It was hard to pick Bethel’s top 10 celebratory or “good news” events. That’s why I’m not going to  try to put them in order from least to greatest. So here they are in no particular order:

Future alumni golf in the library during Winter Escape 2010

1. Alumni services held the first Winter Escape – fun inside and outside. I especially loved the fact that participants were able to putt-putt inside the library. (By the way – Winter Escape in 2011 is going to be a ball! Literally! Check it out.)

2.  Bethel was recognized in the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. We also earned the 16th spot among the Midwest’s Best Baccalaureate Colleges in the 2011 edition of “America’s Best Colleges” by U.S. News Media Group. That’s up four spots from last year’s rank and the highest ranking Bethel has ever received from the media group.

3. Faculty worked together to restructure academic departments this past spring. Approval came for   three deans and divisions under academic services: division of professional and graduate studies headed by Bradley Smith, Ph.D.; division of arts and humanities headed by Tom Visker Ph.D.; and division of sciences headed by Rob Myers, Ph.D. Additionally, there is one school: school of nursing with Carol Dorough, Ed.D. as dean.

4. Bethel College created an alternative delivery methods (ADM) program (or distance education) as a major strategic initiative to better serve students. This program seeks to enhance effective learning environments with the use of new technologies while providing support for faculty, students and staff. Check out the classes here.

5. Enrollment this fall officially came in at 2,152. That’s slightly down from last year’s record enrollment of 2,163. (You can’t break records every year, right.)

Bethel's first dean of nursing, Dr. Joyce Newman Giger, and Bethel's former Interim Dean of Nursing Dr. Karon Schwartz

6.  The nursing program celebrated its 25th nursing graduating class in the Everest-Rohrer Chapel/Fine Arts Auditorium. The program also celebrated the largest pinning class in history with 113 students receiving their nursing degree. The first dean, Dr. Joyce Newman Giger, from UCLA was the speaker.

7.  577 students participated in Bethel’s two commencement ceremonies, the largest ever, in the Wiekamp Athletic Center. The Rev. Dwight Robertson, founder and builder of Kingdom Building Ministries, spoke at the traditional ceremony. Mishawaka Mayor Jeff Rea spoke at the nontraditional ceremony.

8. Dean of Students and Residential Life Kathy Gribbin, Ph.D., became the first female vice president at Bethel. She took on the responsibilities as the vice president for the life calling and student enrichment center, a new program that coordinates various services for students: academic support and tutorial assistance, career services, service learning, student retention, leadership development, wellness programming and the freshman year experience. If you haven’t seen Kathy’s cookie video – watch it here.

9.  The Marketing and Communications department (That’s us. Meet us here.) launched the Bethel Magazine Online on Oct. 1, 2010. (Hope you’ve enjoyed it so far. Remember to check back, socially share, comment, etc. I can’t help but shamelessly promote this site!)

10.  We can’t forget the arts! There have been many great plays, musical performances and art shows – “Charlotte’s Web,” “Zeitgeist” Artist Spotlights and many more! (Tickets for “Cinderella” go on sale on Jan. 3!)

Bonus – And we can’t forget athletics! There are just too many victories to mention. Click here to read their news.

So celebrate with us Bethel’s accomplishments and events of 2010. We look forward to great blessings on campus in 2011.

Happy New Year!