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Bethel College is one of only two schools in Kansas to be profiled in the newly released 2008-09 edition of Colleges of Distinction.

Unlike traditional numeric-based college guidebooks, Colleges of Distinction recognizes and appeals to students’ unique interests, realizing what may be the best college for one student can be vastly different than for another. “Instead of looking for the richest or the most famous schools,” the introduction says, “we ask about what really matters: Which colleges are the best places to learn, to grow and to succeed?”

Approximately 40 colleges in each of six geographical regions in the U.S. were selected to meet four key criteria: engaged students; great teaching; vibrant communities; and successful outcomes. These are the “hidden gems” of higher education institutions as determined by a review board of academicians, guidance counselors and parents.

Students connect with alumni at successful career night

Bethel’s 14th annual Alumni/Student Career Night saw a marked increase in the number of participants this year. Fifty-three professionals (compared to 37 last year) and 148 students (compared to 107 last year) engaged in lively conversation from 7:30-9 p.m. in Memorial Hall auditorium Nov. 19. Pictures of the event are in the photo gallery.

“I have been participating in Career Night for a few years, and this year was the best one ever,” said Richard Walker ’70, Newton, district judge in the Harvey County District Court. “I was busy virtually the entire time. Students were interested, asked good questions and seemed receptive to my comments. I think I even recruited one or two for my spring U.S. Government class at Bethel!” Walker is also adjunct instructor of social science.

Several alumni professionals traveled from a distance to participate. Elizabeth Hafoka ’03, Lawrence, is assistant district attorney in the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office. Paul Rudy ’84 is professor of composition at the Conservatory at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. Todd Zerger ’00 is an optometrist at Eye Care Associates of Salina.

Hafoka, Rudy and Zerger were there for the first time, as were a number of other alumni: Todd Flory ’04, McPherson, Web reporter for the Salina Journal; Monty Graber ’01, Newton, a teacher at Santa Fe Middle School; Kira Kindall ’03, Newton, cost accountant for Hospira Pharmaceuticals; Kendra Morford ’01, Newton, owner of Healthy Baby Boutique; Bret Preheim ’88, Wichita, graphics manager at KAKE TV; Clint Stucky ’73, Wichita, occupational therapy instructor at Newman University; Dave Stucky ’05, Newton, associate attorney with Adrian and Pankratz; Lauren Symmonds ’05, Wichita, school psychology intern at Jefferson and Irving Elementary Schools; Margaret Toews ’73, North Newton, programmer analyst at CCH Inc.; and Amanda Voth ’03, Goessel, assistant district attorney/prosecutor for Reno County.

Next year’s Career Night is scheduled for Nov. 18, 2009. Alumni who are interested in volunteering should e-mail their name, mailing address, home and work phone numbers, profession/title and company name to alumni@bethelks.edu, and indicate that they would like to receive an invitation to attend.

Volleyball wins tournament, advances to nationals

The Bethel volleyball team won both the conference championship and post-season tournament to advance to national competition for the first time since 1983.

The Threshers beat Kansas Wesleyan University (KWU) Nov. 6 in the last regular-season match. With Bethany College beating Friends University, the win put Bethel in sole possession of first place in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) and gave them the home court for the conference tournament Nov. 14-15.

Bethel defeated KWU again in the KCAC Tournament semi-final Nov. 14 and Bethany in the final Nov. 15 to advance to the opening round of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national tournament Nov. 22 at Doane College, Crete, Neb.

There, Doane prevailed in four hard-fought games, defeating the Threshers 25-17, 23-25, 25-8, 25-15 before a crowd of 1,100.

The KCAC named Kristen Schrag, senior from Moundridge, Defensive Specialist-Libero of the Year for the second straight year. She finishes her career with the school record for digs. Along with Schrag, senior Kari Thimm, Beatrice, Neb., was named to the All-KCAC 1st Team. Lindsey Oliver, senior from McPherson, Bethany Thiesen, sophomore from Moundridge, and Christy Weems, junior from Topeka, were named to the All-KCAC 2nd Team. Bethel coach Chad Schilling was named KCAC Coach of the Year for the second time.

For more information go to www.bethelthreshers.com

Christmas greetings from Bethel!

Advent is upon us and many alumni may eagerly be awaiting a Christmas card from Bethel College, featuring the beautiful photography of professor emeritus of art Bob Regier ’52.

Well, wait no longer! This year, with Bob’s help, Bethel has posted the card online.

Follow the link and enjoy the beautiful photo of the campus in winter, plus music from last year’s Christmas concert at Bethel, when members of the Concert Choir joined the Wind Ensemble for a medley of carols.

