By my Senior year at Bethel a group spun off of our new Circle K Club to operate the Acorn, though that board and the club’s board shared some members….me being one. Fred became a good friend of mine; he was a fellow business major and Senior, and he became the president of the K club while I was treasurer. Faith also became a good friend and served as either vice-president or secretary, I don't recall but frankly she picked up everything Fred and I didn't do. I was the main manager of the Acorn, with a number of others heading up other areas. It was my time with the group managing the Acorn that brings back the best memories from my Senior year. We brought in a juke box, revamped the kitchen to offer actual food, instituted “Saturday Night Live at the Acorn”, obviously a spin off a program on NBC that will go unnamed in case of copyright infringement. We invited bands and had talent nights and packed the student union. And we actually were making money-well, the student union was. My good friends and cohorts were Scott and Ingrid (who became Mrs. Scott), Amy, and Mark. And by the way, this Acorn has no ties to local terrorist organizations, not that I was aware of anyway.
By my Senior year Bethel was brought back from the brink. Student enrollment was up to about a thousand, a few thousand short of today's enrollment, and discussions began about how to plan the campus for the future. I ran for Senior class treasurer and won, and by virtue of my role with the Acorn was able to sit in student leadership meetings. I was nominated for Homecoming King, but fell short with the votes, probably 15 like in my council race! I think I lost it with my “blood for oil” comment concerning the Persian Gulf War during the assembly interview. Still, it was an honor being the only off-campus student nominated for the court. Speaking of court, it was the Bethel basketball games that really got the heart pumpin’ and probably had the best influence on student morale.
Mark, from the Acorn, was a class A prankster and looking back, though I don’t regret anything, I realize we could have gotten into serious trouble. Besides dumpster diving abroad, we commandeered sacred Bethel ephemera and framed fellow students by placing the materials in their dorm rooms (see top picture!). We held chair races on the sidewalks that followed some of the hilly terrain outside the library using the Board of Directors comfy chairs that had coasters….until we broke one. We hid that chair for a few months until the week before graduation and attempted to glue it back together then very carefully placed it back in the Board Room. I would have hated to be the person that sat in it. Graduation came and went but didn’t seem that “final” since I had already been accepted into architecture school at Andrews University.
Bethel never lived up to those “hallmark” college days that Andrews did. I think it was because I didn’t live on campus. Don’t get me wrong, I had some good times there and made some great friends, but I never really felt at home there. I got an apartment with a couple of guys from Bethel and commuted to Andrews my first two years so I managed to keep some connection with the college, but once the roommate situation ended, so did my link with Bethel. And I never really felt the pull to go back.