Retiring Provost and Dean of the College to speak commencement

Gene BalesLINDSBORG, KAN., May 8, 2012—Retiring Provost and Dean of Bethany College Eugene Bales, Ph.D., will address the graduating class of 2012 during Bethany College commencement ceremonies on May 20 at 2 p.m. The Rev. Bill Peterson will preach during baccalaureate worship at 10:30 a.m.

Eugene Bales will retire at the end of this academic year as provost and dean of the college after serving at Bethany since 1990. He began as a professor of philosophy and religion before assuming the academic vice presidency in 2003 and his current position in 2009. Bales earned his bachelor’s in philosophy at Conception Seminary College and his master’s in philosophy and doctorate in philosophy with a minor in theology from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

One of Bales’ largest contributions to Bethany was the focus he provided to student retention. In 1998, he helped to restructure Bethany Seminar, earning him the Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate award from the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition. In 2010, he led Bethany’s initiative to improve the first-year experience through the Foundations of Excellence® in the First College Year project.

Bales has been recognized for exceptional scholarship and has presented at the University of Puget Sound and Harvard University. He was also selected for panel participation by Smoky Hills Public Television and the Salina Art Center. Bales’ numerous publications include essays in “Philosophy Today” and two books, “A Ready Reference to Philosophy East and and West” and “Philosophy in the West: Men, Women, Religion, Science.”

Reverand Bill PetersonThe Rev. Bill Peterson graduated from Bethany College in 1972 with a degree in sociology. He graduated from Wartburg Theological Seminary in 2010 with completion of Theological Education for Emerging Ministries (TEEM) and certification. He was ordained on April 18, 2010.

Peterson has spent thirty years in health care administration at The Lutheran Home Inc. and Herington Municipal Hospital in Herington, Kan., and Home Care and Hospice in Manhattan, Kan. He has traveled around the country presenting “Humor, Laugher, and Play” workshops and providing leadership training. He currently serves The Good Neighbor Parish consisting of St. Paul Lutheran church in Herington and Hebron Lutheran in Burdick.

Bethany College, established by Swedish Lutheran immigrants in 1881, is a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The mission of Bethany College is to educate, develop and challenge individuals to reach for truth and excellence as they lead lives of faith, learning and service. Bethany College is on the Web at www.bethanylb.edu/.

Caption: Retiring Provost and Dean of the College Eugene Bales will speak at Bethany College’s commencement on May 20 at 2 p.m.. The Rev. Bill Peterson will preach during baccalaureate worship at 10:30 a.m.