Bethel College welcomed Newton attorney Tom Adrian as a new member of the college’s board of directors.

Adrian & Pankratz, Attorneys at Law, celebrated its 40th anniversary this year. The firm began as Adrian & Walker, founded by Tom Adrian and Richard B. Walker, now chief judge of the Harvey County District Court.

Adrian was born and raised on a grain and cattle farm in central Kansas. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and his juris doctorate from Washburn University, Topeka. Upon graduation in 1969, he worked as an associate attorney for firms in Topeka and Newton before starting Adrian & Walker in 1973.

The firm grew from two attorneys to a workforce of 16 today, including six attorneys. Adrian’s own practice “has concentrated primarily on the needs of non-profit businesses, for-profit businesses and individual estate planning,” he said.

Adrian has served in a number of board positions in the community, including chair of the board of Newton Medical Center (1987-93) and chair of the board of Prairie View Mental Health Services (1997-2000).

He is currently board secretary for the Newton Community & Healthcare Foundation and a board member for Central National Bank.

In 1998, Adrian received the Outstanding Citizen Award from the Newton Area Chamber of Commerce.

His appointment to the Bethel College Board was approved at its fall meeting, for a six-year term beginning in January 2014.