Honoring legacies, helping students

Institutional scholarships are vital to the 99 percent of Hesston College students who receive institutional aid. These scholarships are awarded to students who have particular interest, qualifications or financial need. The following scholarship was added to the list of more than 100 endowed scholarships since fall of 2017.

The Wilmetta D. (Weaver) and Arnold J. Dietzel Scholarship

After graduating from Hesston Academy in 1940, Wilmetta studied for one year at Hesston College before transferring to La Junta (Colo.) Nursing School, where she earned her registered nurse (RN) degree. The Dietzels met in 1944 when they both attended a training session for people considering foreign mission work. Arnold had served in Civilian Public Service during World War II, and in 1946 he signed on as a “seagoing cowboy” to deliver horses to Poland to help farmers recover from the devastation of the war. As soon as Arnold was discharged, the couple married in the Hesston College chapel.

In their first year of marriage, Arnold taught business courses at Hesston College and worked on the construction of Hess Hall. He also started soccer for students, using a cow pasture for a soccer field.
From 1948 to 1953, the Dietzels served at a leprosy colony in India under the Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities (now Mennonite Mission Network). Arnold was the superintendent of the Shantipur leprosy hospital and homes, and Wilmetta was nursing supervisor for the medical dispensary.

After spending three years in the United States where Arnold again taught at Hesston College, he was hired by Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) to work in the department called Menno Travel Service (MTS). This appointment launched a long career in the travel industry with a focus on making travel arrangements for MCC and church service workers. In 1957, the family moved to an MTS office in Beirut, Lebanon, which turned into five years of living in the Middle East, during which time Wilmetta also became an MCC/MTS employee, specializing in Holy Land tours.

When the Dietzel family returned to the United States in the early 1960s, they settled in Newton, Kan., where both Arnold and Wilmetta continued to work for MTS until their retirement in 1988. Arnold passed away in 2014 and Wilmetta in 2016.

Intended recipients of the Wilmetta D. (Weaver) and Arnold J. Dietzel Scholarship will be international students from countries where the Dietzels served and had connections throughout their lifetimes, or students with a strong interest in becoming a service worker with a Mennonite church organization.