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$1.236 million Bethel College fund goal met

More than 1,500 generous donors helped Bethel meet the Bethel College Fund goal of $1.236 million for the fiscal year 2010-11, which ended June 30.

“We are grateful to everyone who helped us meet the goal,” said Sondra Bandy Koontz, vice president for advancement. “Our donors have indicated that students are their priority by helping the college meet this goal, just as they helped Bethel meet the Mabee Challenge for a new Academic Center.

“Gifts to the Bethel College Fund provide for scholarships, student ministries, faculty development, campus landscaping and technology upgrades. They help to fund the difference between what students pay and the actual cost of their education. Bethel College Fund gifts assist every student at Bethel, and allow the college the flexibility to respond to opportunities as they arise.”

Almost 3,000 donors contributed to various projects at Bethel during the fiscal year.

Youth learn history to earn prizes at Bethel’s youth convention display

After two freebie-free Mennonite Youth Conventions in a row, Bethel staff decided on a creative variation of previous Bethel booths.

At the Mennonite Church USA assembly in Pittsburgh in July, Bethel offered giveaways – but the youth had to earn them.

“For the [San Jose and Columbus] conventions, we gave away nothing except money to go to service agencies” that youth groups who had winning tickets drawn got to choose, said Dale Schrag, director of church relations and interim campus pastor. “This year, we decided to give away T-shirts and ‘thinking putty’ as well as money to youth groups for service projects.

“But we didn’t just want to hand it out,” Schrag continued. “We wanted to require something of the recipients. We debated asking them to trade in another T-shirt for one of ours, and then we’d give the shirts to Mennonite Central Committee, but MCC didn’t [need] them. So we decided to ask them to learn something in order to get the prizes.

“Since I’m on the Mennonite Church USA Historical Committee, I knew there would be displays of significant events in the history of racial/ethnic Mennonites. We created a different scavenger hunt for each day, based on the history display, to be completed in order to qualify for the prize of the day.”

The youth picked up cards at Bethel’s booth, filled them out and handed them in – to get a T-shirt on Monday and Tuesday and a tin of thinking putty on Wednesday. For Thursday and Friday, youth put the completed cards into a tumbler from which four cards were drawn just before the display area closed Friday afternoon.

The four winners – Daniel Martin of Weavers Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg, Va., Karli Mast of Zion Mennonite Church, Hubbard, Ore., Mark Nabers of First Mennonite Church, Morton, Ill., and Teagan Powers of Pinto Mennonite Church, Cumberland, Md. – each will receive $500 to go to the charity of their youth group’s choice.

Bethel junior accepted into scholars in rural health program

Natalie Stucky, a junior from Moundridge, is one of only 15 applicants statewide to be accepted into the University of Kansas (KU) Scholars in Rural Health program in 2011.

The selective program gives students who have participated in a pre-med curriculum the opportunity to learn from mentors and other professionals in a rural primary-care setting. By doing so, it encourages those students to pursue medical careers in rural communities.

Stucky is taking Bethel’s pre-med courses while also fulfilling requirements for an individualized major that focuses on history and social work.

“I saw this as a really good opportunity to shadow a physician and find out if this is what I want to do,” Stucky said. “I know it’s hard to set up those kinds of connections otherwise, so I am pleased to be able to do this.”

Initially, Stucky was one of 20 candidates whom the selection committee chose for a process of further review that included an interview. Students who satisfactorily complete the scholars program are automatically admitted to the KU School of Medicine if they wish to pursue a medical career.

A fun and funky 41st Fall Fest

Bethel’s 41st Fall Festival, Oct. 6-9, will include a number of “fun and funky” features as the college approaches its 125th anniversary in 2012.

The festival again kicks off with Taste of Newton downtown. This is the 25th year that the college and the Newton Area Chamber of Commerce have collaborated on the well-attended event, evidence of the good relationship between Bethel and the community.

One of the fun and funky features will be the “Awesome 150: Museum Friends Share Their Favorites” display at Kauffman museum. Already installed, it celebrates the Kansas sesquicentennial and the Kauffman Museum collection with 150 artifacts and specimens usually kept behind-the-scenes at the museum. The exhibition will run through Fall Festival.

