Alumni Awards

Each year, Bethel College recognizes the outstanding achievements of alumni or friends of the college with Alumni Awards. This year’s recipients were honored at a special dinner as part of Bethel’s Homecoming celebration.

Alumnus of the Year Award – Blessing “Yemi” Mobolade ’01

yemi mobolade


In recognition of an outstanding alumna or alumnus of Bethel College who exemplifies the values of the college in his or her personal and professional life.

A 2001 graduate of Bethel, Blessing “Yemi” Mobolade is making an impact through entrepreneurship, ministry and leadership in his community in Colorado Springs, Colo. Yemi lives for the health, growth, and prosperity of his city. He co-founded the Wild Goose Meeting House, a specialty café in the downtown area, and also co-founded Niche Coaching and Consulting, a company dedicated to helping emerging leaders move forward, find a more meaningful life and purposeful work. He is the minister of City Engagement and Worship at First Presbyterian Church Colorado Springs and planted the Movement church, a network of missional communities.

A strong community advocate, Yemi serves on the advisory board of Pikes Peak Community College, the largest institution of higher education in the Pikes Peak region; the advisory board of the downtown YMCA, serving as the Community Outreach Committee chairman; and as a member of El Pomar Foundation’s Black Advisory Council, Shelter Emergency Planning Coalition, and Drug Free Communities Coalition.

He was recognized as one of Colorado Springs Business Journal’s 2016 Rising Stars, received the Colorado Springs 2015 Mayor’s Young Leader Award for Economic Impact, and is a member of the prestigious Colorado Springs Leadership Institute, a network of movers and shakers in Colorado Springs.  Yemi holds a master’s degree from Indiana Wesleyan University and a seminary degree from A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary.  He is married to his beautiful wife Abbey, an ICU nurse.  They are in the process of adopting their son Dawit from Ethiopia.

Young Alumni of the Year Award – Hannah ’12 & Neil Silveus ’13



In recognition of an outstanding young alumnus or alumna of Bethel College, who exemplifies the values of the college in his or her personal and professional life.

Hannah (Miller) ’12 and Neil Silveus ’13 lived and served for several years in Billings, Montana, after graduating from Bethel. There they were involved in a house church in the city’s South Side, a neighborhood with some of the largest pockets of poverty and disparities in the city. They helped with transitional houses for men and women coming out of prison and treatment centers and teamed with another young couple to start a Christian discipleship house for college-aged students in the South Side. In August 2015 they moved two hours west to Bozeman so Neil could begin graduate school at Montana State University, studying applied economics. He plans to also pursue a Ph.D. Hannah has worked in public health for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, producing such great results that she was featured on the CDC website and offered a position with the National Center for Environmental Health. She is currently pursuing a 14-month accelerated BSN program at Montana State University, and looks forward to combining public health with direct patient care. She hopes to go on to get her Doctor of Nurse Practice degree.

Timothy Award for Outstanding Service – Kintae Lark ’07



In recognition of an alumnus or alumna for exemplary work done behind the scenes, in an attitude of quiet humility.

Kintae D. Lark, The Barbmetologist, is taking his new career in the cosmetology industry to another level.  Lark was born & raised in South Bend Indiana.  Though life was filled with promise and adventure, the hardships that he encountered as a youth, including exposure to domestic violence, his family living in several women & homeless shelters, along with being independent from the age of 16, provoked him to pour into the lives of several young people as an adult with a message of hope, empowerment, & endurance.  After Graduating from Washington High School in 1997, Lark later went on to walk for his A.S. in Criminal Justice at IUSB, graduate from Bethel College with a B.S. in Business, obtain a license in Cosmetology from Vogue Beauty College, and obtain an Instructor’s license in cosmetology from Michiana Beauty College.  From a young age, Lark realized that he was called to serve others.  He was licensed in to ministry at age 18 and later became an ordained minister at New Horizons Outreach Ministry where he had been a youth pastor above 17 years.  Lark enjoys time with the love of his life & his wife of nearly 15 years, Tanika Walker-Lark along with their beautiful baby girl, Kiarah Lark.  From community organizing, Youth program development, leadership training, public speaking, and volunteering, Lark has served his community in several capacities; he completed two years with Americorps National Volunteer Program, has volunteered for several organizations as well as sat on several committees.  

People is his passion, he is dedicated to serving to the degree of excellence.  Because he offers a variety of services with his business, which crosses barbering and cosmetology boundaries, he has coined himself with the original name as “The Barbmetologist”.  Not limiting himself to merely working behind the salon chair, he is taking his business outward with an educational message of innovation, inspiration, & empowerment.  In addition to be a small business owner along with his wife of 3 businesses:  Brighter Days Academy (Child Care) Inspiration Barber-Salon(Down Town South Bend), & South Bend’s Only Beauty Culture College – Inspiration School of Beauty Culture, Lark also speaks to groups using his educational back ground, and many life experiences to compare the process on maintaining the hair, skin & nails to life skills & everyday living.  Both the Barber-Salon as well as Inspiration School are set up in such a way to bring tremendous impact and empowerment to the community at-large. Kintae Lark, The Barbmetologist Hair Poet is generating excitement, and his attitude, & dedication to his business is assisting in setting a new trend for creativity, community service, as well as artistry in the hair business.  Having overcome so many odds, as he obtains his success, The Barbmetologist - Hair Poet is setting the bar higher for licensed hair care professionals, as well as a trail for young & upcoming hair, skin, & nail care professionals to follow.


Honorary Alumna Award – Maralee Crandon



Recognition of an individual who has demonstrated a special relationship and friendship toward the college and its students as if it were their own alma mater

Decades of alumni have been impacted by Associate Professor of English Maralee Crandon, Ph.D., who began working at Bethel as an assistant professor of English in 1977. She is known for dressing in character to teach Shakespeare, has studied British religious drama in Canterbury, England, and has led student groups to the British Isles, especially for plays at London’s Globe Theatre. For 23 years, she has been a mentor and supports new students by co-leading “Block 3,” a First Year Experience class, with Professor of Religion & Philosophy Timothy Erdel, Ph.D. She is passionate about serving the needs of students, evidenced by her time working as a South Bend radio disc jockey in order to help Bethel students break into the media. Maralee earned her bachelor’s degree from Houghton College, two master’s degrees from Wheaton College and the University of Notre Dame, and a Ph.D. from Andrews University. She says, “Teaching here has been a life-long privilege.”