Bethany College meets challenge for new chapel

The new Pearson Chapel and Welcome Center will be located in the heart of campus.

The new Pearson Chapel and Welcome Center will be located in the heart of campus.

Nearly two months before the set deadline of June 23, Bethany has raised more than $1 million toward the Pearson Challenge for a new chapel and welcome center. The Pearson Challenge was a $1 million challenge from the late Gerald “Bud” Pearson.

“For the last two plus years, we have been excited by this challenge – truly a significant demonstration of faith in Bethany’s future – and the eventual Swedish chapel and welcome center that it will bring.  The welcome center will most assuredly represent the exclamation point on the campus green project and the Swedish chapel will represent a re-centering of Bethany College on our Lutheran and Swedish heritages,” said Bethany College President Edward F. Leonard III during a celebration gathering on May 1 to announce the meeting of the Pearson Challenge goal.

To date, $1,039,009 has been raised for the new chapel and welcome center with a projected total cost of $3.5 million. Fundraising will continue and donations can be made by calling the advancement office at (785) 227-3380, ext. 8270.

The Pearson Chapel and Welcome Center will include a 190-seat chapel with overflow seating up to 375; offices and meeting space for the campus pastor and campus ministries; offices, meeting rooms and work space for admissions; and a large reception lobby for prospective students and other visitors. To be located in the heart of campus and utilizing principles or sustainable design, this building will be a hospitable place for all who worship, visit, learn and work in the Bethany community.