Why we are Hesston College Partners

Eric, Emily, Wilma and Karl Cender

Karl ’80 and Wilma (Ressler) ’81 Cender reflect on the student experience as alumni and parents and why they choose to support Hesston College.

Hesston College was a great place for us to start our education. Hesston shaped much of who we are today in career choices, educational choices and helped form our faith values.

Karl was a business major with uncertainties as to what type of business career to pursue. It was at Hesston that a business instructor encouraged his accounting skills. Following that advice paved the way for Karl to work as an accountant upon graduating from Goshen (Ind.) College and eventually start Cender & Company, LLC, which provides financial consulting services to public sector entities.

Wilma graduated from Hesston with a business degree with an emphasis on medical secretarial sciences. After working for various medical entities, she became involved in administrative work with the Mennonite Medical Association as well as the Institute of Mennonite Studies, both housed at the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS). After a hiatus from employment to raise their two children, Emily and Eric, Wilma made her way back to AMBS to study Christian formation. Now a spiritual director, Wilma plans to graduate this year with a master’s in Christian Formation.

The individual attentiveness of the professors at Hesston is what helped us begin and shape our career paths, but Hesston also gave us building blocks on which to develop our faith. Regular chapel services contributed to this as well as instructors who asked questions that helped us think about our faith and faith practices. It was being part of this faith-based learning community with students from various cultures and denominations that made Hesston a great place for us to start.

Now our son, Eric ’15, is experiencing Hesston College. Not only do we hope he has an equally enriching experience, but we have a desire for other students to also experience the community life, academically, spiritually and socially. Already Hesston has provided Eric with many great opportunities in each of these areas, including playing collegiate tennis and singing and traveling with the choir.

For many years Hesston has maintained a high quality level of education interwoven with faith formation and a close-knit college community. It is for these reasons that we continue to give to Hesston College so that others may learn in this close community environment. Hesston College is a great place to start!