A Wichita couple that met at Bethany College and recently celebrated their 46th wedding anniversary, wanted to give back to the college they love and to the place where they first fell in love. Ron and Jenny Paulseen recently made a gift of $250,000 to the college as part of its “Investing in Student Success” fund raising campaign.
“For us it was all because of Bethany,” Ron Paulseen said. “Because of Bethany I met Jenny, I was given an opportunity to go to college and I was hired by New York Life Insurance. Now we have to flip the tables and pay back.”
The Paulseen’s gift will be added to another recent gift of $150,000 made by another Wichita couple, Ross and Karma Tidemann, who also met at Bethany College. The “Investing in Student Success” campaign focuses on four areas of giving that include: Scholarships; Campus Ministry/Faith Expression; Funds for Bethany’s Future; and People & Programs. The campaign goal is to raise $4 million in unrestricted gifts over the next two years.
Ron Paulseen, a 1970 graduate of Bethany College has been a New York Life Insurance representative for 43 years in Wichita and owns Paulseen Financial Group. Jenny Paulseen, a 1971 graduate, worked for 25 years at Wichita Collegiate School as a librarian and was instrumental in establishing the early childhood library there, which was named in her honor when she retired.
They both struggled to attend college, working at times more than one job in order to pay for tuition and wanted to be able to assist students today. “It’s fun to see the fruits of our labor put to good use,” Ron said.
They both have fond memories of Bethany College. For Jenny it was love at first site when she made a visit to the campus in high school. “I really didn’t think I could afford college,” she said. “Bethany just adopted and made me feel so wanted.”
For Ron it was love at first sight when he saw Jenny in the Nelson Science lecture hall. “I can tell you exactly what she was wearing the first time I saw her,” he said. “Luckily we were seated in alphabetical order and I got to sit right next to her.”
Although the Paulseen’s wanted to give back to the college that brought them together, they also wanted to make a gift that would impact the college at a critical time in its history.
“I’ve always believed that the best things you can do are make a lot, save a lot and give a lot way,” Ron said. “I’ve been fortunate and I think it is important for our generation to step forward and give.”
For more information about the Investing in Student Success campaign, please go to www.bethanylb.edu or contact the Bethany College Office of Advancement at (785) 227-3380, ext. 8271.