Friday, May 30, 2008

Goshen College community remembers Deanne Binde at campus prayer service


On the same stage that junior Deanne Binde played the funny and imaginative character Ellie in the fall mainstage play “Step on a Crack,” the Goshen College community gathered on May 29 to remember Deanne and pray for her family.

Visit the memorial website to view more photos from the campus prayer service, and to read/leave reflections and notes of condolence.

“Be Thou My Vision”

Goshen College students, alumni, faculty and staff attended the visitation, prayer service, funeral Mass and burial for Deanne E. Binde in Lake Park, Minn. Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Bill Born led 38 representatives of the college, who traveled in two college-owned vans and private vehicles to Minnesota and stayed at homes of the Binde family and friends.

On May 28, following a prayer service at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, the Goshen representatives attended a candlelight service at the Binde family farm. Participants told stories about Deanne, sang and gathered around a bonfire. On May 29, the Goshen representatives all sat together and at the family's request sang “Be thou my vision” – the first verse in unison and the second in four-part harmony. After the burial service at St. Francis Xavier Cemetery, the Goshen representatives attended a luncheon at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church and then returned to Goshen.

Goshen College representatives who traveled to Lake Park, Minnesota:

Students: Angelique Birky, Tim Blaum, Faith Borrell, Rachel Clasen, Amy Clem, Chet Franklin, Maureen Gill, Beth Glick, Simon Hartmann, Cassie Kimmel, David King, Grace Magnan, Kelly Mast, Patrick Maxwell, Leah Moreno, Ellen McCrae, Lucas Nafziger, Adrienne Nesbitt, Angie Noah, Sarah Noah, Jacob Schlabach, Kevin Schultz, Taylor Stansberry, Gina Stutzman, Emily Taylor, Alex Troyer, Halyna Wllliamson

Alumni: Derek Bontreger, Chriss Kulp, Anika Roth, Claire Swora (plus, her parents Becky and Mathew Swora)

Faculty and staff: Bill Born, Doug Liechty Caskey, Susie Lambright, Michelle Milne, Jerry Peters, Dan Stutzman, Bob Yoder

GOSHEN, Ind. – On the same stage that junior Deanne Binde played the funny and imaginative character Ellie in the fall mainstage play “Step on a Crack,” the Goshen College community gathered on May 29 to remember Deanne and pray for her family. A tragic accident took the life of the talented student when she was traveling home to Lake Park, Minn., at the end of the school year, on May 22.

At noon about 70 members of the Goshen College community gathered on the college’s Umble Center stage to pray, sing and share memories of Deanne, while, simultaneously, a memorial service was being held at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Lake Park, Minn. Thirty-eight students, faculty and staff were in attendance at the memorial service, while members of the college’s Study-Service Term units in Nicaragua, Peru and Senegal also paused for prayer.

Deanne was the daughter of Dale and Debbie (Saunders) Binde, and was the fifth of seven children.

“We have all been touched by her presence among us,” said assistant campus pastor Tamara Shantz, who led the service. “She had a gift for welcoming others and making them feel comfortable.”

The Scriptures Psalm 102 and Romans 8:38-39 were read, and the gathered group sang “Children of the Heavenly Father,” “O Lord, hear my prayer” and “Go, silent friend,” as floating candles flickered on the stage.

During a time for sharing, Professor of Bible, Religion and Philosophy Jo-Ann Brant said, “There was a quality about her that was so special. She was such a true human being.”

Lisa Guedea Carreño, the Good Library director, told a story about taking her 6-year-old daughter to see the play “Step on a Crack.” Carreño’s daughter fell in love with Deanne’s character, Ellie, and requested a picture with Deanne after the show. “Deanne would always stop to talk with her [on campus]. The picture with Deanne is right at the front of her bed,” said Carreño. “We haven’t told our daughter yet. We don’t know how to tell her that Ellie is gone.”

After many tears were shed, Shantz offered a closing prayer and encouraged people to write notes to Deanne’s family or a message on a poster, which will remain in the college’s Union Building, outside the radio station where Deanne used to be a DJ.

“I loved how you always said ‘Hi’ to me when we saw each other on campus,” a fellow student wrote on the poster.

Deanne was a communication and theater major. Along with the fall mainstage “Step on a Crack,” she was most recently the technical director assistant in the college’s May Term production, “Quilters,” and was a cast member in the spring mainstage, “Absolutely! {perhaps}.”

Along with theater and being a DJ on The Globe (91.1 FM), Deanne played on the women’s softball team, recycled with Eco-PAX environmental club and was a member of the Catholic Student Association. During the spring semester of her sophomore year, she went to the Dominican Republic with the college’s Study-Service Term. In the Goshen community, she volunteered with Meals on Wheel and La Casa, and regularly attended St. John’s Catholic Church.

A Web site has been created in remembrance of Deanne, on which anyone is able to leave a reflection or a note of condolence to the family. You can visit the site at:

- By Tyler Falk

Editors: For more information about this release, to arrange an interview or request a photo, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or




Goshen College, established in 1894, is a residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, “Colleges of Distinction,” “Making a Difference College Guide” and U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit



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Goshen, Indiana 46526
phone: +1 (574) 535-7569
fax: 535-7660