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Halstead High School student is Bethel's third Will Scholar

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The third student to be named as a recipient of the Will Family Scholarship at Bethel College comes from James Will’s home community of Halstead.

Nathan Gamache, a 2015 graduate of Halstead High School, was the applicant who this year best met the Will Scholar criteria of community service and academic performance.

At HHS, Gamache was a member of the National Honor Society, a four-year member of the student council and a two-year member of Kansas Association for Youth Services, or KAYS. He was admitted to the Harvard Congress of Future Physicians.

“During high school, there were plenty of community service opportunities that I engaged in,” Gamache said. “National Honor Society was the largest outlet for service. We did service for the community on ‘community days.’

“We also had a charity fundraiser in our entrepreneurial class. KAYs was another great way to get active.”

Earlier this summer, Gamache signed a letter of intent to play golf for the Bethel College Threshers.

He was a three-time state qualifier as a high-school player, tying for 15th and earning a medal in the Class 3A state tournament in his final season. He was the top medalist at four prep tournaments.

“Nathan is a great recruit for us,” said Gregg Dick, Bethel head golf coach. “He is an excellent student and player … [who is] always working to improve himself. He will be a great addition to our team and to the Bethel campus community.”

Gamache is “very deserving of this scholarship,” Dick added. “First of all, he comes from Halstead and is a great student. Secondly, he works at the Halstead Bank during the summer and some during the school year, which is where James Will also worked for most of his life.I know that James would be very pleased to be giving a scholarship in his name to Nathan.”

Gamache plans to study pre-dentistry. “I look forward to expanding my mental horizons and making new connections at Bethel,” he said.

The James A. Will estate’s seven-figure gift to Bethel resulted in, among much else, creation of the Will Family Scholarship Fund, which awards $5,000 annually for up to four years to a qualifying student.

The name of Bethel’s James A. Will Family Academic Center and the Will Family Scholarship memorialize James Will, who died in November 2011, as well as his parents, Henry Gustav and Helen Elizabeth (Mueller) Will, and brother, Ernest “Ernie” Will (all of whom predeceased him), and also recognizes the Will extended family.

After graduating from Halstead High School, James Will completed two years at Bethel before finishing his degree in business at the University of Kansas. He was an officer for the Bentley State Bank and then a vice president at the Halstead Bank for nearly 30 years, until his retirement.

Church and community service was important to Will, a member of First Mennonite Church in Halstead as well as many civic clubs and organizations, including the board of directors for the Kansas Learning Center for Health, Halstead; Pine Village Endowment Foundation, Moundridge; Halstead Chamber of Commerce; Halstead Housing Authority; and Halstead Lions Club.

For more information about the Will Family Scholarship and other scholarships at Bethel College, contact Bethel’s Office of Financial Aid, 316-284-5232, or visit thethe Financial Aid, Scholarships & Tuition page.

Bethel College is the only private college in Kansas listed in the 2015-16 analysis of premier colleges and universities in the United States. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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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.