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Governor declares Kansas Private College Week

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TOPEKA, KAN. – Harvey County’s two colleges were represented in Topeka May 21 when Governor Kathleen Sebelius signed the document to officially declare June 4-8 Kansas Private College Week.

Barry Bartel, president of Bethel College in North Newton, and Howard Keim, president of Hesston College, traveled to Topeka for the signing. Both colleges are affiliated with Mennonite Church USA.

Also present were the presidents of Central Christian College of Kansas in McPherson, Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina and McPherson College, along with Doug Penner, a former president of Bethel College and now head of the Kansas Independent College Association in Topeka.

For the second year, the 18 private colleges in the state will mark the first full week in June with a special campus visit event to encourage interested students and their guests to spend time at any or all of the schools and celebrate the wide range of choices among the state’s higher education offerings.

In addition to the five colleges named, the institutions participating in Kansas Private College Week are Baker University, Baldwin City; Benedictine College, Atchison; Bethany College, Lindsborg; Donnelly College, Kansas City; Friends University, Wichita; Manhattan Christian College; MidAmerica Nazarene University, Olathe; Newman University, Wichita; Ottawa University; Southwestern College, Winfield; Sterling College; Tabor College, Hillsboro; and University of Saint Mary, Leavenworth.

“We appreciate the governor’s support of higher education and of private colleges,” Bartel said. “Kansas Private College Week introduces students and their parents to the quality of education offered at our state’s private colleges, the opportunities provided in settings such as ours and the affordability of private colleges when all forms of financial aid and scholarships are factored in.”

“This is a great opportunity for high school students to begin to explore their opportunities in Kansas private colleges and universities.” Penner added. “For the student who hopes to combine outstanding academic achievement with a personalized, relationship-intensive college experience, we believe the private colleges are ideal.”

Opportunities to participate in a rich variety of activities and intercollegiate athletics are available to students at all of the schools, he said.

More than 23,000 students from across the nation enroll at the Kansas private colleges each year. These schools annually award 22 percent of the state’s bachelor’s degrees and 28 percent of the state’s master’s degrees. The institutions support their students through generous financial aid, awarding more than $57 million each year in institutional grants and scholarships to supplement grants and scholarships from the federal and state governments.

For more information on Kansas private colleges, or on Kansas Private College Week, contact Mark Millikan at (785) 235-9877 or visit

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