Bethel breaks ground for science center

Bethel College broke ground May 20 for the Krehbiel Science Center.

More than 250 students, donors, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of

the college attended the ceremony on the building site northeast of

the Administration Building.

Construction for the $6 million science facility is scheduled to begin

next month with completion expected by summer of 2001.

Psychology, physics, chemistry and biology will be housed in the

four-story structure.

A major gift from Fred and Kay Krehbiel, Hinsdale, Ill., and the Molex

Corporation, Lisle, Ill., provided the naming of the new building.

The name honors Fred?s great-grandparents, J.J. and Anna Leisy

Krehbiel, who pioneered the Kansas plains and helped found Bethel

College 113 years ago.

J.J. and Anna Leisy Krehbiel?s great-granddaughter, Rosalind Enns

Andreas, Essex Junction, Vt., spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony and

introduced the audience to the character and values of the Krehbiels.

Andreas, a 1963 Bethel graduate, described them as people ?who helped

tie the church, college and community together during the college?s

early years. In a similar way today, J.J. and Anna have tied these

three groups together again through the construction of the new


Other speakers spoke about the academic excellence of Bethel?s science

programs. A 1950 graduate, Varden Loganbill, Moundridge, also shared

about the tradition of mentoring relationships between faculty and

students that last a lifetime.

Carrie Penner, a graduating senior biology major from Hillsboro, spoke

for current students who anticipate that Bethel will ?at last have a

science building that matches the quality of its programs.?

Richard Zerger, a 1969 graduate and current professor of physics and

chemistry, described the inquiry-based science program already in use

at Bethel in which teachers and students work together as active


?We already have a teaching model for the future, and now we are

building ?a facility to support it,? Zerger said.

With a long rope and an antique slip similar to those pulled by horses

and used to do earthmoving for early buildings on campus, nearly

everyone in attendance participated in the groundbreaking exercise.

?There was an inspiring symbolism in having more than 200 persons

representing students, board, alumni, retired faculty and staff,

donors, architects and builders, and friends of the college all

pulling with such energy, said President Douglas Penner. ?It

communicated the depth and intensity of support we have experienced at

Bethel for this project in recent years.?

Others participating in the ceremony were the Bethel College Brass

Ensemble and Keith Harder, chairman of the Beth

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