Tag Archives: Bethel Academy

Calvin College student in military uniform, 1918

War and Americanization at Immigrant Schools: Bethel and Calvin

Not long after the United States entered the First World War, Bethel Academy graduated its class of 1917, fifteen strong. It had been sixty-five years since Swedish Baptist immigrants founded their first American congregation, yet still one in three of the school’s graduates were natives of Sweden or Norway, and almost all the rest had Scandinavian surnames. That last […]

Military Training in the Schools, 1914-1918

For my post on August Sundvall, the first former Bethel student to die in the First World War, I drew on an obituary published in a 1920 book about Fort Sheridan, where Sundvall had trained to become an officer. In the book’s introduction, the camp’s former commandant, Brig. Gen. J.A. Ryan, bemoaned the failure of American education […]

Somme American Cemetery in Bony, France

Introductions: World War I and World War II

While this project is a collaboration with Fletcher — indeed, it’s probably the most collaborative research project I’ve ever attempted — we’ll each take primary responsibility for two of the four wars in Bethel’s past century of warfare. Fletcher will handle the more recent history, focusing on the Vietnam War and the War on Terror. Which leaves me with […]

"Help keep it great! Freshmen! Sophomores! Stay in college and become a naval officer!"

Welcome to “Bethel at War”

The year 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I, one of the most devastating events in human history. Much less famously, 1914 was also the year that the Swedish Baptist Theological Seminary moved from Chicago, Illinois to St. Paul, Minnesota, where it merged with — and took the name of — a Christian […]