Bethel welcomes the class of 2026

Sophomore Erik Kargel applauds cars driving down Freshman Hill. Staff members from Welcome Week, Bethel Student Government, and Shift Bible Study helped move incoming students to their dorms. | Sarah Bakman

Welcome Week 2022 move-in process attracted 441 new freshmen

Shoot. Shoot. Shoot.

Cheers from Welcome Week staff, with the help of Bethel Student Government staff and shift leaders, echoed down Freshman Hill as they pulled cars, on an invisible rope, from the classroom incoming freshman ready to be moved into their residence hall.

Smiles graced the faces of the move-in crew as they carried everything from the freshman cars: mini-fridges, loveseats, suitcases, mirrors and more. While Welcome Week and the other movers were filled with enthusiasm and excitement for newcomers, how are freshmen feeling? Or their parents?

Clarion staff took to the Hill Thursday morning to interview new freshmen and their families — check it out to get to know the class of 2026.

Josh Bergman 
Freshman Josh Bergman hugs his sister Kylie after moving into Getsch Hall. Bergman has been on campus throughout the four years Kylie attended Bethel University and feels confident in her choice to go to Bethel. “I know it’s going to pass quickly,” Bergman said. | Ella Roberts

Josh Bergman is a freshman engineering student who lives in Getch Hall. Her sister Kylie is graduating from Bethel University in the spring of 2022 and came to Welcome Week to move her in. Looking forward to the year ahead and her time in Bethel, Bergman told her sister, “I remember moving you in, so I know it’s going to pass quickly.

Question: How has the welcome week been so far?

Answer: I’m excited. Its been good. It’s just been a lot of unboxing.

Q: Have you felt the need to get out of your car and start dancing with [Welcome Week Staff]?

A: No no. I usually dance alone. I am not a public dancer.

Q: What are you expecting this year?

A: To meet new people. Do more things.

Q: Is there anything that makes you nervous this year?

A: To meet new people. Do more things.

Q: What did you learn from your sister who has already graduated?

A: I already know the place. [Kylie] talked about it a lot, so.

Rosie Penke and Aubrey Baker
Roommates Rosie Penke and Aubrey Baker pose for a photo in their Edgren room just after having all their belongings brought up by the Welcome Week staff. Both plan to major in biokinetics and are very excited to be on campus. “[I’m excited for] the new friendships we will create,” Penke said. | Ella Roberts

Edgren residents Rosie Penke and Aubrey Baker are both biokinetic specialists. The two freshmen met in March while visiting Bethel for an one-night event.

“We were in the same touring group,” Penke said. “We were like, ‘Hey, let’s be roommates.'”

Q: Where do you come from?

A | Penke: Well, I live in Ely, MN, but just moved here this summer from Washington.

A | Baker: I’m from Sioux Falls, SD.

Q: How was your move-in day?

A | Baker: It was great.

A | Penke: They move our stuff so fast. They put it up here before I even did it.

Q: What are you looking forward to this year?

A | Penke: Just everyone we get to meet. The new friendships we will make.

A | Baker: Yeah, I’m excited for that.

Renee and Kevin Poppe
Parents Renee and Kevin Poppe reminisce about being students at Bethel while moving their twins, Addie and Will, to Getsch and Nelson Hall. | Sarah Bakman

Renee and Kevin Poppe are the parents of twins Will, who moved to Getsch, and Addie, who moved to Nelson.

Q: What do you think of the reception?

A | Kevin: “I’m excited and grateful, blessed.”

A | Renee: “I am sad and happy. … They are our first and last and only.

Gracia Lumppio
Freshman Gracia Lumppio, with her mom by her side, moves into Bodien Hall during Welcome Week and shares what she’s looking forward to this year and why she chose Bethel. | Aaron Heckman

Gracia Lumppio, from Minneapolis, will major in English with a concentration in professional and creative writing and vocal performance. She moved into Bodien on Thursday.

writing and vocal performance

Q: Where do you come from?

A: Minneapolis

Q: Where do you live?

A: Bodian

Q: What are you most looking forward to this year?

A: “I really want to build strong relationships like all the time and also grow in my faith.”

Q: What brought you to Bethel?

A: “Well, I actually got a scholarship called the Act Six scholarship, and that was a major factor in my decision. It kinda felt like it was always going to be one of my best [colleges]. But when I got to that and the later schools, I just felt like that was where I was called.

Greg and Delaine Elseth
Greg and Delaine Elseth share their Welcome Week experience and advice for their son, Aaron, a freshman who moved to Edgren Hall. | Aaron Heckman

Greg and Delaine are the parents of Aaron Elseth, a biokinetics student who moved into Edgren on Thursday.

Aaron Elseth Parents

Q: What is your son’s major?

A: Biokinetics

Q: What room does Aaron live in?

A: Edgren

Q: What did you think of the welcome week and all that is happening today?

A | Greg: “It’s very welcoming, exciting.”

A | Delain: “It makes me want to be 18.”

Q: What advice do you have for Aaron as he begins college at Bethel?

A | Delain: “Take advantage of every opportunity to get involved in all that Bethel has to offer. I would say sleep a lot, but I know that’s not going to happen. And don’t date girls until at least October, preferably next year.

Cars race the Welcome Week gauntlet Thursday at Bethel University. | Ella Roberts

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