Bethany College will honor six of its alumni at the 2014 Spring Alumni Awards.
John Palmquist ’60 and Sharon (Pearson) Palmquist ’60 will receive the Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award. John and Sharon were both born and raised in Lindsborg. Following their marriage in 1960, they moved to Goodland, Kansas, and taught in the junior high school and later at Goodland High School. In 1999, after 39 years in the Goodland school system, John retired. Sharon retired in 2001 after 28 years ofteaching. They were recognized as Outstanding Educators by the Goodland Alumni Association and the High Plains Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa. Johnserved on NEA-Goodland and KNEA committees, and also on the Standards Board for the State Department of Education. During the 1960’s, Sharonserved as president of the Goodland Teachers Association. In 2007, they moved to Lindsborg, where they are members of Bethany Lutheran Church,serving in its Stephen Ministry Program as well as on various church committees and volunteer activities. John is involved with the Lindsborg CommunityLibrary Board, Kiwanis, and the Smoky Valley Foundation Board. Sharon, a member of the PEO Chapter CC, serves on the Lindsborg CommunityHospital Foundation Board, and has sung in the Messiah chorus for 11 years. John and Sharon served for 15 years as the class agents for the class of1960. They each served two terms on the Alumni Council, and are members of the Stan Talbott Society and Carl Aaron Swensson Society. John was awarded the Alumni Award of Merit in 2000.
Mark Andersen ’80 will receive the Distinguished Graduate Award. Upon graduation from Bethany in 1980, Mark went to work for the Federal Land Bank of Wichita. In 1984, the Land Bank transferred Mark to Lawrence,where he worked for 7 years. In 1987, Mark returned to law school, graduating from the University of Kansas School of Law. He went to work for theLawrence law firm of Barber Emerson, L.C., where he is a partner and enjoys the practice of law, with an emphasis on real estate and business law. Markis a member of the Kansas Bar, Missouri Bar, Federal District Court of Kansas, and the Supreme Court of the United States. He is a fellow of theAmerican College of Real Estate Lawyers, the American College of Mortgage Attorneys, the American Bar Foundation, and the Kansas Bar Foundation.Mark has made dozens of professional presentations on a range of topics over the years in Kansas, Colorado and Missouri. He is a contributing author to the Kansas Bar Association for Real Estate, Probate & Trust Law Section Newsletter, where he has been published 3 times each year for the past 11 years. Mark currently serves on the board of trustees for the O’Connell Youth Ranch, a non-profit Christian organization that provides alternative housing for teenage boys. He has also served on the Board of Trustees for the Lawrence Public Library, and as General Counsel for Douglas County CASA. This past year, Mark received the “Good Friend Award” from the Bart Nash Community Mental Health Center in Lawrence. He is a charter member of the Jayhawk Rotary Club, serving on their board of directors for 7 years. He is a charter member of the Rotary International Foundation “Paul Harris Society”,and in 2012 he and his wife, Susan, received “Major Donor” award recognition from that organization. In 1990 Mark and Susan helped form a new church in Lawrence – St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church.
Rebecca (Larson) Anderson ’69 and Cynthia (Holmquist) Lear ’73 will receive the Award of Merit. Becky was born and raised in Lindsborg. After graduating from Lindsborg High School, Becky came to Bethany where she received a Bachelor of Musicdegree in Applied Voice. She studied with Dr. Elmer Copley, and was a member of Kappa Gamma Phi, Bethany College Choir and Choraliers, Gold Key,and Who’s Who. She married Carl B. Anderson and they moved their family back to Lindsborg in 1975. One of her first projects was to campaign for herhusband for District Judge of the 9th District. Becky was the first director of the Lindsborg Arts Council. She also served as chair of the Lindsborg PrideProgram, was past chair of the Hyllningsfest and Midsummers Festival, and was a founding member of the Dala Wranglers, the sponsoring group of theWild Dalas of Lindsborg. Becky, a member of the Lindsborg Vocal Trio for over 30 years, has been a member of the Messiah Oratorio Society for 45years, starting as a violinist in the orchestra when she was 14. She was also the soloist for the Centennial Messiah in 1981 with the alumni soloists, anddirected the Messiah Lutheran Church choir for 21 years retiring in 2013. Becky was the Director of Special Events at Bethany, and became the AlumniDirector in 1991. She and her husband purchased the Swedish Country Inn in 1995, and she continues to run this historic hotel. She is a current member of the Lindsborg City Council, serving since 2001, and is a member of the Lindsborg Arts Council board of directors.
After graduating from Bethany College with a BA in Physical Education and Health, Cindy returned to Bethany for a degree in Elementary Education in1989. She taught physical education and health, and coached at Trinity High School and Holy Cross Elementary in Hutchinson, KS. From 1990 until herretirement in 2012, Cindy taught Special Education, First and Second grades for USD 501 in Topeka. She is an active member of First Lutheran Church inTopeka where she served as Worship Committee Chairperson for 20 years. She also worked on committees to raise money for the stained glass window,nave renovation, and ELW hymnal. Cindy assists in maintaining the Prayer Garden and other landscapes around her church. With the help of herhusband, Chris, all three of their children attended or graduated from Bethany (Carly Lear ’97; Cady Lear Macfee ’04; and Kyle, former student ’99). In2011, Cindy helped create the First Lutheran Church Bethany Scholarship Fund. The goal of this fund is to give prospective students $1000 theirfreshman, sophomore and junior years at Bethany, and $2000 if they plan to graduate their senior year. This money, coming from the generosity of church members, alumni, friends, and family, has so far benefited two Bethany students.
Larry Holdren ’94 will receive the Gold Award. Because of his broad industry experience, Larry is widely recognized as one of the region’s top communications professionals and a resource to organizations facing crisis and other tough situations. He has managed crisis and other communications efforts for industries that include energy, realestate, health care, food and beverage, retail, and sports and entertainment. Prior to founding Holdren Strategic Communications early this year, he was an owner at Denver-based Pure Brand Communications, where he helped build one of the region’s leading integrated communications companies.Previously, he was a principal and director of public relations at Barnhart, which had acquired his company, Charney, Bergner & Holdren Public Relations,and also played senior roles at GBSM, Centura Health and Children’s Hospital Colorado. Larry is accredited by and has served on the board of directors of the Public Relations Society of America-Colorado Chapter, and has received numerous awards for his work from that and other professional communications societies and organizations. He is a past member of the Executive Committee of PRSA’s exclusive Counselor’s Academy and was the 2006 winner of the Denver Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 Award. Larry is Past-President of the Bethany College Alumni Council.