Since its founding in 1871, Bethel has sent over 50,000 alumni around the world, so it seems fitting that Homecoming weekend marks the start of Bethel’s 150th anniversary celebration. Special events included a digital historical exhibit in the Bethel University Library and the Homecoming Hymn Sing, featuring a selection of hymns from all decades in honor of Bethel’s 150-year legacy.
2. New royal stadium
An estimated 4,782 fans gathered at the Royal Stadium to watch Bethel defeat Gustavus Adolphus College 34-9 in Saturday’s soccer match. While a Homecoming victory is nothing new, it was the first Homecoming football game to take place in the newly renovated, artificial turf stadium made possible by the Called to More campaign. Over the next year or so, the Royal Stadium will see further updates, including a nine-lane outdoor track and improvements to the pitching area.
3. Invite former students to return to campus
While not entirely new, it looked like a refreshing new chapter for many alumni who returned to campus for the reunion festivities after a smaller, mostly virtual reunion week in 2020. The weekend has presented a variety of meetings, including a one-year reunion for alumni who have completed their senior years in a virtual learning environment. Over 300 alumni attended class-specific meetings and another 50 attended soccer and baseball reunions.
4. Alumni market
Brand new this year was the Alumni Marketplace, which gave Homecoming attendees the opportunity to shop at alumni-owned businesses while simultaneously supporting Bethel. The event brought together 10 former vendors, each offering unique products or services, including organic protein bars, lawn care and landscaping, balloon decorations, candles, soaps, pottery and Moreover. Part of the profits made during Homecoming was donated to the Bethel Fund. Are you missing the sale? Buy online, now until the end of the year!
5. Children’s zoo
Tommy’s Petting Zoo is a Bethel University favorite during finals week and year round. Those who attended the Alumni Market were also nearby for this new event, and royals of all ages enjoyed the more than 20 animals, including llamas, chickens, donkeys and more.
The reunion weekend ended on Sunday afternoon, and we are already looking forward to next year. Save the date from October 7 to 9, 2022! We hope to see you there.