Meet the Newest Royals!

Welcome Week 2023 is in the books, and a new semester has begun. Here’s a recap of the week—and some fun facts about the newest Royals to begin their Bethel journey.

By Monique Kleinhuizen '08, GS'16, contributing writer

September 06, 2023 | 8 a.m.

Meet the Bethel class of 2027!

Welcome Week ranks up there among Bethel’s favorite traditions. This year, 991 new and PSEO students began their Bethel journey—and a team of Welcome Week volunteers were ready to move their things into their rooms, cheer them on, and create a jam-packed first campus experience designed to make them feel right at home.

This year’s Welcome Week line-up included special programs for early move-in groups, including PSEO students, student employees, transfer students, students in BUILD, and athletes. Following move-in, there were some favorite traditions, including a movie on the lawn, “The Show,” Koinonia community worship service, Bethel Student Government-sponsored welcome events, and lots of opportunities to get to know other students, prepare for the semester ahead, and take advantage of campus resources.

New this year, students also packed 640 backpacks through a partnership with Roseville-based Kids In Need Foundation—sponsored by Schuler Shoes and Converge. One of the goals for Welcome Week was not just to help new Bethel students start college on the right foot—but also to give back to help other young people have access to an education. 

Sydney Lapp ’24 is a relational communication major—and theatre minor—who was one of three student coordinators for Welcome Week 2023. She loves the energy and care the Welcome Week team exudes, the months of meticulous planning that lead up the event, and even the exhaustion that comes with serving students when they arrive. 

“I love Welcome Week so much. It’s everybody united to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and it’s amazing to see so many saying ‘yes’ to sacrificial love,” Lapp says. “Last week, we were up early and up late—with only a few minutes to eat meals, catch our breath, and rest a bit. The only way to get through that is the Lord sustaining us. We get tired, but there’s joy. We’re so content in the tired. What a beautiful group to experience that in!” 

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Welcome Week 2023

“We’ve actually started referring to it as ‘Welcome Life’ instead of just ‘Welcome Week’ because we want this type of community—this deep sense of welcome and belonging—to continue for life.”

— Sydney Lapp ’24, Welcome Week student coordinator

Want to learn a little more about the 991 newest Royals? Here are some fun facts:

Data about Bethel's class of 2027

There are 392 traditional first-year students, 70 transfers, 463 Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) students—plus 49 former PSEO students who’ve decided to continue their college experience as Royals! Seven students are Act Six Scholars in Cadre 10 of the program. The BUILD program is also welcoming 17 new students. They join returning Royals to make up a total student body of 2,312 in the College of Arts & Sciences.

The most popular majors for incoming students are:

1. Exploratory/Undecided
2. Business
3. Biology
4. Nursing
5. Physics and Engineering
6. Biokinetics
7. Psychology/Neuroscience
8. Education
9. English and Journalism
10. Computer Science

The newest Royals are 57% female and 43% male. Over 22% are students of color—the most diverse undergraduate class in Bethel’s history. They come from 21 states, and 35% are “legacy students” who have had a sibling or parent attend Bethel.

The most popular first names are Ava (14), Grace (12), Sophia (11), Hannah (10), Olivia (10), Samuel (10), Jacob (9), Abigail (9), Anna (9), Emily (9), and Ethan (9). The most popular last names are Anderson (13), Johnson (11), Peterson (10), Nelson (7), Miller (7), Lee (6), Olson (6), Wilson (5), Tran (5), and Smith (5)

Incoming students were polled and asked to share a “fun fact” about themselves. Here’s what they thought we should know about them:

  • An incoming student has been in 25+ TV shows or movies
  • Two students have been to all 50 states
  • Three incoming students are from Hawaii, and one is from England
  • A student has nine siblings
  • A student meant to apply to a different Bethel University, but came here anyway!
  • A student has been to 20 country music concerts in the last year
  • A student owns 3 goats, 26 chickens, 2 cats, a dog, and a bunny—and another has 38 rubber ducks
  • One student has never held a frog/toad in her life

New Royals, no matter where you come from—or what makes your story unique—we’re so glad you’re a part of our community. Welcome!

Take your first step as a Royal!

At Bethel, you’ll find a place to belong—and become exactly who you were created to be. In our Christ-guided community, you’ll be supported and encouraged through every step of your academic journey.

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