Bethel University is preparing to inaugurate Dr. Barbara Bellefeuille as its new president Saturday in the Everest-Rohrer Chapel/Fine Arts Center on the Mishawaka campus. Earlier this year, the university’s board of trustees unanimously approved Bellefeuille as its eighth president. She will also be the first female to serve as the university’s president.
Bellefeuille served as interim president of the university for nine months before officially being named to the post in March. She first began work at the university in 2012, serving as vice president for academic services.
“We are thrilled to celebrate the inauguration of our eighth president, and first female president, Dr. Barb Bellefeuille,” said Dr. Brent Lavigne, vice president for institutional advancement and chair of the inauguration committee. “The Bethel University Board of Trustees and Inauguration Committee has been excited not only about who our president is and the skills she brings, but the opportunity to highlight the 75-year impact of Bethel University through its alumni, staff and faculty.”
While serving as interim president, the university says she helped secure a $1 million gift from the Mely and Rick Rey Foundation and oversaw Bethel’s most successful Giving Tuesday to date.
As a former vice president at Bethel, Bellefeuille oversaw all academic-related functions, including hiring and developing faculty and implementing academic programs. During her tenure, Bethel says she also guided the development of new academic majors for both on-campus and online programs, including computer science, cybersecurity, marketing, and worship arts.
Bethel says Bellefeuille’s background includes more than 30 years of higher education experience. She previously spent 21 years at Toccoa Falls College in Georgia, serving in roles such as vice president of academics and professor of teacher education and department chair.