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Hesston student receives second Will Scholarship

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Community service and academic performance are the criteria for naming Bethel College’s Will Scholar, and this year’s winner exhibits plenty of both.

Veronica Ziegler, Hesston, a 2014 graduate of Hesston High School, begins study at Bethel this month. She is the second recipient of the scholarship established in 2013 at Bethel.

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.

Ziegler noted in her application essay that as “a proud graduate of Hesston High School” and a regular attender of Grace Community Church in Newton, she has “had many opportunities to participate in school and church activities, as well as work in interesting learning environments.”

All four years at Hesston, Ziegler was a member of the band (Band Council vice president her senior year), including marching band and pep band, and an athlete who played volleyball and participated in track and field.

She made two trips to the state track meet, as a junior and senior, finishing 15th and 6th, respectively, in triple jump.

Ziegler was active in church camps in the summer, serving as a counselor at LifeChange Camp near Clinton, Missouri, and participating in a support group for the camp.

She has been active for the past seven years in a ministry of Grace Community Church called Judgment House, a “walk-through drama.”

Ziegler worked at Schowalter Villa in Hesston for a year, where she did housekeeping along with visiting with residents. She currently works at Applebee’s Restaurant in Newton, where she was the May 2014 Employee of the Month and also received an award for promptness.

Ziegler finished her high school career with a 3.8 GPA and a near-perfect honor roll record.

She plans to study nursing at Bethel.

“While working as a nurse, someday starting a family and making my dreams a reality,” Ziegler said, “I know that working in the community is also important. I want to help other young high school students fulfill their dream by giving back to the community as much as I can.

“I am thankful for all my achievements and awards I have worked hard for, and will use them to the best of my abilities to better the world around me.”

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

Bethel College is the only private college in Kansas listed in the 2014-15 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

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.