Alumni | Athletics | Fine Arts

Connect To Purpose


The Life Enrichment series is planned especially for adults age 60 and over.

The series is made possible by funding from Bethel College and the generosity of speakers who share their talent and expertise without compensation. The series is held in conjunction with Bethel’s academic year.

Cost: $20 per semester or $2 per week; first-time attendees get a free day
Time: 9:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m. (lunch following)
Location: Krehbiel Auditorium in the Luyken Fine Arts Center on the Bethel campus, unless otherwise noted

Coffee break time is usually 10:15–10:35 a.m. (donations needed to help cover cost). Lunch is served in the Schultz Student Center dining hall. Tickets for lunch should be purchased by 10:35 a.m. Cost: $6 for full meal; $4 for soup/salad/dessert.

Current Schedule

February 7
9:30 a.m. Third Time’s a Charm
John Sheriff, outgoing interim president, Bethel College
10:15 a.m. Coffee break
10:35 a.m. SouthWind Global Aviation
Tyson Teeter, co-owner, Moundridge
11:30 a.m. Transforming Agriculture from a Soil-Degrading into a Soil-Building Activity
Timothy Crews, research director and ecologist, The Land Institute, Salina
February 14
9:30 a.m. Black History: Happenings through the Years and the Regression Being Experienced in Current Times
Sylvia Kelly, grandmother, great-grandmother and activist, North Newton
10:15 a.m. Coffee break
10:35 a.m. Current Tax Policy and Your Retirement Finances
Ken Kriz, professor, Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs, Wichita State University
11:30 a.m. Come and See: Reflections from a Learning Tour to Israel and Palestine
Heidi Regier Kreider, conference minister, Western District Conference, North Newton
February 21
9:30 a.m. Managing Wildlife in the Rapidly Changing Landscape of the Greater Yellowstone Area
Steve Schmidt, retired regional supervisor for Idaho Fish and Game, Montana
10:15 a.m. Coffee break
10:35 a.m. Cowboys and Clerics
John K. Burchill, criminal justice historian and author, Kansas Wesleyan University, Salina.
Sponsor: Kansas Humanities Council
11:30 a.m. Cowboys and Clerics, continues (double session)
February 28
9:30 a.m. 50 States at 50
Stacey Rhoades, clinical professional counselor, Newton
10:15 a.m. Coffee break
10:35 a.m. Tortilla King, Local Moundridge Business
Gary Brown, chief operations officer, Moundridge
11:30 a.m. Re-Thinking Homelessness
James Wilson, executive director, New Hope Shelter Inc., Newton
March 7
9:30 a.m. Pacifist in the War Zone near Mosul, Iraq
Bill Swartley, certified registered nurse anesthetist, Newton
10:15 a.m. Coffee break
10:35 a.m. The Sedgwick County Science and Discovery Center
Dee Wright, volunteer/membership coordinator, Exploration Place, Wichita
11:30 a.m. Group of 62: The Story of MCC Rescuing Russian Mennonite Soldiers after WWI
John Sharp, professor of history, Hesston College
March 14
9:30 a.m. A Woman Pastor’s Memoir
Dorothy Nickel Friesen, Newton
10:15 a.m. Coffee break
10:35 a.m. Bonneville Salt Flats - Land-Speed Record Attempt
Glen Ediger, director, design research and development, North Newton
11:30 a.m. Successful Aging: Maximizing Quality of Life
Louis Medvene, professor of psychology, Wichita State University

March 21 - Spring Break

March 28
9:30 a.m. All Things Fishing at Harvey County Parks
Stuart Scott, Harvey County Parks ranger, Fishing’s Future master angler and KDWPT-certified angler instructor, Newton
10:15 a.m. Coffee break
10:35 a.m. Dead Towns of Central Kansas
Amy Bickle, Hutchinson News
11:30 a.m. Preparing to Live in the Shoes of Women in History
Irene Nielson, president and artistic director, Designing Excellence, Lindsborg, and Bonnie Johnson, chief financial officer, Designing Excellence, Sedgwick
April 4
9:30 a.m. "Someone will actually buy this?" The Birth and Development of the ReUse It Center
LaVon Ediger, McPherson
10:15 a.m. Coffee break
10:35 a.m. Ten Reasons Why Health Care has Changed
Vallerie Gleason, chief executive officer, Newton Medical Center
11:30 a.m. Benefits for Seniors You Did Not Know
Robert Carlton, director, Harvey County Senior Services, Newton
April 11
9:30 a.m. Kim Jong-Un’s North Korea: A Clear and Present Danger
Jim Goering, retired World Bank economist, North Newton
10:15 a.m. Coffee break
10:35 a.m. Life up a Child’s Voice: I Am for the Child
Sandra Bradley, director, Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program, Newton, and Marlene Faul, CASA volunteer, North Newton
11:30 a.m. How to Advocate for Quality Long-Term Care Services and the Ombudsman Program
Barbara Hickert, state long-term care ombudsman, Topeka
April 18
9:30 a.m. Golden Notes - The Choir at Grand Central
Janet Ediger, director
10:15 a.m. Coffee break
10:35 a.m. Community Paramedicine
Scott Metzler, department chief, Newton Fire and Emergency Medical Services
11:30 a.m. A. Masterworks Concert Plans
William Eash, professor of music, Bethel College
B. Bethel College Jazz Combo I
Jim Pisano, associate professor of music
April 25
9:30 a.m. Going Back to Future Success: A Backwards Story about Retro Running
Aaron Yoder, head cross-country and track and field coach, Bethany College, Lindsborg
10:15 a.m. Coffee break
10:35 a.m. Why Do We Not Want to Talk About Suicide?
Barbara Gibson, president, National Alliance for Mental Illness for Harvey, McPherson and Marion counties, Newton
11:30 a.m.

C. Henry Smith Peace Orations
Bethel College Students

May 2
9:30 a.m. Owning and Growing Coffee in Honduras
Ashley and Julia (Niehage) Williams, Moundridge
10:15 a.m. Coffee break
10:35 a.m. The Future College
Jon Gering, president, Bethel College
11:30 a.m.

Woven (women) and Open Road (men)
Bethel College student a cappella vocal ensembles

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.