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Welcome Week FAQ

When is Welcome Week?

Welcome Week, for “Main Arrivals” begins with move-in on Thursday, August 23 at 9:00 a.m. Students residing on campus will move in according to their assigned arrival time. At 4:45 p.m. on Thursday, August 23, all incoming students and families are invited to attend the Lakeside Picnic and Kickoff Celebration. See the Welcome Week Parent and Family Schedule for all the details.

What does it cost to attend? How do I register?

Good news, Welcome Week is FREE for students and families! There is no registration required, we repeat, NO registration required! To attend the Family Sessions, Lakeside Picnic, and Dessert Reception with President Jay and Barb Barnes, you do not need to complete any registration or pay any fee. Parents and families are welcome to eat lunch on campus Thursday and Friday as well as breakfast Friday. However, please note that parents and families will need to pay for these meals. Students’ meal plans begin on Wednesday, August 22.

How long should I stay? When should I drive/fly in and out?

For "Main Arrivals", out-of-state families are encouraged to drive/fly in prior to Thursday morning to allow time for traffic, unpacking, and getting settled in prior to the Lakeside Picnic and Kickoff Celebration at 4:45 p.m. The Parent and Family portion of Welcome Week will conclude after the Commissioning Service and Lunch Friday afternoon.

What if my student is an “Early Arrival"?

Many students arrive to campus early due to fall athletics, student employment, BUILD, Peer Empowerment, Mu Kappa, Transfer Programs, and Forensics. Take a look at the programming and move-in schedules for these individual groups. The largest number of early student arrivals is on Wednesday, August 22. We hope these early-arriving parents and families will stay around Wednesday afternoon for a special Family Session while their students are at their respective meetings.

Families of early arriving students have a couple options:

  • Student and family drive/fly out for their student move in and then drive/fly home deciding not to attend the larger parent and family welcome August 23-24.
  • Have the student (with or without family) drive/fly out to Bethel with their belongings for their early arrival. Their family then meets them (back) on campus Thursday, August 23 when Welcome Week begins.

My student has younger siblings. Can they tag along?

This is a decision for individual families to make. Welcome Week programming is intentionally geared towards helping incoming students acclimate to their new life at Bethel. We realize families are part of the experience, and we’ll do our best to make younger siblings enjoy the process, but the sessions are definitely aimed at students and/or their parents.

Why should I come? What will I miss?

Welcome Week is a GREAT opportunity to meet other parents just like yourself and to become more acquainted with the university. We've found that parents who attend Welcome Week feel more confident separating from their student, more informed about campus resources, and more connected to the greater Bethel parent community.

If I were able to come to one event, what should it be?

This is tough one – we’d say it’s a tie between the Kickoff Celebration/Dessert with the President on Thursday, August 23 or the Commissioning Service on Friday, August 24. Both of these events are special and you won’t want to miss either one!

Where should we stay when we come to town?

Bethel is surrounded by a number of great hotel options. We’ve worked with a variety of hotels to secure good rates for our campus guests. Simply ask for the “Bethel Rate” when you call for reservations. Each hotel will be your best source for information about your stay, shuttle service, and other amenities.

What if I need to miss the information sessions?

Don't fear! Our Family Guidebook is a great resource and will guide you to offices/services at Bethel. People in each department can help answer questions. If you don’t get a Family Guidebook when you are on campus, you can download the online version, or you can call our office and we will send you one.

Contact us!

As always, our team in Alumni and Family Relations is here for you! Feel free to call (651.638.6462) or email ( when you have questions and don’t know where to turn.