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Class invites public to Dia de los Muertos celebration on campus Nov. 4

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The Bethel College community invites the public to celebrate el Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with them on campus Nov. 4.

The traditional observations of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day take place Nov. 1 and 2, but the Nov. 4 date fit better with campus events previously on the schedule.

Hamilton Williams, associate professor of social work, and his Intervention in Human Systems class of upper-level social work majors has joined with the parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Newton the last three years for a Día de los Muertos parade through downtown Newton to the church.

This year, health issues prevented the parade from taking place, so the class is leading a celebration on campus.

There will be a traditional meal in the cafeteria for students from 5–7 p.m.

Starting at 7 p.m. in the atrium of the James A. Will Family Academic Center, there will be calaveras (sugar skulls), desserts, face painting and a memorial celebrating the lives of loved ones who have died.

There will also be an opportunity to learn the history and traditions associated with el Día de los Muertos from Guatemalan and Mexican perspectives (both nationalities are represented in the Intervention in Human Systems class).

“This is a cultural event similar to Memorial Day,” said Williams. “Bring a token of something for the altar if you would like to remember a loved one and celebrate the life you knew – or just come to learn and be a part of the festivities.”

To locate Will Academic Center on the Bethel campus, see the campus map. The atrium is accessible by coming in the front (main) doors and then going down the stairs or to the elevator at the back of the building, or by going to the ground level via exterior sidewalks to doors on either side (north and south) of the building.

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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.