In Bethel University’s GROW campaign, the “W” option allows donors to give “Where your heart is.” This couldn’t be a more appropriate sentiment for Ramona Little ’72. Her gift to the Lehman Family Training Center was in the form of treadmills, something that speaks to a personal experience that took place while she was a student. It was a turn of events that shaped her life.

Having previously attended bible college for a year, Ramona transferred to then Bethel College on a music scholarship. She spent her time singing in the choir and Gospel choir, majoring in elementary education and eventually dating fellow student Dale Little ’73.

After marrying in July 1971, Dale and Ramona learned they were expecting their first child, with the due date around the same time as Ramona’s graduation. She spent her last semester student teaching at a local school while preparing for the birth of their child. However, she faced complications that she never anticipated.

Weeks before graduation, Ramona experienced complications with her pregnancy, including heart failure during delivery. While she spent six weeks in the hospital, the Bethel community supported and prayed for her. Miraculously, she was able to walk across the stage at graduation in spring 1972, and received open heart surgery that June.

“I am a product of Bethel’s prayers,” she reflects.

Ramona has experienced several other heart complications over the years, including a stroke and AFIB (atrial fibrillation). To keep her heart healthy, Ramona regularly engages in cardiovascular exercise, including walking.
“Walking is so important for your heart and your lungs,” she says.

Through her donation, Ramona hopes to inspire heart health for future generations.

“Because of my heart issues, my interest is in cardiovascular health. Treadmills are very important for that.”

Ramona uses her testimony to go into hospitals and encourage others who experience the fear and unknown that she once faced. She desires “to help people to be prepared mentally, physically, and spiritually for Jesus Christ.”

Dale and Ramona stayed connected to Bethel throughout the years, including his service on the Bethel Board of Trustees during the tenure of President Bridges. Together they raised their son, Jeffrey Little, who graduated from Bethel in 1990.

Through everything she has experienced, including the sudden death of her husband in 2005, Ramona clings to the grace and providence of the Lord. She often recalls a saying her father shared with her: “The will of God will not lead me where the grace of God will not keep me.”