Women’s Volleyball Brings Home Pilots’ 42nd National Championship
Overcoming all the obstacles COVID-19 presented this year, Bethel’s Women’s Volleyball team was able to win the NCCAA National Championship in November 2020, bringing the Pilots’ total to 42 National Championships. But the season is not over, as the team is headed to the NAIA Division I Tournament in late April. The only other time the team made it to the Division I tournament was in 1998 when Head Coach Katie Weiss was a Bethel player.

COVID-19 Updates
Throughout most of spring semester, Bethel has maintained code blue status, meaning low-risk but increased readiness to do what is necessary for the safety of everyone on campus. The hope for Fall 2021 is that the semester will resume as a normal, pre-COVID-19 semester and we will be able to move forward as a university.

Esports Arena Ribbon Cutting (1)
Feb. 4, 2021, members of Bethel University’s esports team, along with President Gregg A. Chenoweth, Ph.D., celebrated the ribbon cutting of the $1 million Bendix Esports Arena, located in the Century Center in South Bend. The new 6,000-square-foot arena features a 36 PC gaming center, Nintendo and Xbox gaming stations and a 600-seat theater capable of hosting regional and national esports events. This space, just about 10 minutes from campus, is home to BU’s co-ed esports team. Chenoweth spoke at the event, sharing Bethel’s heart behind esports.

“Bethel is in, for the math and mission,” he said. “Esports isn’t a fad, with 300 million gamers globally, seven in 10 of whom are in high school. Nor is it mindless, when half of college gamers are STEM majors, with an average GPA near 3.5. So, we’re in, but differently – on platforms without gratuitous violence or sexual innuendo and conducting team Bible studies that redeem an industry stereotyped for sloth and crassness.”

Bethel University Observes Collegiate Day of Prayer
On Feb. 25, Bethel University observed the National Collegiate Day of Prayer, a day set aside for prayer, revival and awakening on college campuses across America. Interactive prayer stations were set up in the Taylor Memorial Log Chapel, and three student-led prayer gatherings were held in Shiloh Prayer Chapel.

Bethel University Receives $255,000 Lift Grant
Bethel University presented a revised Phase II proposal to the LIFT Digital Skills Accelerator Fund, which was accepted in April. The $255,000 total project budget includes a $230,000 for Phase II and $25,000 of remaining Phase I planning grant funds. Bethel’s project addresses two areas: Future Talent Pipeline Development and Adult and Incumbent Digital Skills Retraining. The goals of this initiative will be, first, to better prepare current Bethel students as technical managers for manufacturing and engineering jobs in the South Bend-Elkhart (SBE) region, with an increased focus on lean manufacturing principles, and second, to grow the cloud computing skillset of the SBE region’s current and future workforce. Bethel will target two distinct populations: Bethel University Students (traditional undergraduate students) and the current workforce (individuals currently employed in or seeking employment in the regional manufacturing and engineering sectors) with additional opportunities for high school students.

Bethel to Launch Men’s Volleyball
Bethel Athletic Director Tony Natali announced the addition of Varsity Men’s Volleyball to Pilot athletic programs at Bethel University. Team recruitment will begin in Fall 2021 for intercollegiate competition in Fall 2022. Bethel will compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), which offers Men’s Volleyball as an official Championship Sport in the spring season, as well as the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) as an Invitational Sport in the winter season.

The addition of Men’s Volleyball will bring Bethel’s varsity programs to a total of 25 and a total of 31 intercollegiate teams. The Pilots added Esports in Fall 2019, and Men’s and Women’s Bowling, as well as Men’s and Women’s Swimming, in Fall 2018.

Lehman Family Training Center Opens for Student Use (2)
The Lehman Family Training Center is now open for student use on Bethel University’s campus. The $4 million facility, built as part of Bethel’s GROW campaign, expands the south side of campus and sits on five acres of previously undeveloped land. The center will be home to Bethel’s national champion Track and Field teams, with recreational opportunities for all students. In February, open houses were held for students, faculty, staff and alumni to tour the new space, with a dedication April 23.

Event Showcases Deafmade Alarm Clocks (3)
The Bethel University American Sign Language and Interpreting Department (ASLID) presented a showing of Deafmade replica alarm clock systems from the early 20th Century. The systems were displayed March 22-26 in the ASLID lobby, in the Miller-Moore Academic Center on campus.

This event provided viewers the opportunity to learn about the Deaf community and how they navigate a hearing-centered world with the aid of their own inventions. An example included a set-up of toy bowling pins positioned on a shelf over a bed, designed to be triggered when the alarm goes off, knocking the pins onto the sleeper.