LINDSBORG, KAN., April 17, 2019 – Bethany College celebrated today Roy and Donice Applequist’s announcement that they are gifting Lindsborg’s legendary downtown restaurant, The Swedish Crown, to the college. The gift is expected to be finalized in the coming weeks.
“Roy and Donice are humbling examples of God’s love at work in the world. I am inspired by their generosity and their commitment to Bethany College and to Lindsborg,” President Will Jones stated.
In May 2017 the Bethany College Board of Directors approved the college’s five-year strategic plan, “Bethany, Arise!” The vision statement for the plan reads, “Bethany College will be celebrated in the Midwest and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) for offering inspired learning and informed faith that result in student success and community transformation.” Since that time, Bethany has announced the Good Life Scholarship, a full-tuition scholarship for local students from Saline and McPherson Counties. The college has recommitted to the college’s and the local community’s Swedish heritage and history by launching Swedes to Sweden, a free seven-to-10-day service-learning trip to Sweden for the sophomore class each year beginning in the summer of 2020, and the Bethany College Swedish Crafts Program. In addition, Bethany partnered with Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church to appoint a shared pastor for the Lindsborg congregation and for the campus.
“We are here today to say that we would like to gift The Swedish Crown Restaurant to the college. We believe it will be a good way to better integrate the college and the community,” Roy Applequist announced to the applause of local residents and campus members.
Donice Applequist shared, “For many Kansans, Lindsborg is a favorite small town, and that’s certainly true for Roy and me.” Mrs. Applequist continued, “We thank everyone in Lindsborg who has come to eat at The Swedish Crown over the many years it’s been a fixture here on Main Street. You can appreciate knowing that now, when you eat at the Crown, you are not only getting good food, but you are also supporting Bethany College.”
Bethany leaders plan to launch the new The Swedish Crown Restaurant presented by Bethany College, with a reopening in Mid-June. The restaurant, originally opened in 1966, will continue to operate as a Swedish-themed establishment serving local residents and visitors to “Little Sweden, USA.”
“What an exciting day for Lindsborg and Bethany College!,” exclaimed Corey Peterson, Bethany College Board of Directors Chair and owner of the Hemslöjd. “This gift puts three very important puzzle pieces together: Bethany College, Lindsborg, and The Swedish Crown Restaurant.”
College leaders shared their excitement about the addition of The Swedish Crown in helping to raise the college’s profile. Several shared their belief that The Swedish Crown Restaurant will introduce prospective students and new donors to the college.
President Jones stated that the college is planning to allow Bethany students to use their dining hall meal cards to eat at the restaurant. “Bethany students will have more dining options than ever before. And, they will enjoy the opportunity to spend time with Bethany College alumni and friends who own and operate other great businesses downtown,” Jones said.
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. Bethany connects its past, present, and future with distinctive initiatives like Swedes to Sweden, a free service-learning trip for the sophomore class to Sweden, and the Good Life Scholarship, presenting all local high school graduates with a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to the college. Bethany College is on the Web at www.bethanylb.edu and is located in Lindsborg, Kansas, the fine arts and crafts capital of the state.