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Junior nursing majors observe lamplighting

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Another large class participated in the annual lamplighting for junior nursing majors at Bethel College.

The traditional ceremony, which recognized the Class of 2017, took place Feb. 20 in Krehbiel Auditorium, with 25 of the 28 class members participating.

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

Following the processional, junior Michelle Aguinaga 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.

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 Tana Myers gave the closing.

Members of the Bethel College nursing class of 2017 honored at the lamplighting were: Michelle Aguinaga, Wichita, Alexis Brewer, Prescott Valley, Arizona, Hannah Brinker, Shawnee, Heather Dovenbarger, Lindsborg, Isaac Dunn, Fresno, California, Trent Fynaut, Madera, California, Rachael Harder, Augusta, Hailey Heide, Wichita, Russell Kramer, Wichita, Janae Lawson, Wichita, Lisa Loehr, Garden Plain, Sarah Loehr, Garden Plain, Falon McGovern, Benton, Tana Myers, McPherson, Shannon Neifert, Pratt, Brooke Neumann, Sterling, Holly Peters, Hesston, Kaylyn Rhodes, Wichita, Bryna Rietcheck, Bavaria, Rickey Rodriguez, Port Saint Lucie, Florida, Blake Samsky, Salina, Morgan Schrock, Hesston, Twila Smedley, Manter, Carrie Wiegand, Salina, and Melissa Wimer, Smolan. (Absent were Taylor Adlesperger, Wichita, Delanie DeOrsey, Wichita, and Stephanie Duncan, North Newton.)

Bethel nursing faculty, in addition to Tyrell, are: Michelle Lamp, instructor of nursing; Sarah Masem, assistant professor of nursing; and Laura Prahm, instructor of nursing. Adjunct and clinical instructors are Jeremy Hepley, Connie Jacob, Kristen Keeler, Jana Koehn, Giovanna McQuillen Schnabel and Jeri Melin.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2015–16 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2015–16. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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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.