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Annual lamplighting service honors nursing students

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The traditional lamplighting service for juniors honored Bethel College’s nursing class of 2015 Feb. 22 in Krehbiel Auditorium.

The program always includes special music. This year, a member of the class of 2015 was the featured soloist.

Junior student Nikolai Krahn sang “Follow You.” The pianist was Olivia Gehring, sophomore from Manhattan, who also played a piano prelude, processional and recessional.

In addition to Krahn, four of the 29 members of the junior class had roles in the lamplighting service itself.

Following the processional, junior nursing student Chekesha Staley welcomed friends and family. Junior student Asha Williams led a prayer of invocation.

Phyllis J. 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.

This will be Miller’s last time speaking at the lamplighting as director of nursing. She announced her resignation earlier this year after serving since 2008.

Junior student Andy Dao led the others in reciting the “I Believe” pledge. The ceremony followed, in which lamps are lit and presented to each student to keep.

The lamplighting ceremony has its origin in 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.

North Newton ceramics artist Conrad Snider designed and produces the lamps given to Bethel junior nursing students.

Following presentation of the lamps, junior student Sarah Palmer gave the closing.

Members of the Bethel College nursing class of 2014 honored at the lamplighting were: Daisy Arambula, Wichita; Lani Astorga, Wichita; Jessica Blackwill, Kingman; Kylie Blaylock, Towanda; Keyona Burden, Rose Hill; Mayra Chavez, North Newton; Andy Dao, Wichita; Melissa Dodge, Wichita; Bridget Glock, Towanda; Shelby Goniea, Newton; Megan Hill, Wichita; Katrina Horner, La Junta, Colo.; Nichole Ilderton, Wichita; Nikolai Krahn, Mountain Lake, Minn.; Tracie Kuhn, Winfield; Jera Mason, Wichita; Luis Matute, Wichita; Sarah Palmer, Wichita; Meghan Phillips, Wichita; Jennifer Reed, Newton; Kelly Reimer, Hesston; Ashley Robbins, Wichita; Sarah Schell, Topeka; Darla Schrag, Inman; Chekesha Staley, Wichita; Taylor Trent, Wichita; Asha Williams, Wichita; Megan Wissmann, Valley Center; and Kami Wonders, North Newton.

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

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2013-14 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2013-14. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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