Alumni | Give to BC | Athletics | Fine Arts | Thresher Connect | Search


Junior nursing majors observe annual lamplighting

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The Bethel College Department of Nursing honored its junior students in the annual lamplighting.

The traditional ceremony, which recognized the Class of 2018, took place Feb. 18 in Krehbiel Auditorium, with 21 of the 22 class members participating.

Two members of the class had roles in the lamplighting service.

Following the processional, junior Julie Baker welcomed friends and family.

Geri Tyrell, director of nursing, spoke briefly on the meaning of lamplighting, a Bethel tradition that honors upper-class nursing students for their commitment to the profession.

Nursing senior Olivia Leif, Concordia, presented special music, “Go Light Your World” by Chris Rice, with Karen Bauman Schlabaugh, Bethel professor of music, accompanying on piano.

The students recited the “I Believe” pledge, followed by the ceremony in which lamps are lit and presented to each student to keep.

The lamplighting ceremony has its origin in the Crimean War between England and Russia, 1853-56, when British nurse Florence Nightingale, considered the founder of modern nursing, volunteered to go to Scutari, Turkey, with a group of about 30 women to care for the wounded soldiers.

Nightingale spent up to 20 hours a day dressing wounds, comforting soldiers, assisting in surgery, directing staff and maintaining records. The men called her “the Lady with a Lamp” after the Turkish candle lantern she carried as she provided care, going from soldier to soldier.

North Newton ceramics artist Conrad Snider designed and produces the lamps given to Bethel junior nursing students.

After the presentation of lamps, junior Nichole Wentz gave the closing.

Members of the Bethel College nursing class of 2018 honored at the lamplighting were: Julie Baker, Park City, Chloe Bequillard, Valley Center, Brooke Bugbee, Wichita, Kimberly Buzbee, Topeka, Cacy Cavin, Wichita, Erin Conner, Wichita, Paige Cooper, Hutchinson, Jacey Crowther, Gypsum, Vanessa Doan, Newton, Heather Eddy, Park City, Katie Fieser, Douglass, Rachel Herzog, Wichita, Breanne Rogers, Newton, Sarena Seal, Augusta, Samantha Strauss, Aztec, New Mexico, Shalei Swaim, McPherson, Delona Torres, Newton, Autumn Walton, Belleville, Hannah Weber, Hutchinson, Kelsey Weninger, Colwich, and Nichole Wentz, Wichita. (Absent was Kaitlyn Feigl, Rose Hill.)

Bethel nursing faculty, in addition to Tyrell, are: Michelle Lamp, instructor of nursing; Sarah Masem, associate professor of nursing; and Laura Prahm, instructor of nursing.

Bethel College is the only private college in Kansas listed in the analysis of top colleges and universities, the Washington Monthly National Universities-Liberal Arts section and the National Liberal Arts College category of U.S. News & World Report, all for 2016'17. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

Bethel College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, age, gender, sexual orientation, parental or marital status, gender identity, gender expression, medical or genetic information, ethnic or national origins, citizenship status, veteran or military status or disability. E-mail questions to

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.