Arts, Activities, Organizations


The Hesston College Gallery exhibits a rich variety of art in displays that change regularly. Shows feature architectural displays, ceramics, drawings, graphic designs, illustrations, paintings, prints, sculpture and photographs by established artists. Exhibits often deal with social and religious issues. The featured gallery artist is frequently invited to discuss his or her work and meet with interested students. The Annual Student Art Exhibit is held at the end of the spring term. The gallery is located in Friesen Center and is meant for the enrichment and enjoyment of everyone.

The Hesston College Art Collection, including the Paul A. Friesen Collection, provides a rich visual resource for the campus. The various pieces of sculpture, ceramics, paintings, prints, drawings and photographs grace walls throughout the campus and at Dyck Arboretum of the Plains. Many of these works are by Hesston College alumni and faculty and aim to please the eye as well as encourage reflection regarding life and faith. Maps showing the locations of the works in this collection are located in the displays throughout campus.

Intramural Sports

Intramural sports are important at Hesston College. Students can get involved in a variety of intramural activities, includ­ing indoor soccer, floor hockey, volleyball, basketball, racquet­ball, softball and tennis. The Campus Activities Center is the site for most indoor intramural sports.


Hesston College offers 11 intercollegiate sports. Sports offered are men’s cross country, soccer, basketball, tennis and baseball and women’s cross country, soccer, volleyball, basketball, tennis and softball. The Larks compete in NJCAA Region 6 and the Division I and Division II levels.

The athletic experience at Hesston College goes beyond the field or court as Christian coaches who model values of personal development provide important leadership in developing students as athletes and competent individuals.
See the catalog for details on athletic eligibility.


Experience is the best teacher in the dramatic field. Hesston offers plenty of opportunities to become involved in mainstage performances and student directing. Each year the college offers a variety of theatre productions in which to participate. A Drama in the Church class emphasizes practical ways of incorporating drama into worship. Theatre Appreciation focuses on theatre history and aesthetic appreciation and includes a trip to New York City. Acting introduces students to basic tools of the art form. Music Theatre Workshop develops skills of the singing, dancing actor. Directing teaches the process of of selecting and staging a one-act play. Drama Participation offers credit for students who want to act or explore what happens behind the scenes with hands on experience. American College Theatre Festival is a biannual class that travels to a five-state theatre festival. Through participation in the productions and theatre classes, students learn acting, production, staging and technical skills of the theatre.

Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts

The Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts series is sponsored by Hesston College and Bethel College in cooperation with the cities of Hesston and North Newton. Five annual events present world-renowned performers. All full-time students receive a free season pass to HBPA events.


For more than a century, music has been an important component of campus life at Hesston. The Music department offers students unique and varied performance opportunities. Two Hesston College choirs, Hesston College Chorale and Bel Canto Singers, offer students an artistic outlet and a place to advance singing skills. Founded in 2006, the Hesston College Concert Band generates strong performances from within the canon of symphonic band literature. Auditions are required for membership in each of these ensembles. The Screaming Larks Pep Band is another opportunity for students to express school spirit.

Hesston College Chorale is a 35- to 45-voice mixed choir that focuses on sacred repertoire. Chorale collaborates with Bel Canto Singers to present a choral masterwork every fall semester. Chorale also tours for 10 to 12 days over spring break. This ensemble is selected by audition in the beginning of each semester.

Bel Canto Singers is a 20- to 22-voice select mixed ensemble that performs a variety of music from Renaissance to 21st century works, for civic events and worship services. Repertoire encompasses sacred and secular idioms with emphasis on mainstream college level literature. Bel Canto Singers tours on long weekends and for two weeks every other summer. Voice lessons are required during the first year of enrollment in Bel Canto Singers. This ensemble is selected by competitive audition. Final selections are made by mid April for the next academic year.

International Chorale is comprised of 30 to 40 voices and is offered during the summer in even-numbered years. During the three-week tour, students perform roughly 10 concerts in European Mennonite or related churches and sing informally in cathedrals and civic venues. In addition to performing, choir members are engaged in studying the history and culture and attend concerts in various cities. Comprising about half of the overnight accommodations, homestays are a highlight of this tour. Humanities credit available.

Focusing on the growing canon of symphonic band literature, Hesston College Concert Band performs on campus and in the community. Students with strong backgrounds in woodwind, brass, and percussion are invited to participate. In addition to concert appearances, Concert Band serves as the Screaming Larks Pep Band at a select number of home basketball games each season.

Hesston College offers applied instruction in piano, organ, voice, guitar, strings and all band instruments. Beginning-level lessons are taught in class settings. Students are taught fundamental music skills and technique as well as basic music theory. Both private instrumental and voice lessons offer students opportunities to further develop their skills and gain experience in various performance settings.

Recreational Facilities

Hesston College has outstanding indoor and outdoor facilities for recreation.

Yost Center houses two hardwood basketball courts, racquetball courts and locker rooms. Campus Activities Center provides a second gym space, with two basketball or three volleyball courts and indoor soccer pitch.

Outdoor facilities include four lighted tennis courts, practice and game soccer fields, baseball diamond and sand volleyball court. Soccer and baseball game facilities are lighted for night games. The Hesston community has an 18-hole golf course with jogging/biking trails and six additional lighted tennis courts. Students also have easy walking access to the Dyck Arboretum of the Plains, which provides walking trails through naturalistic landscaping.

The student lounge in Erb Hall provides pool and Ping Pong tables as well as big-screen TV viewing.

With memberships paid by student fees, students also have access to the Hesston Wellness Center at Schowalter Villa and its fitness and strength training equipment and heated indoor pool.

Special Events

Throughout the year, numerous events provide special moments in the life of this community.

Alumni Homecoming Weekend (fourth weekend in September). Students have the opportunity to interact with alumni in various settings. Events for alumni include class reunions, athletic games, concerts, a banquet and worship time.

Thanksgiving Weekend. Students are encouraged to invite their parents and families (especially high school age siblings) to spend Thanksgiving at Hesston College to kick off the holiday season and be part of the Hesston Experience. Events include music and theatre performances, basketball games, talent show, fun run/walk, prospective student visit activities and much more.

Christmas festivities peak during the last week before the term ends. Music programs, special meals, special chapels and mod activities help prepare students to commemorate the birth of Christ.

Grandparent Days (spring). The schedule includes class visits, special seminars and a banquet that students attend with their grandparents.

New Alumni Dinner (April). Hesston College’s newest alumni are welcomed to the Alumni Association at this special dinner provided by the Advancement Division of the college. Students are strongly encouraged to attend, and college schedules are cleared to enable them to do so.

Commencement Weekend. Parents and families of graduates are invited to campus to share in recognizing those who graduate.
Other special events are Mod Olympics, Spring Celebration and the popular, though not too professional, talent shows.

Stutzman Retreat Center

Stutzman Retreat Center is located eight miles southwest of Hesston. The comfortable log cabin and spacious, shady grounds are available for student groups for overnight retreats, picnics, Bible study, etc. Reservations can be made by contacting Deb Hiebert, Campus Facilities Office, extension 8120.

Handbook 2014-15