On Friday, December 8, William A. Jones was inaugurated as Bethany College’s 14th President in the college’s 136 history in ceremonies in Presser Hall Auditorium. The installation service was the central event in a week long celebration.
The Jultide Concert “From Heaven Above” followed by a reception at the Birger Sandzén Art Gallery kicked off the week. On Monday, the Jones family invited Bethany faculty and staff to their home for an Open House Reception. In the evening, a dodge ball battle between students, faculty and staff was held in Stroble Gymnasium. Tuesday saw a Student Activities Board Christmas event in the Pihlblad Memorial Union. On Wednesday, President Jones and his wife Amy decorated Christmas cookies with the Zetas and Thetas. Thursday morning, a special Blue & Gold Big Brew was held followed by Sig Singing in the evening. Thursday evening was highlighted by the Blue and Gold Gala at the Birger Sandzén Art Gallery.
The Inauguration Ceremony on Friday began with a procession of the faculty, administrators, and delegates. The Reverend Amy Truhe, Campus Pastor, gave the invocation. President Jones then received words of encouragement from various constituencies within the Bethany College community, the Smoky Valley community, a spokesman for the citizens of Kansas, ambassadors from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and representatives of friends and family. President Jones gave a speech entitled “Rising Together.” A call to action and celebration, President Jones said, “As we celebrate Bethany College the rest of today, I hope we will be like the Philippians and ponder noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy concepts—ideas like a common mission and purpose, a commitment to diversity, and caring deeply for one another.”
The speech was followed by the anthem “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” sung by the Bethany Oratorio Society Chorus with special guests, the Choirs of Smoky Valley High School, with Dr. Mark Lucas ’94, Conductor and Ms. Britney English ’09, SVHS Choir Director.
Following the Inauguration Service, the celebration of Bethany College and President Will Jones continued with luncheons at the Pihlblad Union Cafeteria and the J.O. Sundstrom Conference Center. In the evening, President Jones hosted a “hootenanny” with a DJ and dancing for the Smoky Valley community, friends and family at the J.O. Sundstrom in downtown Lindsborg.