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Barkmans To Serve As 2023 President’s Honors Honorary Co-Chairs

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by Carol Best
President's Honors graphic

This year’s honorary co-chairs of President’s Honors, MNU’s annual gala, are Brent and Lynette Barkman of Hillsboro, Kansas. President’s Honors has raised over $6 million in support for student scholarships in its 10 previous years. This year’s event will be held April 14, at 6:30 p.m. in Cook Center on MNU’s campus.

The Barkman’s support of MNU began when Brent and Lynette met here as students. The couple married and settled in Hillsboro where Brent’s father was a beekeeper and owner of Barkman Honey, the maker of Busy Bee Honey. Over the years, the younger Barkmans raised a family, became community leaders, and grew the family business to become a major supplier of honey to retailers and food service providers across the U.S.

Lynette and Brent Barkman
Lynette and Brent Barkman

How they operate the honey business is as much about safeguarding and sustaining honeybees as it is about the product they sell. Lynette and Brent know that without bees, the world would be a very different place.

That care for God’s creation also translates to the people and places the Barkmans support. Early on Brent and Lynette gave to MNU’s annual fund. Then in 2017, they offered MNU an unusual and highly practical gift. Brent delivered two honeybee colonies to help start the MNU Apiary. Dr. Rion Taylor, MNU professor of biology wanted to give his students learning opportunities to demonstrate the connection between classroom learning and real-life phenomena. Everything from caring for hives, to studying parasite and pest invaders, to harvesting honey, became part of the students’ experience.

The following year, the Barkman family chose to create the first-ever endowed professorship at MNU. Dr. Taylor was the first recipient selected for the Brent A. and B. Lynette Barkman Endowed Professorship in Science which supports Taylor’s scholarly scientific activity. As MNU launched its Bright Futures campaign for university and capital projects, the Barkman family lent their influence and support to that endeavor as executive committee members and through giving.

Two more Barkman family members are involved with MNU as alumni. Their daughter Candace and son-in-law Daniel Moss have a deep love for the university. Together the family provides strong support for MNU in many ways, including gifts to President’s Honors and the Hight Family Endowment which honors Lynette’s parents by supporting students who are dealing with trauma.

Their generous gifts to the construction of the Cunningham Center at MNU provided for The Hight Student Lounge, a space for students to relax, recharge, study and socialize.

Lynette and I have been blessed to be the stewards of a successful business, and it is our desire to help grow great Christian leaders in partnership with MNU. We are happy to be the honorary co-chairs of this great event and hope our participation will encourage others to support the university.
Brent Barkman
Honorary Co-Chair, President's Honors 2023

President’s Honors will feature an elegant dinner, live and silent auctions, entertainment and celebrations of generosity supporting students’ education. Several individuals and businesses are sponsors, including the Dr. Otto Theel family, Olathe Health/KU Health System, A.L. Huber, and others listed here.

Tickets for the gala start at $100 and are available for groups and individuals. Sponsorships at varying levels are available as well. Visit www.presidentshonors.org for ticket and sponsor information.