Part of our 70 Years of Bethel celebration, this story focuses on the 1950s decade, where Bethel experienced tremendous physical and spiritual growth. Don ’57 and Alice (Sahmel) Severance ’52 reflect on their Bethel experience in the ’50s, from helping construct some of campus’ most iconic buildings and witnessing spiritual revival, to abiding by the college’s strict dating policies.
For the past 28 years, Bethel College has given back to the local community through a student-organized Service Day. This year, students and faculty donated 2,007 hours to more than 50 organizations, doing everything from serving meals and lawn and park maintenance to donation sorting, general cleaning/organization and even pet grooming!
This academic year marks Bethel’s 70th! To celebrate, we’ll be featuring a graduate from each decade on the blog, in the months leading up to our 2017 commencement. The first story features Virginia (Schultz) Krake ’49, the wife of Bethel’s very first graduate, Marcus Krake ’48. Read about what life was like when Bethel began in 1947.
Surgical nurse Anita Thiessen ’09 has volunteered for three mission trips with Mercy Ships, a nonprofit organization that provides free, lifesaving surgeries to the world’s poor on a hospital ship.
Early in her life, Bethel-educated nurse Elizabeth LeFeber ’10 felt led to serve in Africa. She pursued nursing as a career at Bethel College. And earlier this year, she volunteered to work on the Africa Mercy, a 78-bed floating surgical hospital, then docked in Madagascar. The hospital ship provides free and lifesaving surgeries for people without access to medical care. It’s all part of Mercy Ships, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Lindale, Texas, dedicated to bringing health and healing to the poor.
Baseball pitcher Eric Stults ’02 came back to campus this summer to show his family where his 14-year pro career began.
While the world has been watching the competition of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the last two weeks, alumnus Jonathan Goodson ’11 has been capturing a different side of the event. He’s working on a documentary about human trafficking for the organization A Voice for the Voiceless (a school and ministry affiliated with Youth With a Mission), headquartered in Kona, Hawaii. Because of press passes obtained for the games, he and his co-leader have had the opportunity to get an insider’s look at the competition – and what happens outside of events like this.
On July 7, a piece of Biblical history came to life in Williamstown, Kentucky, that’s been seven years in the making. It’s a full-size Noah’s Ark, built to biblical specifications, spanning 510’ long, 85’ wide and 51’ high. This engineering marvel is the largest timber-frame structure in the world.
LeRoy S. Troyer, FAIA, founder, chair and president of The Troyer Group in Mishawaka, Ind. – and a member of Bethel’s Board of Trustees since 1977 – served as the architect for the project. Alumnus Kyle Silveus ’09, a civil engineer at The Troyer Group, served on the civil team.
Bethel launched its inaugural season of rugby – one of the fastest growing college sports in the United States – in the fall of 2015, with a sold record of 4-2. Two of the team’s more seasoned rugby players Patrick Hafenbridle ’16 and Caleb Keas ’18 found their place on the pitch at the University of Kentucky before transferring to Bethel.
In May, three Bethel interpreters provided communication access to the local deaf community on a national scale by interpreting for President Barak Obama’s visit to Elkhart, as well as two political rallies. It was all organized through Community Services With All Deaf, led by Bethel alumna Shanna Montavon ’05.