Spring Commencement 2014

Friday, May 16, 2014 - 10:30am

Commencement Vespers (May 15, 7:30 p.m.)

Commencement Ceremony

Dan Browning

Commencement Speaker

Dan Browning is recently retired from a career with the global information services firm, Unisys Corporation. Browning joined Unisys in 1975 and has had numerous assignments in sales, marketing, and consulting during his nearly 39-year career. In his last position, he served as an Executive Client Director for the Managed Infrastructure Services Division, with primary emphasis placed upon representing the full portfolio of Unisys to major state and local government organizations throughout the United States.

Mr. Browning represented Unisys to numerous industry and community-related organizations including the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO), the Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA), the St. Paul Riverfront Corporation, and Friends of the Minneapolis Riverfront. He also served on the Board of Directors for the Unisys U.S. Employees’ Political Action Committee (UPAC).

Mr. Browning earned an associate in arts degree from Bethany Lutheran College in 1968, and later the University of Iowa with a bachelor of science degree in marketing and psychology. In 1974 he earned a master of business administration degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato. 

Browning proudly served in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific arena during the Vietnam War.

Browning currently serves as Chairman of the Board for World Outreach (BWO) for the Evangelical Lutheran Synod; and has held numerous past and present positions of leadership with his home congregation, King of Grace Lutheran Church of Golden Valley, Minnesota.

Browning has been married for 41 years to Linda (Madson) Browning (HS ’66, JC ’68) making their home in Minnetonka, Minnesota. They have been blessed with three children, all graduates of Bethany, as well: Kathryn (’95), Jacob (’96) and Alexander (’01). Dan and Linda take delight in seven grandchildren living in the Twin Cities area. 


Carol Lehtola

Distinguished Alumna Award

Dr. Carol (Gilbertson) Lehtola is the recipient of the 2014 Bethany Lutheran College Distinguished Alumna Award. 

As a child growing up on the family farm in Ulen, Minnesota, she had always been interested in the subjects that most girls didn’t venture into—math and science. 

Lehtola enrolled at Bethany (BLC) in 1969 and earned an associate in arts degree from BLC in 1971. After two years at BLC, Lehtola transferred to South Dakota State University (SDSU) where she was the first female ever to be enrolled in agricultural engineering courses. During her summer breaks she worked as a trainee engineer with the United States Soil Conservation Service (now National Resources Conservation Service). After earning her degree at SDSU, Lehtola lived and worked in the Baltimore area—two years as a reliability engineer at Westinghouse Defense & Space Center and then two years at the University of Maryland in their agricultural engineering department. 

Lehtola and her family moved to Iowa after their time in Baltimore, and it was then that she decided to pursue post-graduate education. She earned both a master’s and doctoral degree at Iowa State University, and it was also during this time in graduate school where her agricultural engineering interests became focused.

Lehtola renovated agriculture safety courses at Iowa State and also developed a videotape version used for teaching off-campus students. After working for Iowa’s Center for Agricultural Safety and Health located at the University of Iowa, she moved across the country to a position for extension and teaching of agricultural safety at the University of Florida.

Lehtola is a pioneer in her field of expertise—agriculture safety. She has written dozens of articles for publication and has received numerous awards including recognition as the Undergraduate Teacher of the Year at the University of Florida Agriculture and Life Sciences School, she was recognized by The Extraordinary Women Engineers Project Coalition, and in 2006 was featured in Changing Our World: True Stories of Women Engineers, published by the American Society of Civil Engineers. 

Lehtola has two grown children; both are married, and three grandchildren in Iowa. Recently retired, Lehtola uses her skills as much as possible to give back to the community and her church.