NORTH NEWTON, KAN. -- Bethel College will honor 109 graduating seniors as well as returning alumni during end-of-the-year festivities May 21-22 on campus. Bethel’s 112th commencement will take place Sunday, May 22, at 2:30 p.m. in Memorial Hall. Paul Lewis, professor of psychology and this year’s recipient of the Ralph P. Schrag Distinguished Teaching Award, will address the graduates. The Schrag Award goes to a Bethel faculty member judged to have made an outstanding contribution to teaching.
Lewis has been on the Bethel College faculty since 1988. He is a cum laude graduate of Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis., with a master of arts in social sciences and a Ph.D. in behavioral sciences from the University of Chicago. Lewis also chairs the Bethel philosophy department and advises students in the Clinical and Counseling Studies certificate program.
Lewis’ areas of specialization are human development and social cognition. His ongoing research includes social cognition in everyday life, schizophrenia, psychology of religion and theory of mind.
His overseas experience includes serving as research psychologist at the Institute of Psychiatry and the Maudsley and Bethlem Hospitals of the University of London, and visiting professor of psychology at the University of Limburg, Maastricht, Netherlands.
Other awards that Lewis has received while at Bethel College include the John O. and Esther Schrag Helping Hand Award in 2004, the Julius A. and Agatha Dyck Franz Teaching Development Award in 2001 and the Sears Roebuck Foundation’s Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award in 1991.
Lewis is currently an evaluation consultant for the Harvey County Special Education Cooperative, Haysville USD 261 and Sumner County Educational Service Interlocal School Districts. He was chair of the Harvey County Special Education Cooperative Advisory Council, 1992-95, and has served in several volunteer positions for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Harvey County and Harvey County United Way.
Among Lewis’ other interests are participating in reading groups and folk singing. He is married to Diane Lewis. They live in Newton and are the parents of three young adult children.
In addition to presentation of the Schrag Award and remarks by Lewis, Bethel’s commencement exercises will include an invocation by Rev. Randy W. Smith, Raleigh, N.C., parent of graduate Emily Smith, choral selections by the Bethel College Concert Choir and remarks to the Class of 2005 by Bethel president E. LaVerne Epp.
The baccalaureate service will take place at Bethel College Mennonite Church earlier in the day. The program will include prelude music by a number of Bethel College seniors on instruments and vocals, as well as readings and reflections by graduating seniors. There will be a blessing and candlelighting, along with remarks in the form of a poem written by seniors Elizabeth Rempel, Newton, and Jared Hawkley, Homewood, Ill., and commissioned specifically for the 2005 baccalaureate on behalf of and dedicated to the senior class.
Alumni and Commencement Weekend events that are open to the public are the nurses’ pinning ceremony at 2 p.m. Saturday in Krehbiel Auditorium and the senior art exhibit Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center gallery, including the reception from 3-5 p.m.
The classes of ’30, ’35, ’40, ’45, ’50, ’55, ’60, ’65 and ’70 will hold reunions May 20-21. The first event is a Friday evening dinner in the Schultz Student Center cafeteria, followed by a walking tour of the new sports complex and an ice cream social.
On Saturday, retired faculty and staff will join reunion class members at a breakfast buffet. Classes observing reunions of 50 years or more will be guests of Bethel College president E. LaVerne Epp and his wife, Marilyn, for coffee on Saturday morning at Goerz House. All classes will meet for reunion luncheons at various locations on campus and in North Newton.
The annual Alumni Banquet for graduating seniors, alumni and friends will be held Saturday evening in Memorial Hall. The Alumni Association will honor two alumni at the banquet. Greg Raleigh, Hesston, will receive the Outstanding Alumnus Award. Lorna Sawatsky, Waterloo, Ont., will accept the Distinguished Achievement Award on behalf of her husband, the late Rodney J. Sawatsky.
For alumni activities, contact Dave Linscheid, director of alumni relations, (316) 284-5252, firstname.lastname@example.org.