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Nursing juniors honored in lamplighting service

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN.– The traditional lamplighting service for juniors honored Bethel College’s nursing class of 2014 Feb. 23 in Krehbiel Auditorium.

Music is always an important part of this special event, and this year it featured a Bethel nursing graduate, Melody Bontrager, North Newton, and her daughter, Marissa, member of the class of 2014.

In addition to Marissa Bontrager, six of the 21 members of the junior class had roles in the lamplighting service itself.

Melody Bontrager, a pianist, played a prelude and then “Be Thou My Vision” as a processional. Following that, junior nursing student Hollie Tabor welcomed friends and family, and junior student Julia Rojas 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.

Marissa Bontrager and junior student Ariel Silva presented a special musical number, “You Light Up My Life,” and junior student Madeline Baumgartner introduced the speaker, Paulette Wollenhaupt, a member of the Bethel nursing faculty, who spoke on “Using Your Nursing Face.”

Junior student Brenna Kleman led the others in reciting the “I Believe” pledge, which preceded the ceremony, in which lamps are lit and presented to each student to keep.

Following presentation of the lamps, junior student Scott Musgrave gave the closing and Melody Bontrager played a recessional to conclude the service.

Members of the Bethel College nursing class of 2013 honored at the lamplighting were: Madeline Baumgartner, Silver Spring, Md.; Sarah Bell, Newton; Marissa Bontrager, North Newton; Whitney Cunningham, McPherson; Naura Harlow, Wichita; Erin Hilger, Colwich; Brenna Kleman, Derby; Jessica Miller, Hutchinson; Ashley Morris, Viola; Scott Musgrave, McPherson; Kristen Olsen, Wichita; Alexis Renteria, Wichita; Angela Robinson, Hutchinson; Julia Rojas, Newton; Michelle Scheer, Colwich; Ariel Silva, Colorado Springs, Colo.; Lacy McIntyre Smith, Wichita; Mia Stroble, Hutchinson; Hollie Tabor, Wichita; Ashley Wasserman, Valley Center; and Raeanne Yoder, Newton.

Bethel nursing faculty, in addition to Miller and Wollenhaupt, are: Donna Becker, assistant professor of nursing; Marisa Daniels, instructor of nursing; Nancy Lugo-Baez, assistant professor of nursing; Sarah Masem, assistant professor of nursing; Bobbi Schrag, adjunct clinical instructor of nursing; and Geraldine Tyrell, assistant professor of nursing.

Bethel College is the only private college in Kansas listed in the 2012-13 analysis of premier colleges and universities in the United States and ranks in the top five “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2012-13. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see


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