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Bethel College receives $500,000 estate gift

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. - Bethel College is the beneficiary of an estate gift valued at $500,000. The bequest from investment businessman Herbert S. Rempel, who died late last year in Pasadena, Calif., at the age of 102, places his name among Million Dollar Donors to Bethel College. Born in Minnesota, Rempel developed an affinity with Bethel's mission through his sisters, Sarah Rempel and Anna Abel, who both attended Bethel College with the class of 1916.

"Mr. Rempel appreciated his sisters' love of Bethel College, and through them he too developed a strong relationship with the college," says Sondra Koontz, director of institutional advancement at Bethel College. Total lifetime and estate gifting by Herbert Rempel is at $1 million.

The Rempels had interests in land, grain, lumber and banking. Herbert Rempel managed the finances for himself and his sisters. Herbert and Sarah shared an interest in classical music, literature, history and travel. Herbert was "a Renaissance man - witty, intelligent, cultured," according to niece Dorothy Rempel Munroe of Balboa Island, Calif. Sarah Rempel died in 1989 in Pasadena; Anna Abel died in 1992 in Portland, Ore.

During his lifetime Herbert Rempel made lead gifts toward several of Bethel's capital campaigns, which built Haury Hall, Mantz Library and Fine Arts Center. He funded a commissioned series of art weavings that hang in Mantz Library.

"We are most grateful to Mr. Rempel for his generosity to Bethel College over the years," President E. LaVerne Epp says. "His giving honored his sisters and also pointed to the value he placed on higher education. Over the years he developed warm relationships with Harold Schultz and Douglas Penner, former Bethel presidents. We are pleased that the Rempel legacy will live on in Bethel College's student leaders."

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.