Sunday, October 11

Obituary : Former Bethel president dies at 78

During my Inauguration Ceremony in 2013, Jim laid his hand of support on my shoulder during a Prayer of Dedication,” Gregg Chenoweth, Bethel's current president, said in a news release. “I knew then any progress I might make for Bethel comes from standing on his shoulders, and others who came before me."

Bennett's visitation will be 4 to 7 p.m. Monday in the Weaver Rotunda of the Everest-Rohrer Chapel/Fine Arts Center on Bethel's campus. The funeral will be 2 p.m. Tuesday in the chapel/fine arts center's auditorium.
A 1961 graduate of Bethel with a degree in theology, Bennett was a member of Bethel’s board of directors from 1975 to 1980, serving as chair the last two years, according to the college. He was hired as Bethel’s director of institutional advancement in 1980, before becoming president in 1982.

Bennett's time as president were some of the most challenging for the college's history. He was seen as a visionary at a time when the college was in "life preserving mode" with limited capital to expand, according to a news release. Because of the tough financial times, many of Bennett's visions for the institution were fulfilled in later years.

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