The year 2017 with a graduation cap on top

2017 spring commencement ceremony

The Bethany Lutheran College Class of 2017 will receive their diplomas at the spring commencement ceremony on Friday, May 12, 2017, at 10:30 a.m., in the Younge Gymnasium of the College’s Sports and Fitness Center. A reception will follow on the Campus Green.

The commencement speaker is Bethany Lutheran College President Emeritus Dan R. Bruss, PhD. Dr. Bruss served as the ninth president of Bethany Lutheran College from 2003 to 2015. This was a time of rapid expansion of the baccalaureate programming, both in terms of number of majors and supporting programs such as study abroad and the transition of athletics into NCAA Division III. Edgewood Place apartments and Honsey Hall were also constructed during this time.

Dr. Bruss was an assistant professor of chemistry at Albany College of Pharmacy in Albany, New York, from 1985-1990, where he earned the “Distinguished Teacher of the Year” award in 1989. He then spent twelve years (1990-2002) teaching chemistry at Central College in Pella, Iowa. In addition to attaining the title of full professor, he held a variety of leadership roles and received awards for institutional service and support of international education.

Dr. Bruss successfully combined his teaching career with research and collaborated with academic, government, and private sector laboratories. He has been published in a variety of peer-reviewed academic journals.

A supporter of community and state initiatives, Dr. Bruss has served on a number of not-for-profit boards. He is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the Blue Earth County Historical Society.

Also at the ceremony, Judith Kuster of New Ulm, Minnesota, will receive the 2017 Bethany Lutheran College Distinguished Alumna Award. Kuster is a graduate of Bethany High School in 1962, and attended Bethany Lutheran College before transferring to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, earning a bachelor and master of science in speech pathology. She worked as a speech clinician in various schools throughout the Midwest before she began her career as an instructor, and retired as a professor, in communication disorders at Minnesota State University, Mankato, where she also received her master’s of science in adult counseling.

Kuster is nationally recognized for her work with communication disorders, having written for and been referenced in numerous professional publications on a local, regional, state, national, and international level. She has been a keynote speaker at national and international conferences, and led several workshops and research projects over the years helping others in the communication disorders field.

Joining Bruss and Kuster on the commencement stage will be Dr. Gene Pfeifer, President of Bethany Lutheran College, Rev. Donald Moldstad, College Chaplain, Rev. Herbert Huhnerkoch, Chairman of the Bethany Lutheran College Board of Regents, and Dr. Eric Woller, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Bethany Lutheran College.

Access the 2017 Commencement page here.