Campus Dedications
On Oct. 24, administrators and the board of trustees dedicated two existing locations on campus. The Ham Wing of Music Education and Performance was named in honor of Robert (Bob) and Marilynn Ham. Bob is an associate professor of music and chair of the music department and Marilynn is an associate professor of music and artist-in-residence. Both have served at Bethel since 1989.

“The Lodge” residence hall was formally named Bridges Hall and dedicated in honor of former president Norman V. Bridges, Ph.D., ’60 and his wife, Janice (Stephey) ’61. During Bridges’ 15-year presidency, Bethel tripled in enrollment, more than 40 academic programs were developed and many landmark building projects were added to campus.

On Nov. 9, several renovated campus spaces were dedicated. The Katherine J. Gribbin Learning Commons, formerly the main computer lab, was dedicated in honor of the late Kathy Gribbin, Ph.D., ’76. The learning commons fulfills Gribbin’s vision for a vibrant space where students can study, collaborate and receive tutoring assistance.

Several offices in the Huffman Administration Building were renovated to create the Weldy Presidential Suite, named in honor of Walter L. Weldy, interim president of Bethel from 1988-’89. The suite includes the president’s office, a conference room, administrative office space and a storage room. The hallways on the main floor were also given a facelift and new historical displays were installed.

Other dedications included the class of 2013 gift and the student media center. The class gift is a patio at the base of the dining commons, providing space for students to study and socialize. The student media center, formerly the Benton Street House, now accommodates all student media groups including The Bethel Beacon, the Helm, and Bethel Prime Time.

Department of Business Hosts Conference on Poverty
In October, the department of business hosted “Repair.Rebuild.Restore,” a conference addressing the root causes of poverty. Speakers included New York Times best-selling author Jay Richards, Ph.D., a distinguished scholar at the Institute for Faith, Work and Economics; Anne Bradley, Ph.D., vice president of economic initiatives at the Institute for Faith, Work and Economics; and Amy Sherman, Ph.D., senior fellow at the Sagamore Institute for Policy Research. A service and action fair was held in conjunction with the conference and featured opportunities for students to get involved with local nonprofit organizations who combat poverty in our community.

Local Philanthropists Dot & Dar Wiekamp Honored
In October, Bethel hosted the Dot & Dar Wiekamp Community Tribute. More than 200 people attended the event, which raised money to establish an endowed scholarship in honor of the Wiekamps and their service to the community.

Bethel Recognized Nationally for Community Service
Bethel was ranked second in the nation for community service participation in Washington Monthly’s 2013 Baccalaureate College Rankings. Bethel is in the top 15 percent across all categories, being ranked 54th out of 350 colleges and universities. One contributor to this ranking is Bethel’s annual service day, which was held on Oct. 1. Students, faculty and staff donated nearly 3,500 hours of service to 60 local organizations in one day.

Bethel Recognized as a Top Tier College for 10th Consecutive Year
Bethel moved from 24th to 19th on the list of the Midwest’s Best Baccalaureate Colleges in the 2014 edition of “America’s Best Colleges” by U.S. News Media Group. The regional list includes 99 colleges and universities. Nationally there are nearly 370 schools in the Regional Colleges category and Bethel’s overall score placed us 48th — 12 spots ahead of last year’s ranking, moving Bethel to the top 13 percent of all Baccalaureate Colleges.