Bethel College Holds 60th Annual Commencement Ceremonies

Approximately 504 students will graduate at Bethel's two commencement ceremonies which will take place Saturday, April 28, and Sunday, April 29, 2007, at 2:30 p.m. in Wiekamp Athletic Center.

The ceremony on Saturday, April 28 is for all of the adult program majors, the organizational management graduates and the associate and bachelor degree graduates in nursing and nursing completion. The speaker is Dr. Bob Laurent, vice president for college relations and professor of religion and Bible at Bethel College. Laurent has been speaking full time all over the world since 1968. His delivery is both humorous and hard-hitting, encouraging and provocative, geared to reach youth and adult audiences. As president of Good News Circle, Inc. for over ten years, he spoke in hundreds of high school assemblies, colleges, prisons, street meetings and churches. He has been the keynote speaker at over 100 national conferences and more than 500 regional conferences since 1972. He has appeared several times on Dr. James Dobson's Focus on the Family and Pat Robertson's Heart to Heart. Laurent has served as chapel speaker for a number of major league baseball teams including the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins.  

All of the graduates with traditional degrees, including the associate and bachelor of arts degrees, as well as the graduates of Bethel's master's degree programs are being honored at the commencement ceremony on Sunday, April 29. The speaker is Dr. Paul R. Corts, president of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU), an international association that advances Christ-centered higher education. Prior to joining the CCCU in 2006, Dr. Corts served as assistant attorney general for administration with the U.S. Department of Justice.

A distinguished leader in Christian higher education, Dr. Corts has served in both administrative and academic capacities. Prior to his work at the Department of Justice, Dr. Corts served as president of CCCU-member institution Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida for nearly 12 years. He also served as president of Wingate University in North Carolina, and held administrative and teaching positions at Oklahoma Baptist University and Western Kentucky University.
As a higher education administrator, Dr. Corts focused on strategic planning for campus growth and program development, in addition to resource development and management. His presidencies have reflected strong growth in revenues, assets, reserves, endowments, technology and physical facilities. As an academic, he specialized in rhetoric and communications and co-authored two textbooks in the field.

Dr. Corts held positions in many professional organizations in higher education, including a term as president of the American Association of Presidents of Independent Colleges and Universities; an advisory policy board member for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities; chair of the board of directors of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida; and a member of the board of directors of CCCU. He has also been devoted to economic development, serving on such statewide boards as Florida's Council of 100, and local boards, including the Palm Beach County Business Development Board and the Economic Council.

Bethel College is an accredited Christian college of the arts and sciences offering associates, bachelor's and master's degrees in more than 50 areas of study. The current enrollment of more than 2,081 includes students from 34 states and Puerto Rico, 12 countries, more than 25 denominations and 16 percent from culturally diverse backgrounds. Scholarships are available based upon a variety of factors including academic achievement, talent in the arts or athletics, ethnicity and church affiliation. Bethel offers classes at four locations: the Mishawaka campus, the Elkhart Campus and two satellite locations (in Nappanee and in Dowagiac, Mich.). The main Bethel campus is situated on 75 wooded acres in Mishawaka, Ind.

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