LINDSBORG – Will Jones will step down as Bethany College President this summer, Board of Directors Chair Corey Peterson 1984, announced Friday morning.
According to Peterson, an interim president will be identified in the coming weeks for the 2019-2020 academic year. Vice President of Academic Affairs Beth Mauch will serve as acting president until then.
“We have accomplished much at Bethany thanks to Will’s leadership, tireless work ethic, and skills. Fortunately, Will is leaving Bethany in a good place. We have had back-to-back record Freshman classes and strong enrollment growth over the past three years. The college is in good standing with the Higher Learning Commission, has an excellent cabinet, faculty and staff in place, and has enjoyed several years of balanced budgets. Looking forward, Bethany has the pieces and plan needed to continue strengthening its financial standing and to successfully carry on its mission,” Peterson said. “I am deeply saddened to have Will leave, but am thrilled for him and his family to have an opportunity to move back to his home state to serve an excellent college where they will be near their family and friends. I will be forever grateful to Will and Amy and all they did to allow Bethany to not only survive a very difficult situation, but to thrive. Lindsborg will miss them and their wonderful children, and I wish them the very best.”
“Serving Bethany with the college’s faculty, staff, and board the past three years has been a professional honor," Jones said. "I am deeply grateful for the confidence placed in me to help Bethany College to rise. It has been great to have been a Bethany Swede.”
Jones will become the president of Georgetown College in Kentucky effective July 1.
Since arriving at Bethany in the summer of 2016, Jones has led the college in increasing full-time enrollment nearly 25 percent. Jones also led the college in launching the Good Life Scholarship, Swedes to Sweden, and Bethany College Swedish Crafts. The college benefited from a renovation of Alma Swenson Hall and the construction of a new tennis complex during Jones’s tenure. In addition, Bethany also secured a USDA loan to purchase New Hall and refinance the college’s long-term debt and completed a five-year strategic plan.
Following the appointment of an interim president in the coming weeks, the college’s board of directors will begin a national search for a permanent successor.
Bethany College, established by Swedish Lutheran immigrants in 1881, is a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The mission of Bethany College is to educate, develop, and challenge individuals to reach for truth and excellence as they lead lives of faith, learning, and service. Bethany connects its past, present, and future with distinctive initiatives like Swedes to Sweden, a free service-learning trip for the sophomore class to Sweden, and the Good Life Scholarship, presenting all local high school graduates with a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to the college. Bethany College is on the Web at www.bethanylb.edu and is located in Lindsborg, Kansas, the fine arts and crafts capital of the state.