May God bless and keep you this Christmas season!

BCWA decorates administration building for Five Places of Christmas

Bethel’s 120-year-old Administration Building is bedecked for Christmas, and alumni and friends are invited to view the décor during the sixth annual “Five Places of Christmas” tour Saturday, Dec. 6, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The Bethel College Women’s Association (BCWA) decorated the building in late November.

The venue will also house BCWA’s annual bake sale, offering zwieback and peppernuts, Ad Building tree ornaments, cookbooks, Goerz House candle houses and stadium seats. A free shuttle will run between the Fine Arts Center parking lot and the Ad Building.

Across Main Street, Kauffman Museum will also hold an open house as part of the “Five Places of Christmas,” with holiday gifts and special sales in the museum store (see following story).

The tour is free and open to the public.

Get your Christmas gifts at Thresher Bookstore and Kauffman Museum

With Christmas coming, the Bethel bookstore and Kauffman Museum Store are ready to meet your gift-giving needs, offering the following at Thresher Bookstore in Schultz Student Center:

  • pewter Ad Building tree ornaments, $10 each
  • four-inch-square stone coasters that also picture the Ad Building, $6.50 each or a box of four for $24
  • recordings, including last May’s Masterworks Concert featuring Bach’s “Magnificat,” Open Road’s 2007-08 CD “Here by the Water,” last year’s Concert Choir tour recording and a 2000-2007 Bethel choir “Retrospective.” Each CD is $15.
  • “Father Abraham” license plates, celebrating the tune that the Thresher football team sings after each victory, $18 each
  • stainless steel Knorks engraved with “Bethel College,” $6.29 each

Thresher Bookstore also has stadium seats, stadium blankets and clothing for adults and children, plus an array of items featuring the Bethel name or logo: mugs, key chains, lanyards, note cards, footballs, soccer balls, etc. It is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday through Dec. 19, closed for the holidays, then open again Jan. 2.

Kauffman Museum Store, located in the museum lobby at 27th and Main, offers

  • children’s book about making verenike
  • Kauffman Museum tote bags
  • bird prints and cards by Bob Regier ’51
  • Mary Lou Goertzen ’51 poinsettia plates and cups
  • jewelry, handmade with semi-precious stones by Cornelia Krahn ’72
  • Mennonite cookbooks, natural history books, Kansas gift books
  • children’s items, including nostalgic tin toys, puppets, books, puzzles, baby gifts and stocking stuffers
  • Yoder candles, Wedel chocolate, Lehman maple syrup, wheat weaving, soaps and many more gift options.

Kauffman Museum and its store are open 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 1:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, closed Monday. Over the holidays, the museum will be closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Otherwise, regular hours apply. Museum admission is not required to visit the store.

A new place to stay near campus

There’s a new place to stay when you’re in the area. Vada Snider ’80 has renovated one side of her North Newton duplex -- known to some alumni as the “silo house” -- into Woodland Hideaway guest apartment.

Surrounded by trees and native flowers, the apartment is located along West 24th Street and is only a few blocks from campus. It is fully furnished, decorated with Snider’s photos from the book “Larry Hatteberg’s Kansas People,” and sleeps up to three. Breakfast fixings are provided.

For more information, contact Vada Snider, (316) 283-5231, vadasnider@cox.net.

Native American footwear on display at Kauffman Museum

Moccasins, slippers and boots are featured in the newest special exhibition at Kauffman Museum, “Pathways of Tradition: Native American Footwear, 1860-1930.”

The display includes fine examples of footwear from First Nations across North America. Shape, construction and decoration reveal cultural diversity and change during the early reservation period. Some of the items were collected by museum founder Charles Kauffman; others have been borrowed from Kansas collectors and museums.

The exhibition runs through Jan. 25, 2009. For more information, contact Kauffman Museum, (316) 283-1612, kauffman@bethelks.edu.

Bethel seeks public comment for accreditation process

Bethel College, currently in the midst of its periodic accreditation process, will undergo a comprehensive evaluation visit Feb. 16-18, 2009, by a team representing The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The public is being invited to submit comments regarding the college.

Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. Written, signed comments must be received by Jan. 16, 2009. HLC cannot guarantee that comments received after the due date will be considered. Comments should include the name, address and telephone number of the person providing them and will not be treated as confidential.

Please note that individuals with a specific dispute or grievance with an institution should request the separate Policy on Complaints document from the HLC office at the address given below. HLC cannot settle disputes between institutions and individuals. Complaints will not be considered third party comment.

Submissions are to be mailed to Public Comment on Bethel College, The Higher Learning Commission, 30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602.