Campus News

Chenoweth inaugurated, casts vision for future

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Dr. Gregg Chenoweth, Bethel College’s new president, was inaugurated on Sunday, Nov. 11 in a ceremony held in the Everest-Rohrer auditorium. During his address, Dr. Chenoweth shared his vision for Bethel in the upcoming years. “As a new president, I look at all kinds of things,” said Chenoweth. “I look at reports, I look at facilities, I look at policies, I look at credentials, I look, look, look, but I can tell you I’m trying really hard to ‘see’ as well.” He said that his vision is to help make Bethel “G.R.E.A.T.” “We really think we can ‘G’ – ‘Grow’ by 1,000 students ,an unduplicated head count, by 2018,” said Chenoweth. “Two hundred traditional students and 800 adult and graduate students.” Bethel currently has 1,800 students enrolled and hopes to reach an enrollment of 2,800 by the fall of 2018.
Dr. Gregg Chenoweth gives his inaugural address.
Dr. Gregg Chenoweth gives his inaugural address.
“Accomplishing that moves Bethel from number 18 among the 30 Wesleyan colleges in America to number eight,” said Chenoweth. Dr. Chenoweth shared that Bethel plans to extend special financial assistance to families with the greatest financial need as determined by their FAFSA, by providing those students with the opportunity to attend full-time and reside on-campus for approximately $5,000 per year. “Part of the way forward is, don’t compete,” said Chenoweth. “Do what few others are doing.” Dr. Chenoweth also shared aspirations in the areas of revival, encore, aesthetics, and testimony. “We cannot extend our influence by hiding it under a bushel,” said Chenoweth. “We want exponentially more people to know what God accomplishes here.” “When we accomplish these priorities, can you say we have moved toward the grand aspiration of being a top five most influential Wesleyan college in America by 2022?” asked Chenoweth. “I’m saying yes.” Dr. Chenoweth shared that a panel of 25 members, consisting of faculty, staff, students and members of the local community has been meeting to discuss how to achieve this goal. This panel conducted surveys and focus groups, met twice per month, and proposed a set of priorities to the cabinet of vice presidents, as well as the board of trustees. “The key, of course, isn’t to name priorities; it’s to execute them,” said Chenoweth. “And so, today is a pivot point.” Numerous representatives from the local community, the academic community, and the Missionary Church community offered their support of Chenoweth’s leadership. “One of the things that President Chenoweth has in his spirit is that the atmosphere of Bethel College is going to be a great atmosphere,” said Reverend Rickardo Taylor during the welcome and opening remarks during the inauguration. “And he says there’s going to be a new environment. That says to me that he’s spending time with the Holy Spirit, and he’s praying that God creates an atmosphere where lives are changed.” Dr. Timothy Erdel, professor of religion and philosophy, said that he was excited about the vision Dr. Chenoweth shared. “I think his goal of being a top five Wesleyan college is a great goal,” said Erdel. The Beacon asked former Bethel College president Dr. Steven Cramer to share his thoughts about Bethel’s future. “I think the college is well-positioned right now,” said Cramer. “There are a lot of challenges right now and a lot of opportunities right now. Dr. Chenoweth’s gifts are well suited to the task of moving Bethel forward. He has a heart for God and he feels called here, so he’s doing God’s work and not his own.” Dr. Cramer said that he is excited to see Dr. Chenoweth’s vision implemented over the coming years. “I think he’s the right man at the right time to lead the college,” said Cramer. “I feel very confident about passing the baton to him.”
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