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Lamplighting for junior nursing students considers 'call to care'

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College’s nursing class of 2012 held the traditional lamplighting for juniors Sunday, Feb. 13, in Krehbiel Auditorium.

Seven of the 22 members of the junior class participated in the service, which also featured music from two other Bethel students.

Following a piano prelude by Jordan Ortman, sophomore from Marion, S.D., and a sung processional, “The Prayer,” by Cameron Voth, junior from Goessel, junior nursing student Addison Wolf welcomed friends and family in attendance and junior student Danica Cox gave the invocation.

Phyllis Miller, director of Bethel’s nursing program, spoke briefly on the meaning of lamplighting. This Bethel tradition honors upper-class nursing students for their commitment to the profession.

The lamplighting ceremony has its origin during 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.

“Her lamp was not as elegant as the ones we have here today,” Miller told the Bethel students, “but these lamps symbolize the same calling that Nightingale wrote about in her diary: ‘God spoke to me and called me to His service.’”

Junior student Ashley Hurley presented a special vocal number, “If You Want Me To,” and junior student Jason Dunlap introduced Nancy Lugo-Baez, Bethel instructor of nursing, who spoke on “Called to Care.”

Junior student Wendy Stephens led congregational singing of the hymn “He leadeth me,” followed by junior student Alex Hittle leading recitation of the “I Believe” pledge.

In the ceremony itself, the lamps are lit and presented to each student to keep.

Following presentation of the lamps, junior student Erica Traffas gave the closing and Ortman played a recessional to conclude the service.

Members of the Bethel College nursing class of 2012 honored at the lamplighting were: Janesa Bartel, Meade; Danica Cox, Weskan; Jason Dunlap, Wichita; Elizabeth Dwyer, Wichita; Grace Easter, Hesston; Christina Garlow, Elizabeth, Colo.; Allison Goff, Hutchinson; Allison Harned, Wichita; Alexandria Hittle, Newton; Jennifer Hook, Wichita; Danielle Huntley, Newton; Ashley Hurley, Andover; Jana Koehn-Sevcenko, Newton; Hannah Lowry, Wichita; Kristin McEntire, North Newton; Morgan Peters, Henderson, Neb.; Laura Prahm, Wichita; Cassandra Preston, Newton; Erica Seger, Newton; Wendy Stephens, Colorado Springs, Colo.; Erica Traffas, Sharon; and Addison Wolf, Moundridge.

Bethel nursing faculty, in addition to Miller and Lugo-Baez, are: Peggy Hernandez, associate professor of nursing, Joanne Kaster, assistant professor of nursing, Sarah Masem, instructor of nursing, Tressie Maugans, adjunct assistant professor of nursing, and Geraldine Tyrell, instructor of nursing.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2010-11 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States and is in the first tier in its category in the U.S. News & World Report annual ranking of “America’s Top Colleges” for 2011. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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