July 16, 2015 | 10 a.m.
By Suzanne McInroy, Director of Communications
Former trustee, generous donor, and longtime friend of Bethel University David Monson passed away on July 11 at the age of 80.
Through the years, Monson and his wife, Mary Jo, have given generously to the university through their time, leadership, and stewardship. David Monson served on the board of trustees from 1988-1998 and was the chairman of the “Taking the Next Step” campaign from 2002-2008. Monson Dining Center--located in Brushaber Commons, Bethel’s student center--was named after David and Mary Jo Monson.
“David Monson was a giant in Bethel's development into a thriving university,” says President Jay Barnes. “His vision as a trustee and his generosity as a donor were significant in pointing Bethel in the right direction and helping us get there. He had a keen focus on holding our Christ-centered core without compromise. His wisdom as a business leader was vital in keeping Bethel on track financially. Many students and staff were blessed by the exceptional care that he and Mary Jo showed for them in multiple ways.”
David and Mary Jo are also Bethel parents, with all five of their children graduating from Bethel: David Monson ’79, Daniel Monson ’81, Randal Monson ’83, Ronald Monson ’85, and Jennifer (Monson) Gimpl ’88.
Executive Minister for Church Relations Ralph Gustafson met David Monson when Gustafson was a Bethel Seminary student in the 1970s and taught Daniel and Randal Monson in his youth class at Bethany Baptist Church in Roseville, Minnesota. David and Mary Jo Monson became parent volunteers and assisted Gustafson as he started out in ministry. Gustafson was always struck by their generosity in helping out any student who needed financial assistance to attend a church conference or camp. “David was also an incredibly faithful and loyal friend,” Gustafson says.