Campus News

Former Bethel president honored at sacred convocation

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getmediaobject3On Wed., Aug. 25, Bethel honored the college's former president Dr. Norman  Bridges who recently passed after a long battle with cancer. The Everest-Rohrer Chapel/Fine Arts Center welcomed a steady stream of friends and family during the prelude. Vocalist Cindy Zook , Dr. David & Lois Pannabecker and Rev. Jim Fair contributed their music talents for the prelude. The service opened with the hymn “For All the Saints” and was followed by the Bethel College Concert Choir, conducted by Bob Ham. It featured a solo by senior Ruth Olson. The choir also performed “Amen,” featuring soloist Zach Gillis, a song of celebration for the eternal life given to man through Christ—a special request from Dr. Bridges. A men’s chorus gathered on stage to sing a collection of hymns—also selected by Dr. Bridges—featuring vocalists Mr. Jeff Cramer and Dr. Shawn Holtgren. Dr. Bill Hossler and Dr. Stephanie Carlson shared Scripture that gave testimony to God’s love and gift of eternal life. During a presidential tribute, Dr. Steve Cramer shared his insight into Dr. Bridges' character and leadership. Senior Vice President of Bethel  Dr. Dennis Engbrecht gave testimony to his life as a college student under the leadership and discipline of then Dean of Students Norman Bridges. Two of Dr. Bridges sons, David and Jonathan, also took time to reflect on their father’s life, testimony and influence on their lives and the community. The service completed with prerecorded selections from Mrs. Marilynn Ham. Dr. Steve Cramer, Dr. Dennis Engbrecht, Richard Felix, Bob Ham, Dr. Michael Holtgren and Harry Kelly were pallbearers. Dr. Bridges is survived by his wife, Janice Bridges. Together they raised three sons who are all married. Dr. Bridges and Janice have six grandchildren.
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