The Regier Friesen Gallery is located in Friesen Center for the Visual Arts on the Hesston College campus. The gallery exhibits a wide variety of media including ceramics, graphic design, sculpture and photography, as well as interactive and installation work. Shows feature local, regional, alumni and nationally recognized artists. Exhibits connect to classes taught in the current school year, and often deal with social and spiritual issues. The featured artists frequently will present a gallery talk or workshop in conjunction with their artwork. These events are open to the public.
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 photography grace walls throughout the campus and at Dyck Arboretum of the Plains. Many of these works are by Hesston College alumni and faculty and are designed to encourage reflection on aesthetics, life and faith.
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, golf, basketball, tennis, track and baseball and women’s cross country, soccer, volleyball, basketball, tennis, track 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 course catalog for details on athletic eligibility.
Experience is the best teacher in the field of theatre arts. Hesston College offers plenty of opportunities to become involved in four mainstage performances, stage managing and/or technical work per year, as well as directing under the course of direct study. Our mainstage shows include a fall production, a spring musical, a collaboration with the music department for Thanksgiving weekend and a campus to community show. There are also ways to participate in theatre beyond the scheduled shows, like worship events and student-led productions.
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. Three Hesston College choirs – Bel Canto Singers, Men’s Chorus and Women’s Chorus – offer students an artistic outlet and a place to advance singing skills. The Hesston College Chamber Orchestra generates strong performances from within the canon of symphonic 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.
The Hesston College Men’s Chorus and Women’s Chorus focus on sacred repertoire from a broad spectrum of styles and traditions. One of the choirs embarks on a tour each year, and both ensembles participate in regional worship services and perform a home concert each semester. The choruses collaborate with Bel Canto Singers and Hesston College Chamber Orchestra to present a choral masterwork every Thanksgiving. Both ensembles are selected by audition at the beginning of each semester.
Bel Canto Singers is a select mixed ensemble that performs a variety of music from Renaissance to 21st century works encompassing sacred and secular idioms with an emphasis on mainstream college-level literature. Bel Canto Singers tours each academic year and for two weeks during summer in odd-numbered years in addition to providing music for regional worship services, civic events, home concerts each semester and a choral masterworks concert at Thanksgiving. 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 attending concerts in various cities. Comprising about half of the overnight accommodations, homestays are a highlight of this tour. Humanities credit available.
Focusing on the canon of symphonic orchestral literature, the Hesston College Chamber Orchestra performs on campus, in the community and tours either independently or in collaboration with one of the college choral ensembles. The orchestra performs a home concert each semester, and it serves as the orchestra for the Thanksgiving choral masterwork concert and, depending on instrumentation, musical theatre productions each spring. Advanced students also have the opportunity to audition for the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra or a jazz ensemble at Bethel College. All students with strong backgrounds in strings, winds and percussion are invited to participate. In addition, brass, winds and percussion players make up 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 and all orchestral 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.
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 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.
Throughout the year, numerous events provide special moments in the life of this community.
Alumni Homecoming Weekend (late September or early October). 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 Day (spring). The schedule includes class visits, special seminars and a dinner 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.