Bethel University holding drive-through commencement for graduating seniors

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – Bethel University in Mishawaka hosted a drive-through celebration honoring the graduating class of 2020. During the ceremony, the new graduates received their diplomas along with several alumni gifts.

The Alumni Association at Bethel University organized the event, and it allows graduating seniors to drive through the campus and be congratulated by faculty and staff.

An in-person commencement is also scheduled for August 16, but the staff and alumni at Bethel University wanted to distribute diplomas and provide “celebration boxes” to graduating seniors as soon as possible.

Emily Sherwood, the Director of Alumni at Bethel University, said that the drive-through celebration is all about recognizing seniors for their academic achievements.

“I absolutely hope that they feel loved today and part of our family and we hope that they feel welcome into the alumni association and know that their time is not done but that it’s just starting as an alum,” Sherwood said.

Shawn Holtgren, the Vice President of Student Development, floated the idea that drive-through celebrations could become a new tradition.

“You know we see Bethel University as a family,” Holtrgen said. “We always talk about that how we’re a community and this is one way to show them that we love them and that we care about them and families celebrate, right? And they have rituals to celebrate and so this is perhaps a new ritual for us.”

Celebration boxes will be mailed to those who were not able to make it to Friday’s drive-through ceremony.

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