News

Lissa Diaz

This year, 377 students were set to graduate from Bethel University on May 2, 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 crisis, the May 2 commencement ceremony has been postponed. The rescheduled ceremony is set to take place on Aug. 16 at 2 p.m., in the Wiekamp Athletic Center on Bethel’s campus. This will be the first class to graduate from Bethel University since the university’s name change in May 2019. The combined ceremony will include traditional undergraduate, adult and graduate programs. A Nurse Pinning Ceremony will follow at 5:30 p.m.

“Although some institutions are doing an online ceremony, Bethel has determined we cannot live without seeing our students again,” says Barb Bellefeuille, Ed.D., Vice President for Academic Services. “Therefore, after many, many adjustments, we have determined a new date and hope most students can come celebrate with us!”

Realizing not every graduate may be able to return to campus for the ceremony, Bethel University’s Alumni Association is preparing celebration boxes for those who have met all requirements and would have graduated May 2. These will include a diploma, T-shirt, celebratory swag and tickets to the Aug. 16, commencement ceremony for family and friends. Local graduates are invited to come back to campus to get their boxes in person via curbside pick-up on May 22.

Learn more on our Commencement page.

The speaker for the Aug. 16, commencement ceremony will be alumna Heather Gilbert ’02, J.D., CI/CT, SC:L. Gilbert is the President and Managing Attorney of Gilbert Law PLCC. She is a Plaintiff’s attorney representing individuals of protected classes, primarily deaf and hard of hearing individuals, with discrimination claims against employers, public accommodations, government entities, and/or other entities. Through her work and the courage of her brave clients, Gilbert’s cases have established landmark advances at the federal level for persons with disabilities. Gilbert also has a thriving and growing estate planning practice for preparing trusts, wills, powers of attorneys and health care directives.

Prior to practicing law, Gilbert worked as a certified sign language interpreter in various capacities but primarily in the legal field and for state and federal courts. In addition to practicing law, Gilbert is an adjunct professor at Mitchell Hamline teaching in the Expert Witness Academy, Advanced Advocacy, Transactions and Settlements, Deals and Dispute Resolution, and Lawyer as Business Owner.  She is a frequent presenter for attorney continuing education on topics including employment law, Americans With Disabilities Act, representing deaf clients, and law practice management. Gilbert achieved the Super Lawyers Rising Star each year from 2014 to present and serves on the Ramsey County Bar Association Board of Directors. Gilbert recently pioneered MasterMind Lawyers, a coaching and accountability collaboration advancing solo and small firm practice. While there is not always a lot of free time for Gilbert, you may spot her every once in a while in a musical theater production. Gilbert resides in St. Paul, Minn., with her husband Daniel Gilbert and their three school-aged children.

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