Lutheran college vocation

Candles2-(3)Members from the Bethany College faculty, staff, and students attended the Vocation of a Lutheran College Conference at Augsburg College in Minneapolis on June 8-10. The annual conference, supported by the ELCA, brings together members of Lutheran colleges to explore the distinctive roles they play in higher education.

Melody Steed, assistant academic dean; Linda Ball, administrative assistant; and William Strommen, a senior from Salina majoring in history and political science, represented Bethany at this year’s conference.

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Professor receives fellowship



Assistant Professor of Religion Adam Pryor has been selected  to participate on a research team at Princeton University’s Center of Theological Inquiry for the next academic year.

Professor Pryor will be a research fellow on an interdisciplinary team of theologians and scholars in the humanities and social sciences that will work in dialogue with leading astrobiologists on the Societal Implications of Astrobiology. The research team is in its second year of inquiry and is supported by the NASA Astrobiology Program and the John Templeton Foundation.

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Third-Party Comments

Bethany LogoBethany College is seeking comments from the public about the College in preparation for its periodic evaluation by its regional accrediting agency.

Bethany College will host a visit October 31-November 2, 2016, with a team representing the Higher Learning Commission. Bethany College is currently accredited and has been accredited by HLC since 1932. The College was placed on probation in 2015. The team will review the institution’s ongoing ability to meet HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation.

The public is invited to submit comments regarding the College to the following address:

Public Comment on Bethany College
Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604-1411

The public may also submit comments on the HLC website at:

Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. Comments must be in writing.

All comments must be received by September 30, 2016.

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2016 Commencement

untitled-8031On May 15, Bethany College honored 115 students who earned Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, and Bachelor of Music Education from the college during the 2015-2016 academic year. Summer, fall, interterm, and spring graduates were honored during Baccalaureate worship and Commencement ceremonies on campus.

untitled-8190Bishop Michael Girlinghouse of the Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod of the ELCA in Tulsa was the preacher at morning Baccalaureate service. Bishop Girlinghouse encouraged the graduates to embrace their uniqueness and share their wisdom of what it means to live in a diverse world.

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Board announces new President


William Jones

From an early age Will Jones, 43, was told, “You will be a college graduate.” Some may have taken that for granted, but for somebody like Jones who grew up in Kensee Hollow, Kentucky, the son of parents who dropped out of school, his mother in the eighth grade and father in the ninth grade, it was a life changing statement.

And it is part of what has inspired him to lead Bethany College as its 14th President. The Board of Directors announced his appointment as the College’s new President on Friday, May 13 at a campus forum.

“A school like Bethany College saved my life,” he said. “Bethany is a good fit for me and I am right for Bethany and Lindsborg. I am excited to engage Bethany College alumni in the lives of the Bethany students.”

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Campus remembers Isaacson

Professor of Communication, Carl Isaacson

Professor of Communication, Carl Isaacson

A celebration of life service honoring long-time Bethany College professor of communications, Dr. Carl Isaacson, will be held Wednesday at 4 p.m. in the Pearson Chapel at Bethany.

The campus community is invited to gather in the chapel for music, prayers, and opportunities to share remembrances.  The service will close at the end of the hour with a toast to Dr. Isaacson and some refreshments in the lobby of the chapel.

Dr. Isaacson passed away on Monday, May 9. He was professor of communications at Bethany since 2004 and was chair of the department. He taught all aspects of communication and was highly regarded by his students and colleagues for his wit and wisdom.

His fields of interested included Swedish Americana. He served as educator/curator of the Swedish American Museum Center in Chicago, and his research had been published in the Chronicle of Higher Education and American Communication Journal. He took special pride in his project of translating, adapting and directing the student production of “Barabbas,” based on the Pär Lagerkvist’s 1950 novel, for the 2006 Messiah Festival of the Arts.

He received his Ph.D. in theatre from the University of Minnesota and held a M.Div. with a major in Parish Ministry from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina.

Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, May 14 at 11 a.m. at Bethany Lutheran Church in Lindsborg with visitation Friday, May 13 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Christians Funeral Home, Lindsborg.

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Gallery features photos

TurnerBethany College will feature the work of long-time friend and College photographer, Jim Turner, in a photo exhibition beginning May 7 through May 31 in the gallery at the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Welcome Center.

Turner attended Bethany College beginning in the fall of 1964. After serving in the United States Navy as a photographer’s mate, he returned to Lindsborg purchased an existing studio in in 1972 and began operating a commercial photography business. For the past 15 years he has pursued a fine arts photography studio, Brick Street Gallery. Along with this business, he has also been documenting life at Bethany College for 44 years.

A large share of Turner’s work is of Lindsborg and the Smoky Valley area; however, he has photographed extensively in Scotland and Great Britain and most recently conducted a photography workshop in Baku, Azerbaijan in partnership with the United States Embassy. He will return there this spring for a photography exhibition featuring the work from the workshop participants.  His work in Baku was the inspiration of former Bethany student Lamiya Korchiyeva who is from Baku and was a student in Turner’s photography class at Bethany.

The exhibit will open with a reception on Thursday, May 12 at 10:15 a.m. at the Welcome Center when the campus gathers for its weekly Big Brew event. The community is invited to attend. The exhibit will be on display during the upcoming Bethany Board of Directors meeting and Commencement.

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Speakers announced

BethSealBethany College is pleased to announce speakers for the 2016 Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 15. Bishop Michael Girlinghouse of the Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod of the ELCA in Tulsa will preach at the baccalaureate service at 10:30 a.m. and speakers representing Bethany College students, staff, and faculty will speak at commencement at 2 p.m. Both events are held in Presser Hall Auditorium.

The Rev. Girlinghouse has served as the bishop of the Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod since 2011 and is a member of the Bethany College Board of Directors. Prior to being elected bishop, he served as a campus pastor in Nebraska, South Dakota, and Oklahoma. He is a graduate of the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago and the University of Minnesota. He is a devotional writer who is the author of the weekly devotional blog, “On the Way,” and has also written “Christ in our Home.” Bishop Girlinghouse is married and has one adult daughter.

Speakers at the Commencement ceremony will include Robyn Haynes, a senior from Rancho Cucamonga, Califorina; Molly Johnson ’06, director of annual giving and alumni relations at Bethany; and Dr. Carl Isaacson, professor of communications at the College. Samantha Anderson, a senior, will perform special music during Commencement and Tyler Breneman, senior, will accompany her.

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Mother’s Day Concert

Mothers daySigma Alpha Iota, the International Women’s Music Fraternity, will host a benefit Mother’s Day Concert on Sunday, May 8 at 3 p.m. at Bethany Lutheran Church.

The concert will feature various soloists and vocal ensembles of SAI members. A free will offering will be taken. The event is open to the public.

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Students earn honors

KATS Honors BC ATS 2016

Pictured from left: Jimmy Caiola, Clinical Education Coordinator, Derrick Kaiser, Samantha Stegner, Kylee Martinez,Trevor Kistler, Laura Stenlund, Head Athletic Trainer, and David Slack, Program Director.

Four Bethany College students were honored by the Kansas Athletic Trainer’s Society (KATS) for outstanding academic achievement in an accredited Athletic Training Program.

Students honored included Trevor Kistler, senior of Mansfield, Texas, first team; Derrick Kaiser, senior of Hoisington Kansas, second team; Kylee Martinez, senior of Lyons Kansas, second team; Samantha Stegner, sophomore of Princeton, Kansas, honorable mention.

KATS awards and criteria for each honor are:

  • First team – juniors or seniors with 3.8 KATS honor average
  • Second team – juniors or seniors with 3.6 KATS honor average
  • Honorable mention – sophomore and above with 3.4 KATS honor average
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