Bethany College continued what has become a new opening of the academic year tradition earlier this morning, a foot washing service among students, faculty, staff, and the local community after its Opening Convocation.

Will Jones, Bethany’s 14th President, called for the campus community to honor the college’s core value of community by “caring deeply” for each other during his remarks at the Opening Convocation prior to the foot washing service. During his speech, Jones paused for a moment to wash the feet of Russel Torres, a senior Accounting major and catcher for the Swede’s baseball team, from Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. Jones stated to the students, faculty, and staff in attendance, “As your president, I want you to know that I care deeply for you and for the college.”

“This year, you will have the opportunity to lead a life worthy of the calling on the field of competition, on the performance stage, in your work, and through service to our local community. I challenge you to bear with one another in love. I challenge you to care deeply,” Jones said during the convocation.

President Jones challenged those in attendance to take time to care deeply for each other. Dozens of students, faculty, and staff gathered after the Opening Convocation at the college’s fountains to participate in the foot washing.

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.