Take a look at Bethel in 1997 as we continue to celebrate Bethel’s 70th commencement with our 70 years blog series. Shawn (Canfield) Skaggs ’97 describes a Bethel fresh out of an incredible revival, the thriving campus it was becoming, and how it helped shape her into who she is today.
The 1980s were a trying time for Bethel College – perhaps the most difficult time in the college’s history – with consistently low enrollment numbers. But according to alumnus Courtney Richards ’87, the development of mentoring programs was key to turning the college around.
“Personal, hands-on mentoring has been the most transformative thing from 1987 to now,” he says.
Although Associate Professor of English Maralee Crandon, Ph.D., did not graduate from Bethel College, she did earn the title of Honorary Alumna of the Year in 2016. She arrived on campus in 1977 — the day before her 30th birthday. She laughs at the memory:
“I had a goal to become a college professor by the time I was 30, and I just made it!”
Kyle Bussse ’17 graduates this April with a B.S. in International Health, as well as a B.A. in Spanish. He also has a music minor and is a member of Bethel’s Concert Choir. Along with an array of community involvement efforts, Busse serves as a teaching assistant in Bethel’s science department and a research assistant to Assistant Professor of Biology Brian Ellis, Ph.D. As a student with a variety of interests and passions, the multidisciplinary International Health major was a perfect fit for Busse.
Part of our 70 Years of Bethel celebration, this story focuses on the 1960s decade, where Bethel grew rapidly, in numbers, infrastructure, and especially in athletic programs. Lauralee Nothstine ’67, an elementary education major, reflects on her Bethel experience and how it prepared her for teaching and mission work in Africa, alongside her husband Tom Nothstine ’66.