Bethel University’s 75th Commencement Set for May 7

Lissa Diaz

President of Council for Christian Colleges & Universities to Speak

This year, nearly 320 students will graduate from Bethel University. The 2022 commencement ceremony will be held Saturday, May 7, in the Wiekamp Athletic Center on Bethel’s campus. This single ceremony at 2 p.m., includes traditional undergraduate, adult and graduate programs. Shirley Hoogstra, president of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, will be the speaker. The event will also be livestreamed on our homepage, and masks will be optional for attendees and participants.

“We are looking forward to a grand celebration where we bring all graduates together to commemorate their accomplishment,” says Bradley Smith, Ph.D., vice president for academic services.

Graduation day activities also include a nurse pinning ceremony at 9:30 a.m., in the Everest-Rohrer Auditorium and a traditional procession through Bethel’s campus at the start of the commencement ceremony.

On Fri., May 6 at 5 p.m., Bethel University will hold a Baccalaureate Service for graduates and their families, followed by Reunion Zero, a dinner and celebration around the ponds on Bethel’s campus.

For more information about the weekend’s graduation activities, visit our commencement page

About the speaker

Shirley V. Hoogstra became the seventh president of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities in September 2014. In this role, Hoogstra combines her zeal for the rule of law and her passion for Christian higher education as she promotes the value and purpose of high quality, Christ-centered liberal arts education that shapes students who love the Lord with all their heart, soul and mind. This Christian higher-education platform, because it is a combination of faith and intellect, allows Hoogstra to be a representative for Jesus Christ in numerous and varied situations. She strives to be a bridgebuilder and is a published author on the topic. When all is said and done, the goal is to point people in the direction of the Savior who loves them. 

Prior to the CCCU, Hoogstra served for 15 years as vice president for student life at her alma mater, Calvin University. She also spent more than a decade practicing law as a partner at a firm specializing in litigation in New Haven, Connecticut. She earned a Juris Doctor, with honors, from the University of Connecticut School of Law.

Lastly, Hoogstra serves and learns by being on the steering committee for the Washington Higher Ed Secretariat and by serving on the boards of the American Council on Education, National Immigration Forum, the National Association of Evangelicals, and Trinity Forum. She received honorary doctorate degrees from Gordon College and Nyack College and was the recipient of the Nina Griggs Gunter Servant Leadership Award, Maggie Sloan Crawford award for Christian ideals and service, the Lifetime Education Impact Award (National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference), and the Keepers of the American Dream Award (National Immigration Forum). 

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