Doing Community

Bistro tables and booths line the back corner of the newly renovated Dining Commons.

It’s the new central spot for the Bethel community. After a summer of reconstruction, the newly renovated Dining Commons (DC) is open for business, or should we say ‘open for community.’

“The Dining Commons is the new place where students, faculty and staff can gather to interact, study and engage in community,” says Vice President for Development Terry Zeitlow.

What Zeitlow means by ‘community’ is individuals now have space to build relationships, hang out, eat, etc. in a more comfortable setting with extended hours.

The DC also provides a customized culinary experience with healthier food choices. After receiving their food, students now enter into the new dining room, which features natural colors and lighting to increase aesthetic appeal. The flooring and seating has also been updated, with tables seating about 400 individuals, an increase of nearly 100 additional seats. A portable stage will be brought into the space when needed, maximizing student use when it is not. On the left side of the eating area, a new “café-style” area has become home to bistro tables, booths and room dividers where students can temporarily escape the busyness of campus life and perhaps ‘do community.’

MORE CAMPUS RENOVATIONS

Wiekamp Athletic Center /Goodman Gymnasium

In 1959, after several years of construction and student-fundraising, the auditorium-gymnasium was dedicated. It was later named Goodman Auditorium in honor of then-president, Woodrow Goodman.

The Wiekamp Athletic Center was completed in November of 1997 with the generous help of local philanthropists Dar and Dot Wiekamp. The $4 million athletic center added 36,000 square feet of gymnasium, four locker rooms, training room, offices, concession area, laundry facilities and restrooms that connected to Goodman Gymnasium.

Today renovations include carpet and new furniture in the lobby, which now serves as the main and only entrance to the Wiekamp Athletic Center. Students, faculty and staff must check in at the receptionist area or visit a coach to use the facilities. There is new carpet in the classroom, hallways of the coaches’ offices and three of the fitness rooms. In addition, the fitness areas in Goodman have been updated with equipment and accessories.

Otis R. Bowen Museum

Otis R. Bowen, M.D. (born February 26, 1918) is a retired U.S. politician and physician. He served as the 44th governor of Indiana from 1973 to 1981 and as secretary of Health and Human Services from 1985 to 1989 under the Ronald Reagan administration.

In 1984 the Otis Bowen Museum opened under the same roof as the newly completed Otis and Elizabeth Bowen Library, a building that was partially funded by the Bowens and their many friends. The museum holds many legal documents and artifacts of the former Indiana governor’s. Stanley Taylor, Bethel’s first hired professor and registrar, also became the first curator of the museum.

The latest renovations, generously funded by Bowen and the Lilly Endowment, Inc., helped to modernize the museum with repainted walls, new carpet and new displays.

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