Another special display, “Fun and funky Thresher stuff,” will feature commemorative and collectible items (pennants, plates, cups, pins, toys, paperweights, plaques, clothing, etc.) that honor Bethel with text, shape or image. Alumni are invited to loan their unusual memorabilia for display. Exhibitors are especially interested in what might be described as “kitschy” items. Contact exhibit host Sondra Koontz, vice president for advancement, at 316-284-5341 or via e-mail no later than Friday, Sept. 23.

Visitors will also be able to view a downsized version of the Bethel display created for the Mennonite Church USA convention in Pittsburgh in July (see previous story). Complete with bean bag chairs and photos of students engaged in various activities during the school year, the booth focused on students having fun at Bethel.

Also following the theme, this year’s stage production is the classic British comedy “Charley’s Aunt,” by Brandon Thomas. The family-friendly farce takes place in Oxford, England, in 1890, where three male students create a tangle of confusion, with one of them dressed as Charley’s Aunt Donna Lucia from Brazil.

For decades Bethel students have used their intellect and creativity to pull off pranks on campus. A program titled “Thank you, Herman Bubbert: Bethel pranks throughout the years” will give alumni the opportunity to see photos of pranks, share their own memories of such endeavors, and confess their own involvement.

As creation of the new Academic Center progresses, the Bethel College Women’s Association will offer more scientific collectibles from the old Science Hall. Antique bottles, beakers, test tubes, slides and evaporation dishes will be among the items available by donation.

For “Harry Potter” fans, the Bethel Quidditch club invites everyone to a morning match of Muggle Quidditch, a game based on the fictional version of the challenge made famous in the series of books by J. K. Rowling. Fall Festival goers of all ages may join in the fun or just watch. No previous experience is required.

Children can enjoy story time Saturday as the Western District Conference of Mennonite Church USA celebrates 75 years of providing resources to regional congregations. For decades, a weekly preschool story hour enriched hundreds of children’s lives. Adults as well as children are invited to hear old-time favorites while seated on blankets under trees on the Green.

Fall Festival weekend will also include an array of other activities.

Booster Club announces Hall of Fame inductees

Former two-sport athlete and volleyball coach Bev Mayer, Phoenix, and standout football player Tod Bean, Murray, Utah, will be inducted into the Athletic Booster Club Hall of Fame during Fall Festival on Saturday, Oct. 8.

Mayer was an outstanding two-sport athlete in volleyball and track from 1984-88. She was a four-year letter winner in both sports, under the coaching of Diane Flickner in volleyball and George Rogers III in track….

As head coach for Bethel’s volleyball program from 1994-2005, Mayer continued the strong tradition of outstanding volleyball by directing her teams to five conference championships and five tournament championships and qualifying for the NAIA Region IV tournament in eight out of 11 years….

Bean transferred to Bethel from Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, for his junior and senior years, 1991-92. In his career at Bethel, he recorded 98 solo tackles, 89 assisted tackles, nine tackles for a loss and 23 quarterback sacks, playing under the coaching of Kent Rogers.

Bean was Team Defensive MVP his senior year while earning 1st Team KCAC, 1st Team District 10 and 1st Team NAIA All-America honors for his play on the defensive side of the ball. He owns the record for most sacks in a game with five against McPherson College in his senior season….

Travel with Kauffman Museum on a ‘Dog and Pony Show’

Kauffman Museum invites alumni and friends of Bethel and the museum to go on a bus tour Thursday, Sept. 22, hosted by curator of education Andi Schmidt Andres.

“A Kansas 150 Trip: The Dog and Pony Show” will feature a tour of KSDS in Washington, a facility that trains guide dogs for the blind, service dogs for the disabled, and social dogs for care facilities (the dog part of the trip). The group will also visit historic sites that tell the story of the Pony Express that carried mail from St. Joseph, Mo., to Sacramento, Calif., in the 1860s (the pony part of the trip).

The one-day tour will also include a visit to MarCon Pies, Washington, one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas Commerce (a project of the Kansas Sampler Foundation), and a catered four-meat buffet supper with all the fixings in the recently restored Weaver Hotel, Waterville.

The cost of $110 for Kauffman Museum Association members or $130 for non-members covers breakfast muffin and juice on the bus, lunch and supper, admission fees, travel on motor coach and gratuities.

For more information on becoming a museum member or to reserve your seat, contact Andi Schmidt Andres via e-mail or at 316-283-1612. Reservations with credit card payment will be accepted by phone. A limited number of seats are available on first-come, first-served basis.