15 April 2011

the Bethel Years


When we took over the Bethel Acorn, we inherited the mid-80s logo and never changed it. The upside down pink triangle? I know, makes me wonder what they were thinking too. That's my buddy Mark & I revamping the place. Yes, that's a near-mullet I have.
“Architects come a dime a dozen” said my dad as I was trying to plan out my post-high school future. Well, I loved business and already had a connection with Bethel College, so it seemed like a logical place to go. It was a small Christian college in Mishawaka-a half hour commute, and coming from a small Christian high school it seemed like the perfect fit. The enrollment my Freshman year was only about 500 and there was serious discussion about closing the college. The newest building on campus was a library dedicated just a few years prior and named in honor of my step-grandfather. I knew a small handful of kids who went there either from LaVille or my church. But compared to my school of 30-this seemed enormous.


I bonded with a small group of friends I had met during Freshman orientation and they became my base set of friends over the next two years, but my girlfriend and a great number of my old friends from high school were still in the area and since I didn’t live on campus, my time was spent with the old gain. That started to change by my Junior year as I became more active in a few programs. One fellow business major wanted to start a business club and tagged me as someone who could help get that off the ground. We did-it was called the “Bethel Action Network Club”, or BANC, the idea is that it would serve the entire student body as a method of making connections in the business community for future grads. Tom was the driving force behind this, and being a baseball player, attracted a few others with his energy. And then he came to a meeting and said “I have an idea.” He wanted BANC to take over operations of the meager little student union/cafĂ© called “the Acorn” (Bethel’s campus is full of oak trees). We went along with Tom’s idea and it seemed to work well my Junior year.


By the end of that year Tom had yet another idea, spurred on by the head of our business school who happened to be a Kiwanian, Professor Mow. BANC should become a college Kiwanis program or “Circle K Club”. So, we began down that path. Our membership was never very high, but it sufficed to have a charter granted to us and we were adopted by Mishawaka’s Kiwanis Club. This affiliation with Kiwanis became the reason why I turned to Kiwanis once I returned to my home town six years later. My senior year lived up to college expectations....that's part 2.

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