Bethel University’s 77th commencement set for May 4 – Blessing ‘Yemi’ Mobolade to speak

by | Apr 23, 2024

This year, 323 students will graduate from Bethel University. The 2024 commencement ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 4, in the Wiekamp Athletic Center on Bethel’s campus. This single ceremony at 2 p.m., includes traditional undergraduate, adult and graduate programs. Alumnus Blessing ‘Yemi’ Mobolade, mayor of Colorado Springs, Colo., will be the speaker. The event will also be livestreamed on Bethel’s website.

“We are greatly looking forward to celebrating all of our class of 2024 graduates,” says Barbara K. Bellefeuille, Ed.D., president. “This class includes 27 students from our extension studies program, BU-X. They are the first four-year class to graduate through this program and represent 11 extension sites in eight states around the country.”

Graduation day activities also include a nurse pinning ceremony at 9 a.m., in the Everest-Rohrer Auditorium and a traditional procession through Bethel’s campus at the start of the commencement ceremony, as well as a 50-year reunion for the class of 1974.

On Fri., May 3 at 5 p.m., Bethel University will hold a Senior Celebration for graduates and their families that begins with a Baccalaureate Chapel, followed by a celebratory dinner in the Dining Commons.

For more information about the weekend’s graduation activities, visit

About the speaker

Blessing ‘Yemi’ Mobolade is a 2001 graduate of Bethel University. He is the first Black man and immigrant to be elected mayor of Colorado Springs and one of the youngest. He was sworn in as the 42nd Mayor of Colorado Springs on June 6, 2023. He was named Bethel University’s Alumnus of the Year for 2016.

Mobolade was born in Nigeria to two bi-vocational pastors. His father was in finance and his mother was a secondary education teacher. At age 17, he immigrated to the United States, following in the footsteps of his brother to pursue the American Dream through education. He has bachelor’s degrees in business administration and computer information systems from Bethel University and master’s degrees in management and leadership from Indiana Wesleyan University (Marion, Ind.) and theology-intellectual leadership from the A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary, part of Simpson University (Redding, Calif.).

Mobolade moved from Indiana to Colorado Springs in 2010, where he started a church as part of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. After identifying a need in downtown Colorado Springs for cultural gathering places, he became one of the first entrepreneurs to invest in downtown after the Great Recession when he co-founded The Wild Goose Meeting House in 2013.

Seeing a greater need for collaboration within the faith community, Mobolade began working as director of outreach and engagement at First Presbyterian Church, where he would go on to co-found COSILoveYou, a nonprofit that unites more than 100 area churches under the common mission of serving the Colorado Springs community.

In 2017, Mobolade co-founded Good Neighbors Meeting House in the Patty Jewett neighborhood to provide an additional gathering place in the downtown area. He also began to leverage his success as an entrepreneur and business owner and began working as the vice president of business retention and expansion at the Colorado Springs Chamber & Economic Development Corporation. There he was instrumental in caring for local employers and attracting new companies during a period of record job growth for Colorado Springs.

In 2019, Mobolade served the City of Colorado Springs as a small business development administrator. In this role, he established tools to assist entrepreneurs with starting a business, and Permit Partner, and led many collaborative efforts across the community’s public and private sectors. Mobolade stepped down from this position in March 2022 to officially launch his mayoral campaign.

He lives in Colorado Springs with his wife, Abbey, a nurse and nursing educator, and their three young children.