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, volleyball, basketball, racquetball, softball and many other activities. The Campus Activities Center is the site for most indoor intramural sports.
Hesston College offers 14 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.
Whether students choose to pursue theatre performance or theatre education as a career, or if they hope to participate while majoring in another area, Hesston College Theatre offers many opportunities for all. The department produces four mainstage performance, stage managing and technical opportunities each year as well as directing opportunities through ThAr 128 Directing course. Hesston’s mainstage shows include a fall production, a collaborative performance with the music program, a spring musical and the annual Pen to Paper to Performance playwriting festival that involves a partnership between the theatre program and local playwrights in the broader community.
Additional theatre participation opportunities beyond the scheduled shows include worship events and Art of Theatre courses. The college’s student-led improv comedy troupe, On a Lark, meets weekly and, in spring of 2018, performed to a sold out crowd.
The theatre program is forming a select traveling theatre troupe to perform in area schools and churches – an opportunity for students to gain skills in leadership and outreach. The program offers a variety of courses for all who want to hone performing arts skills. Experience is the best teacher in the field of theatre and Hesston College has many opportunities from which to choose.
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 college offers a variety of instrumental opportunities. Auditions are required for membership in each ensemble.
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. 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.
The Hesston College Men’s Chorus and Women’s Chorus focus on sacred repertoire from a broad spectrum of styles and traditions. Both ensembles participate in regional worship services and perform a home concert each semester. The choruses collaborate with Bel Canto Singers to present a choral masterwork. Both ensembles are selected by audition at the beginning of each semester.
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. Instrumentalists are also welcome and incorporated into the tour program. 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, home stays are a highlight of this tour. Humanities credit available.
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, disc golf course 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 and worship time.
Christmas festivities peak during the last week before the term ends. performing arts events, 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, a dinner that students attend with their grandparents and evening entertainment.
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 include Mod Olympics, International Day of Peace and Talent Show during fall semester and Martin Luther King, Jr., Day celebration in spring.
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. Resident assistants and ministry assistants can reserve Stutzman Retreat Center by contacting Deb Hiebert, Campus Facilities office, extension 8120.