Arthur retiring to a life of exciting mystery

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Carolyn Arthur sitting in front of some of her well-loved books in her office (Photo by Michelle Stoller).
Carolyn Arthur sitting in front of some of her well-loved books in her office (Photo by Michelle Stoller).
For the last 25 years soon-to-be-retired, Carolyn Arthur, director of retention and freshman year experience (FYE), has been collecting murder mysteries that take place on college campuses. “I carry around a list of the books I have so I won’t accidently buy the same one,” she said. She has 100 authors and over 300 books. Arthur was born in Oregon. She said the books she likes most are set in colleges she knows in that state. She also enjoys a series by Ralph McInerny that is set on the campus of Notre Dame. Arthur said when she was a graduate assistant at Michigan State University, which is where she received her doctorate in student development; she worked for a woman who was the leader of a particular group of women. This group met four times a year, and one time one of the women mentioned a book called, “Death in a Tenured Position.” Arthur read it, thought it was fun, and has been collecting ever since. But collecting books isn’t the only thing Arthur does. Since she came to Bethel 14 years ago, she has taken on a number of roles. She has taught in the master’s of counseling program, taught introduction to psychology courses, ran the Academic Support Center, trained advisors, and is now currently the Director of Freshman Year Experience, which she says has been one of the greatest experiences she has had. Arthur has also enjoyed the relationships she has built through the spiritual mentoring program. “It’s immensely gratifying to pour your life into someone else’s life,” she said. Although Arthur has enjoyed her time at Bethel, she is looking forward to her impending retirement at the end of the year, although she said she will miss the faculty, her colleagues, friends and belonging to the community. “Walking onto campus and feeling like I belong, I’ll miss that,” she said. Arthur will miss the campus and the people, but she won’t be gone permanently. She said she will still teach one or two adult classes, but won’t work as much as she is now. “I have the ultimate case of senioritis,” she said. “I am looking forward to not getting up in the morning. I can just play and work in the yard.” In the winter Arthur plans to live in a mobile home in California. “I’m only 62, but that mobile home has definitely helped move along my retirement more quickly,” she said. Arthur is going to miss the community here on Bethel’s campus and now that her time here is done she asks herself one question. “Now that I have no full time work, now how am I going to serve the kingdom?”
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