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Bethel community mourns the loss of student

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As Bethel students returned from fall break (Oct. 17-20), they learned of the passing of one of their own — Qadrey Tolliver.

Tolliver, a first-year student from Kempner, Texas, died in an automobile accident Oct. 20.

According to Texas media reports, investigation into the cause of the accident remains ongoing, but officials have determined Tolliver lost control of her car as she rounded a curve on a rural highway in Lampasas County and hit a tree shortly after 7 a.m.

Tolliver was a member of the Bethel College women’s basketball team and will be remembered for "her fiery and sassy spirit." She graduated from Lampasas High School and had signed to play guard for the Threshers.

According to Texas media, during her senior year, Tolliver led her high school team to the playoffs for the first time in 14 years.

The Bethel women’s basketball team gathered in the chapel the afternoon of Oct. 20 to honor Tolliver’s memory. The wider Bethel community met that evening in Haury Hall.

Director of Counseling, Career Services and Experiential Learning Joanna Bjerum and Campus Pastor Peter Goerzen, along with other members of the Student Life staff, were available to facilitate processing and sharing.

The regular Wednesday chapel service the following morning was dedicated to Tolliver, and a moment of silence offered at the volleyball game that evening.

The Bethel College community sends thoughts and prayers to Tolliver’s parents and brother.

Students are reminded that the Office of Student Life has resources available. Bjerum, Goerzen and Student Life staff are available. Bethel also maintains a relationship with Prairie View Mental Health Services in Newton, which allows students to meet free for the first three visits with one of their counselors.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2015–16 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 2015-16. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

Bethel College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, age, gender, sexual orientation, parental or marital status, gender identity, gender expression, medical or genetic information, ethnic or national origins, citizenship status, veteran or military status or disability. E-mail questions to

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