumni of the Year Wall, with additional funds targeted to increase alumni engagement with Bethel University.

By Katie Johnson ’19, content specialist

October 11, 2021 | 11:30 a.m.

Curt Fauth '54 is something of a Bethel legend.

Curt Fauth '54 is something of a Bethel legend.

Curtis Fauth ’54 remembers everyone.

“Once and a while my son will call me asking if I remembered so-and-so. When I say yes, my son responds, ‘Well, he said be sure to say hi to him for me!’ I’m looking forward to going to heaven and seeing a lot of these people eventually,” Curt says.

He remembers the fellow students he’d run into between classes at Bethel’s Snelling Avenue campus in the 1950s. He remembers the students he taught in his high school math classes, and the members of the churches he pastored throughout his life in Pennsylvania and California. He remembers his children’s close friends from their time at Bethel in the 1980s. The connections, however brief, are ones he cherishes to this day. 

Curt Fauth never forgets your name and he remembers details of your life. When he promises to keep a confidence or to pray for you, you feel the assurance of God’s love flowing through him. He’s loyal through hard times. And his infectious laughter lingers long after you say goodbye. I’m blessed to have him as a longtime friend.”

— Leland Eliason ’62, S’66


And the relationships he continues to hold dear also revolve around his personal experiences at Bethel—including his time in the Bethel Quartet, with whom he spent a summer traveling around the United States sharing the Gospel and information about Bethel University. It’s through the Bethel Quartet that he met his wife, Zelda, when they stayed at her family home during a weekend singing trip to Mankato, Minnesota. She was also home from nursing school in the Twin Cities for the weekend, and they hit it off, marrying a year and a half later.

He attended seminary for a time before deciding to become a high school math teacher. He taught in Cokato, Minnesota, for two years before receiving a National Science Foundation Fellowship to San Diego State, where he stayed for 15 years as he taught high school, became a counselor, and then a vice principal for a school district. 

His family came back to Minnesota when Carl Lundquist, president of Bethel at the time, asked Curt to be the director of Alumni and Family Relations. “I always kept my connections with Bethel,” Curt says. “With the students and my former students—I became very good friends with. I'm rather an outgoing person.” Curt’s outgoing personality made him the perfect fit for bringing alumni together and supporting families as they sent their children to Bethel. He speaks fondly of everyone he worked with in this role, including the Office of Alumni and Family Relations former office assistant, Nancy Vall, and Ron Tschetter ’63, then president of Bethel’s Alumni Board.

“It was a privilege to work with Curt because he loved Bethel and did so much to re-engage alumni to be involved personally with the school. I was always amazed at his ability to remember people’s names as well how he expressed care and concern for everyone. Even after 40 years has passed since we worked together, he’s still a good friend.”

— Nancy Vall, former assistant in the Office of Alumni and Family Relations

Through his time as director, he helped start Family Weekend, organize alumni records previously kept on three-by-five note cards, form relationships with members of Bethel’s Alumni Board, and establish alumni meetings across the United States—now called Royal Nation. “I'm a part of the Bethel family forever too,” Curt says, remembering his time in this role. “I had an alumni board. It was the greatest experience. We met usually once a year and they all came on campus. They were a great bunch to work with.” He worked in this role for nine years before friend and pastor Leland Eliason ’62, S’66 offered him a pastoral position back in California, where Curt would work for the next 23 years.

Four of Curt and Zelda’s five children attended Bethel—some during his time as alumni director—and a number of his grandchildren did as well. Just this last summer he attended the wedding of his granddaughter Maddie (Fauth) ’19 and Brady Bomsta ’19, where he rekindled a number of Bethel connections and enjoyed how deeply his children and grandchildren developed their Bethel friendships as well.

To honor Curt and Zelda, the Fauth family members have created a fund to establish the Curt and Zelda Fauth Alumni of the Year Wall, where plaques recognize Bethel’s outstanding alumni in the College of Arts & Sciences, College of Adult & Professional Programs, Graduate School, and Seminary. Additional funds will be given to the Office of Alumni and Family Relations to foster young alumni engagement. Dave Fauth ’83, Curt’s son and senior gift officer at Bethel, is excited to see how this gift can empower Royals to take care of Royals beyond their time as Bethel students. He says that anyone can contribute to this fund, regardless of their relation to the Fauth family.

In honor of their parents, the Fauth family has offered a gift to create the Curt and Zelda Fauth Alumni of the Year Wall, which is located on the 4th level of the Brushaber Commons.

In honor of their parents, the Fauth family has offered a gift to create the Curt and Zelda Fauth Alumni of the Year Wall, which is located on the 4th level of the Brushaber Commons.

To this day, Curt thinks fondly of his time at Bethel and the deep friendships he formed along the way. “When I was there, professors were friendly. You'd meet them in the hallway and they all would say, ‘Hi, how are you doing Curt?’ Curt. Not, ‘How are you doing?’ period. And I felt that the chapels were very meaningful to me. Bethel isn't perfect, but it's very God-centric.” He appreciates what President Ross Allen is doing at Bethel, and during a recent Zoom meeting, Allen’s wife, Annie, recognized Curt from her time as a Bethel student, proving that just as he remembers the faces he meets, his presence has made a mark of its own as well.

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