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Junior nursing majors observe lamplighting

April 16th, 2018

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 2019, took place March 3 in Krehbiel Auditorium, with 25 of the 26 class members participating.

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

Following the processional, junior Harrison Lamp 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.

Junior Emily Epp sang “Come As You Are” by David Crowder, with Rebecca Schrag, Bethel junior from Newton, 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 ceramic artist Conrad Snider designed and produces the lamps given to Bethel junior nursing students.

After the presentation of lamps, junior Angela Saunders gave the closing.

In addition to honoring junior nursing students, the lamplighting has become a time when the students express their gratitude and appreciation to the families and communities who support them in their studies.

Members of the Bethel College nursing class of 2019 honored at the lamplighting were: Hanna Bennett, Goddard, Madison Brewer, Newton, Tyler Brown, Valley Center, Taylor Buessing, Topeka, Carley Cusick, Wichita, Emily Epp, Marion, South Dakota, Anna Grimsley, Hesston, Casey Hicks, Arlington, Kristen Hilger, Conway Springs, Emily Knight, Moundridge, Harrison Lamp, Wichita, Anthony Mapes, Derby, Alexandra Martin, Clay Center, Avery Myatt, Windsor, Colorado, SkyLa O’Neal, Independence, Missouri, Baileigh Rager, Topeka, Angela Saunders, Wichita, Aleena Simonds, Wichita, Brooke Simpson, Salina, Ashlynn Speakman, Parachute, Colorado, Kori Stafford, Derby, Anna Stucky, Moundridge, Olivia Wetter, Colby, Shaylee Wewe, Wichita, and Kaytlin Wilson, Wichita. (Absent was Madison McDowell, Basehor.)

Bethel nursing faculty, in addition to Tyrell, are: Connie Jacob, assistant professor of nursing; Johanna Jones, adjunct clinical instructor; Michelle Lamp, instructor of nursing; Sheila Landis, assistant professor of nursing; Sarah Masem, associate professor of nursing; Jeri Melin, adjunct clinical instructor; and Miranda Snyder, adjunct clinical instructor.

Bethel College ranks at No. 1 in College Consensus’ ranking of Kansas colleges and universities, and is the only Kansas private college 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 2017-18. 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.