Bethany College (Kansas) Article

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Bethany College
Bethany College (KS) logo.png
Affiliation Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
PresidentWilliam Jones
Location, ,
Campus Rural, 53 acres (21 ha)
ColorsBlue and Gold
AffiliationsNAIA, KCAC, NAICU
Sports NAIA:21
MascotTerrible Swedes

Bethany College is a small liberal arts college located in Lindsborg, Kansas, and is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). It was founded in 1881.


Bethany College at the turn of the twentieth century

Bethany College, established by Swedish Lutheran immigrants in 1881, is a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Swedish-Lutheran settlers worked with the Rev. Dr. Carl Aaron Swensson, Bethany’s founder, to establish Bethany Academy on October 15, 1881, in the sacristy of Bethany Lutheran Church in Lindsborg, Kansas, with ten students. Growing rapidly, Bethany evolved from Academy through 1885, to Bethany Normal Institute in 1887, to Bethany College in 1889. Notable Bethany presidents in the 20th century include Rev. Dr. Ernst Frederick Wilhelm Pihlblad (1873–1943), who was a professor from 1895 to 1904, and president from 1905 to 1941. Under Pihlblad, Bethany was accredited and became a member of the National Association of Schools of Music. Under the watch of Emory K. Lindquist (1908–1992), who took office of president in 1943, Bethany survived war troubles, grew in post-war America and improved its reputation. He was the author of Bethany in Kansas: The History of a College (1975). [1]

The Bethany College Board of Directors announced the appointment of William Jones as Bethany College President on May 13th, 2016. [2]


Bethany College has 14 academic departments. The school offers majors focused in education, humanities, fine arts, sciences, and social sciences; minors ranging from business and sacred music to theater and art; teaching endorsements for all majors in education; and six pre-professional studies including medicine, law and, physical therapy.


Bethany College's athletic teams are known as the Terrible Swedes or Swedes. The college is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and competes in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis, track & field and wrestling; while women's sports include basketball, cheerleading, cross country, dance, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field and volleyball.


Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas
  • Since 1903, students and alumni have rallied Bethany athletic competition with the “Rockar! Stockar!” cheer.
  • Every year since 1882, Bethany Oratorio Society has presented Handel's Messiah at the college, one of the longest-running annual performances in North America. [3]
  • The walk from Bethany Lutheran Church. In honor of its founding in the sacristy of Bethany Lutheran Church, students traditionally walk to the church for a welcome service on their first day at Bethany as freshmen. Then, before the baccalaureate services on the day of their commencement, Bethany seniors line up in front of Bethany Lutheran Church for a traditional procession to Presser Hall on campus.
  • The ringing of the bell. When a Swedes athletics team wins conference, they gather in front of Hahn Gymnasium to ring the bell and spread the news to the rest of the campus, regardless of what time of day-or night-it may be.
  • Lift High the Cross. Each year during Homecoming week, Bethany students celebrate the college’s heritage of faith by lifting high a wooden cross in the gazebo. Students sign up for shifts so that the cross is held high during every hour of the week.
  • 352. The number of feet out that the fence is for a home run in Anderson Stadium. 352 is also the place all Swedes baseball fans gather to cheer.

Notable alumni and faculty

An entrance to Bethany College


  1. ^ Connelley, William E (1918). "Carl Aaron Swensson". A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company. Archived from the original on 26 June 2012. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  2. ^ "President's Office". Bethany College. Bethany College. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  3. ^ Lindquist, Emory (1953). Smokey Valley People: A History of Lindsborg, Kansas. Kempton. pp. 108–110.
  4. ^ "Jacobson, Oscar Brousse (1882-1966)". Oklahoma Historical Society.

External links

BETHANY COLLEGE (KANSAS) Latitude and Longitude:

38°34′48.2″N 97°40′22.7″W / 38.580056°N 97.672972°W / 38.580056; -97.672972