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Large class of nursing majors celebrates with lamplighting

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – In her first year as director of nursing at Bethel College, Geri Tyrell presided over the annual service that this year honored the largest junior class in recent memory.

The traditional lamplighting, which recognized the Class of 2016, took place Feb. 21 in Krehbiel Auditorium, with 34 of the 36 class members participating.

Pianist was Michelle Unruh, senior from Goessel, who played a piano prelude, processional and recessional.

Special music was by the women’s a cappella ensemble Woven, two of whose members are also part of the nursing Class of 2016.

Nursing majors Abby Schrag and Lisa Goering, along with Karina Ortman, Michelle Peachey, Erin Regier, Alli Rudeen, Jill Siebert, Georgia Thiesen and Michelle Unruh, make up Woven.

Three other members of the nursing junior class had roles in the lamplighting service.

Following the processional, junior Amy Mason welcomed friends and family. Junior Jacqueline Wright led a prayer of invocation.

Tyrell 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.

Following presentation of the lamps, junior Shelby Johnson gave the closing.

Members of the Bethel College nursing class of 2016 honored at the lamplighting were: Daisy Arambula, Wichita, Shelby Bernt, Park City, Chianne Cates, North Las Vegas, Nevada, Tanesha Cayton, Keyes, Oklahoma, Mekale Chapple, Jones, Oklahoma, Elyse Dorlaque, Wichita, Lindsay Fawcett, Wichita, Lisa Goering, Lawrence, Breanna Honer, Shawnee, Shelby Johnson, Derby, Haleigh Kerr, North Newton, Kadyn King, Newton, Gary Kramer, Wichita, Kaela Krueger, Wichita, Amanda Loy, McPherson, Bonnie Marnell, Park City, Gail Martin, Andale, Amy Mason, Mulvane, Whitney McBryde, Wichita, Alexandra Michler, Kechi, Sarah Molstad, Wichita, Carly Richmond, Wichita, Roseanne Riddle, Wichita, Abigail Schrag, Newton, Darla Schrag, Inman, Raul Silva, Garden City, Miranda Snyder, Moundridge, Tori Stanhope, Andale, Ashley Stone, Wichita, Carly Svoboda, Wichita, Vianey Toribio, Newton, Kelsey Webber, Wichita, Caitlin Wilson, Wichita, and Jacqueline Wright, Andover. (Absent were Shelby Jessup, Wichita, and Mary Nixon, Wichita.)

Bethel nursing faculty, in addition to Tyrell, are: Nancy Ciskey, associate professor of nursing; Michelle Lamp, adjunct clinical instructor of nursing; Sarah Masem, assistant professor of nursing; Laura Prahm, instructor of nursing; Bobbi Schrag, instructor of nursing; Paulette Wollenhaupt, assistant professor of nursing; and Julia Zahn, adjunct clinical instructor of nursing.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2014-15 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 2014-15. 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.