Timeline of Initiative

Early 2000s – Bethel’s Board of Trustees considers changing from college to university.

January 2018 – Board meets for a strategic planning session; the topic is again brought up for discussion, with members wondering if the time was now right to make the change. Research is commissioned, with a report requested for the April 2018 board meeting.

February-March 2018 – Members of Bethel’s Institutional Advancement team conduct research. This includes focus groups with alumni, current students, prospective students, donors, faculty, staff and community members; a brand audit to determine the campus impact of making a change; discussions with four institutions that have made a name change.

April 2018 – A report on the research is presented to the Board of Trustees and informs their discussion. The Board unanimously votes to change from college to university and requests additional research into naming options.

May 2018 – Campus forums are held with faculty and staff to discuss naming options.

June 2018 – A survey about name options sent to about 20,000 Bethel alumni and friends.

July 2018 – Results of naming research presented to the Board; unanimous decision to change to Bethel University, the name that received the majority of support from those surveyed.

September 2018 – Public announcement of naming transition.

Fall 2018 – New logo and seal unveiled.

Spring 2019 – Signage updates begin across campus.

April 29, 2019 –  Kick off “Bethel University” week, with celebrations and events leading up to the official change.

May 4, 2019 – Final commencement ceremony as Bethel College; new name celebrated during commencement ceremonies.

May 6, 2019 – Begin operating as Bethel University; web and email addresses updated.

September 2019 – All institutional signage, marketing and communication pieces updated.

May 2020 – All university departments and offices transitioned.

2022 – Bethel University celebrates its 75th anniversary.

Detailed Information