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Bethel meets MABEE challenge, will break ground for new academic center

On March 15, Bethel College informed the Mabee Foundation of Tulsa, Okla., that Bethel donors had met the Mabee challenge for funding transformation of the old Science Hall into a new, state-of-the-art Academic Center.

The challenge, given by the Mabee Foundation in April 2010, was to raise $921,424 in gifts and commitments in one year in order to receive $725,000 from the foundation. Alumni and friends not only met but exceeded the monetary goal; the college secured more than $1 million.

“More than 850 donors contributed to the Academic Center project,” reported Sondra Bandy Koontz, vice president for advancement and leader of the campaign. “We are grateful to all of them for making this long-desired dream a reality.”

She also noted that “Bethel College donors have never left a Mabee challenge on the table. Bethel’s record is safe.”

Construction will begin this spring. An official groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday, May 21, as part of Alumni Weekend activities. The event will take place near the old Science Hall and is open to the public.

The center - comprised of the current building plus an addition on the east side - will house teacher education, social work, business, history, Bible and religion, mathematics and computer science, and nursing.

Old Science Hall treasures for sale

Did you use a potentiometer in the old Science Hall at Bethel? How about an electrometer, milligram balance, decade resistance box, signal generator or Cent-O-Gram triple-beam balance lab scale? Step back in time at and see what equipment you might have used!

In preparation for renovation of the old Science Hall into a new Academic Center, the Bethel College Women’s Association is selling old scientific collectibles from the building. All proceeds will benefit the college through the association.

To buy one or more of these special souvenirs, e-mail Dalene White and she will respond regarding your request.

Purchase and shipping costs are noted on the website. Availability is on a first-come-first-served basis. All items are being sold “as is” with no guarantee that they are in working order. If you live nearby or will be in the area and wish to pick up your item, shipping charges will not apply.

New treasures will be posted on the website monthly, so check back often. Future issues of “Thresher E-View” will note the latest items offered and include a link to the site.

Anyone may purchase the collectibles, so feel free to share the link with others who might be interested.

Bethel to expand cross-cultural learning with China initiative

Bethel will expand students’ options in cross-cultural learning next fall with the addition of Chinese language courses.

Major sponsorship for the initiative comes from an individual donor. In addition to language study opportunities, it will include an interterm travel course to the People’s Republic of China.

Lijun Zhu, who since 2009 has taught Mandarin Chinese in Wichita area high schools (currently Gordon Parks Academy, West High School and South High School), will teach Chinese I and Chinese II.

Zhu earned a degree in literature at Wuhan University and a master of education in foreign language teaching from Central China Normal University. She then came to Pittsburg State University, where she completed a master’s degree in teaching with an emphasis on English for speakers of other languages. Zhu taught Chinese in several Pittsburg elementary schools from 2007-09.

“With this addition of Chinese to our foreign language offerings in German and Spanish next year, students will have an additional option for developing language competency, which for many years has been a key feature of a Bethel bachelor of arts degree,” said Brad Born, vice president for academic affairs.

“The link here to broader cross-cultural learning opportunities is especially exciting. Providing students with experience in cross-cultural learning and an understanding of the global nature of human community is central to the Common Ground curriculum that all Bethel students share.”

KIPCOR film series meshes with goals of student activists

Bethel students’ interterm experiences have come together with the college’s connection to an Oklahoma film company to give campus and community a chance to look at Israel/Palestine through several different lenses - literally.

Last October, Bethel was one of the first 100 venues in the United States to screen the documentary “Little Town of Bethlehem,” sponsored by the Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (KIPCOR). “Little Town of Bethlehem” tells the stories of three men - a Palestinian Christian, a Palestinian Muslim and an Israeli Jew - using nonviolent methods to resolve conflict and work towards peace in their countries. . . .

The KIPCOR 2010-11 film series continues Thursday, April 7, with “Blood Relation.” “Checkpoint” is scheduled for Tuesday, May 31, and “Amreeka” for Thursday, Sept. 15.

All screenings will be at 7 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium in the Fine Arts Center and are free and open to the public, with freewill offerings taken.

Academic All-America honors announced for seven sports

Bethel continues its tradition of producing scholar-athletes, with 21 athletes recently named by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) as Daktronics All-America Scholar-Athletes for 2010-11.

The sports represented are men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, football, women’s soccer and volleyball.

In men’s basketball, senior Matt Regier, Whitewater, and junior Austin Bumgarner, Moundridge, received academic All-America honors. In women’s basketball, Scholar-Athletes are seniors Holly Anthony, Sterling, Samantha Askew, Dodge City, Rachael Bachman, Emporia, and Angela Wood, Wichita, and junior Jessica Muckenthaler, Emporia.

