In support of the student experience

Ben ’02 and Dierdre (Harder) ’01 Shetler and their three children. Photo by Cara Chubb.

Ben ’02 and Dierdre (Harder) ’01 Shetler and their three children. Photo by Cara Chubb.

by Ben Shetler ’02

Reflecting on my time at Hesston, there were a lot of factors that made it such an important period in my life. Coming from a public high school in a large city, I really enjoyed being a part of a small faith-centered campus community. I learned and practiced the fundamental skills for my career as a pilot. There are also small details I still remember, like how much I loved watching the tulips push through the brown earth in the spring. Most importantly though, I read, studied and engaged with fellow students and faculty on topics that helped shape my worldview and theology. Being an Anabaptist Mennonite was no longer just how I had been raised, it was something I studied, learned to love and claimed as my own. Those values have continually shaped the way I move through and engage the world around me. When I returned to Phoenix after my time at Hesston, there was no question in my mind that I was not only going to continue to participate in my home congregation, but also in the wider church.

I choose to give to Hesston out of gratitude. Gratitude for all the conversations, the community I felt, the things I learned, the career path I set out on, the faith that became my own. I choose to give so that unique Hesston Experience can continue to be shared and available to as many young people as possible.

I hope that Hesston College continues to evolve in ways that keep it relevant, while holding close the values that make it such a unique and special place.