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Couple remains dedicated to "Bethel as a center of Christian education"

Gordon Lindquist only attended Bethel for a semester, but he and his wife, Joyce, remain ardent Bethel supporters, and he served his father's alma mater for years in university leadership roles.

By Jason Schoonover '09, content specialist

November 17, 2018 | 2:30 p.m.

Couple Remains Dedicated to “Bethel as a center of Christian education”

Joyce and Gordon Lindquist, longtime Bethel supporters

While Gordon Lindquist transferred from Bethel after just one semester in 1947, he continued to support the school as it became accredited and grew into a university he wishes he could have attended. “They’ve added a very strong business program, and I wish that had been available when I was going there,” he says.

Lindquist’s dedication to Bethel never waned. In fact, his ties to Bethel span his entire life. Lindquist’s father, E. “Fritz” Lindquist, graduated from Bethel Seminary in 1930 when Lindquist was a year old. And his sister, Dr. Janet Lindquist, graduated from Bethel, continued to medical school, and is now a surgeon. “I always strongly believed in Bethel as a center of Christian education,” Lindquist says. “That’s one of the primary reasons I’ve stayed involved.”

During a successful insurance career, Lindquist served two terms as chairman of the Bethel Board of Trustees, served on the Board of Regents, served on an investment committee for the pension plan, and chaired the search committee when George Brushaber was selected as Bethel president.

"I always strongly believed in Bethel as a center of Christian education. That's one of the primary reasons I've stayed involved."

— Gordon Lindquist, longtime donor and former board member

Lindquist and his wife, Joyce, have remained consistent Bethel donors, and he says he’s seen Bethel remain true to its mission while changing and growing for the better. He was on the board when Bethel added the nursing program, and he touts the growth in programs like the Department of Business and Economics, which he could see from his ties to the business community. “The graduates that come out of Bethel were very highly regarded,” he says. 

Along with forming the Rev. E. “Fritz” Lindquist Scholarship in his father’s name, the Lindquists continue to support Bethel through IRA charitable rollovers. The gifts enable them to give up to $100,000 directly through their IRA, and it reduces their amount of taxable income. “Anybody that has an IRA and is giving to any charities, that’s actually the best way to do it,” Lindquist says. 

Lindquist also says he enjoyed seeing two key parts of his life merge in an unexpected way. Lindquist worked his entire career in the insurance industry, starting as an agent and retiring in 1990 as president and CEO of MSI Insurance after nearly 40 years with the company. He helped behind the scenes in 2013 when Bethel acquired the Pine Tree Center, which had been home to his MSI Insurance office. It is now the Bethel Anderson Center. “To see them come together, Bethel ending up as the owner of that facility, it was just one those things that you never even thought possible,” he says. 

The Anderson Center is home to Bethel’s adult undergraduate and graduate programs; their admissions, student success, and support teams; the offices of advancement, business, information technology, marketing, and human resources; and Converge North Central, the local staff of Bethel’s affiliated denomination. It’s also slated to be the new home of Bethel Seminary. 

Lindquist remains as busy as ever in retirement. He and Joyce own Russell’s Cottages in Grand Marais, Minnesota, and Lindquist has volunteered for 28 years with the U.S. Department of State in an economic development support role. 

He’s traveled to more than 30 countries, primarily supporting small companies. He’s worked in Central America, in the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, and most recently in Africa. One of his most memorable successes is helping start a successful insurance company in the Czech Republic. 

In October, Gordon traveled with family for the grand opening of the Nyakatsiro Health Center in Uganda. He spearheaded the project to raise more than $100,000 to complete the clinic.

Though he thoroughly enjoyed his work with MSI Insurance, he says his 28 years supporting businesses has proved rewarding. “I take a look at that, and that’s probably been the best years of my life,” he says. 

Explore Planned Giving at Bethel.

To find out more about donating to Bethel through IRA charitable rollovers—or other planned giving options that can provide for you and your family while also supporting Bethel students—contact the Office of Development.

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