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Varney's academics, service earn an exclusive Kansas scholarship

April 16th, 2018

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College’s Kiley Varney has been awarded the 2017-18 Kansas Independent College Fund Recognition Scholarship.

Varney, a senior biology major from North Newton, expects to graduate next May.

The scholarship is awarded annually to one student at one of the 19 nonprofit private colleges in Kansas. Recipients are selected on the basis of their academic achievements and their contributions to their community during their collegiate career.

The scholarship was established in 1995 to honor those individuals and organizations that have supported private colleges in Kansas for more than 40 years.

“Kiley exemplifies the passion for learning and a commitment to community that the Kansas private college family, including its 24,000 students, embody.” said Matt Lindsey, president of the Kansas Independent College Fund.

“Faculty at Bethel College have praised Ms. Varney for her dedication, enthusiasm and intelligence, calling her an innate leader with an amazing work ethic.”

As an aspiring medical professional, Varney has taken advantage of multiple opportunities to prepare for that field.

She has already published research, works as a teaching assistant for the anatomy and physiology lab, has shadowed at the local medical center, and is an active volunteer with the Good Shepherd Hospice and the JayDoc Community Clinic in Wichita.

“Each year, I have become more tightly woven into the fabric of Bethel College…,” Varney wrote in her application essay. “I feel so enriched by the diverse experiences I have had the opportunity to engage in, [and that is] something I want so many others to experience both now and in the future.”

Varney was one of the first students to participate in Student Day at the Capitol with the Kansas Independent College Association (KICA), and is bringing that journey full circle with receipt of the KICF Recognition Scholarship, valued at $2,500.

The Kansas Independent College Fund, established in 1952, is a 501(c)3 organization that supports the accredited, nonprofit, private colleges and universities of the state. Since its inception, KICF has directed over $24 million in the form of unrestricted college aid for college programs and activities and targeted giving to match donors’ special interests.

KICA member institutions, in addition to Bethel College, are Baker University, Benedictine College, Bethany College, Central Christian College of Kansas, Cleveland University Kansas City, Donnelly College, Friends University, Hesston College, Kansas Wesleyan University, McPherson College, Manhattan Christian College, MidAmerica Nazarene University, Newman University, Ottawa University, Southwestern College, Sterling College, Tabor College and the University of Saint Mary. Learn more at

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

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.