Bethel Community Mourns Loss of Vice President

Bethel’s Vice President for Life Calling and Student Enrichment Kathy Gribbin, Ph.D., passed away Feb. 6 at Hospice in South Bend after a three-year battle with cancer. She was 59 years old.

Visitation will be Saturday, Feb. 9 from 4-8 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 10 at 2 p.m. at St. Marks Missionary Church, 55240 Bittersweet Rd. in Mishawaka. The funeral will be at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 10 at St. Marks Missionary Church.

“Kathy brought a sense of joy, excitement and a bit of spice to the lives of her family and many close friends. She was gifted by God to have a positive impact on those whose lives she touched whether they were students, colleagues or friends,” says President Steven Cramer, Ph.D. “We are sad for our loss, but rejoice that Kathy has heard Christ say to her, “Well done, good and faithful servant … enter into the joy of your Lord.”

A 1976 Bethel graduate, Gribbin has worked at the college in the late ’70’s as the director of student recruitment, before leaving briefly to take a role as the director of student life at Judson University in Illinois from 1981-1994. In 1994 she would return to Bethel for good serving in roles such as dean of students and residence life, associate dean of students and resident director. In 2010, she would be named Bethel’s first female vice president.

“I feel excited both for myself and for female students who can do more than they think they can do or were raised to think they can do,” says Gribbin in a 2010 “Bethel Magazine” article where she talked about her new role at the college. “My challenge is for men to take women’s thoughts more seriously. We do look at situations differently. I believe women think more about how decisions are going to affect the feelings of people. Women are more intuitive, more sensitive —and this is a positive thing.”

Gribbin obtained a Master of Arts in Student Personnel from Western Michigan University and a doctorate in education from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.