Cross-country Scholar-Athletes for the men are senior Ben Histand, North Newton, and juniors Kevin Leary, North Newton, and Brian Skinner, Clay Center. For the women, senior Monica Schmidt, Mount Hope, and junior Jackie Kamphaus, Clay Center, received academic All-America honors.

Football Scholar-Athletes are Matt Regier in his second academic All-America sport, along with seniors Garrett Hiebert, Goessel, and Andrew Wiederholt, Hartford.

In soccer, Scholar-Athletes are senior Nakita Menefee, Wichita, and junior Renicia Yoder, Newton.

Volleyball Scholar-Athletes are senior Whitney Hiebner, Hampton, Neb., and juniors Kristen Lohaus, Noble, Okla., Alyssa Schrag, Moundridge, Melissa Volk, Newton, and Addison Wolf, Moundridge.

To be considered for NAIA Daktronics All-America Scholar-Athlete honors, a student must be at least a junior, must have attended the institution a minimum of one full term, must have a minimum GPA of 3.50 and must be a member of his/her respective varsity program.

Beavers in North Newton is Earth Day topic

To celebrate Earth Day, Kauffman Museum and the Sand Creek Trail Committee are co-sponsoring “Nature’s Engineers: Beaver Show and Tell” at 7 p.m. Friday, April 15, at Kauffman Museum. Richard Rempel ’63, Bethel professor emeritus of math and Kansas Master Naturalist in training, will give the presentation.

Rempel is participating in the first-ever Kansas Master Naturalist program being offered this spring at Dillon Nature Center in Hutchinson. To be certified as a Kansas Master Naturalist, participants attend 10 three-hour sessions on Kansas natural history and take part in additional Saturday sessions and field trips. The program is organized and sponsored by K-State Research and Extension Office as well as the nature center. Nebraska, Oklahoma and Missouri all have established master naturalist programs.

Rempel will discuss the beaver’s life cycle, influence on the ecosystem and physical characteristics. When describing the beaver’s habits and physical traits he will use a short video clip, taxidermy specimens and museum artifacts. The program will conclude with a walk to Chisholm Park just north of the museum to see signs of beaver activity - fallen trees, gnawed stumps and the beginnings of a dam along Kidron Creek.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Kauffman Museum by e-mail or at 316-283-1612.

Four alumni to be honored in May

The Bethel College Alumni Association will honor four alumni at its annual Alumni Banquet on May 21. John M. Janzen ’61 and Reinhild (Kauenhoven) Janzen ’63, Newton, will receive the Outstanding Alumnus Award; Laurel Preheim ’69, Omaha, Neb., the Distinguished Achievement Award; and Verda (Epp) Deckert ’64/’65, Newton, the Outstanding Alumnus Award of the Bethel Deaconess Hospital/Bethel College Nursing Alumni Association (BDH/BCNAA).

John Janzen is the former director of the Kansas African Studies Center at the University of Kansas and is currently a professor of medical and socio-cultural anthropology there. He has devoted much of his career in anthropology to research on health, sickness and healing in Central and Southern Africa.

Reinhild Janzen is a professor of art history at Washburn University, Topeka. Her areas of expertise include the Northern European Renaissance, the non-western arts of North America and Africa, and the cultural history of Mennonites. She has also been a director and curator at several museums.

The Janzens have taught and done research around the world, published prolifically, and have received numerous awards and grants. From 1983 to 1992, they led Kauffman Museum and, with many others, developed it into what it is today.

Laurel Preheim retired last July after serving 32 years with the Department of Veterans Affairs Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System, most recently as chief of medicine. Preheim has also served as a physician, scholar, professor and leader at the Creighton University School of Medicine and University of Nebraska College of Medicine (he continues part time at both), particularly in the areas of infectious disease, medical microbiology and immunology.

BDH/BCNAA selected Verda Deckert, Newton, as the recipient of its award last summer and recognized her at Fall Festival 2010. She has done community-focused nursing; been a staff nurse, supervisor and assistant vice president of nursing; done nursing in large medical centers; and taught nursing in the BDH and Bethel nursing programs from 1965-2008.

Discount price of the banquet is $18.50 per person if paying by May 6, or $20 regular price if paying May 9-11. The ticket price covers not only the cost of the meal but includes a donation to the Alumni Association, which treats the graduating seniors to the banquet free of charge. To make a reservation, visit or phone Thresher Bookstore in Schultz Student Center at 316-284-5205.

The event is part of Alumni Weekend, May 20-21, during which the Classes of 1936, 1941, 1946, 1951, 1956, 1961, 1966 and 1971 celebrate anniversaries with other special activities. Class members who do not receive information my mid-April may contact the alumni office at 316-284-5251 or by e-mail.