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Bethel named champion of character for fourth year

Bethel College was named a Champions of Character Five-Star Institution for the 2012-13 school year, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced Nov. 19.

This is the fourth consecutive year Bethel received the honor, along with 216 other colleges and universities.

All 23 NAIA member athletic conferences, including the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC), of which Bethel is a member, made the Five-Star list as well.

The KCAC was one of eight NAIA member conferences to have 100 percent of its schools named Champions of Character Five-Star Institutions.

The NAIA uses a Champions of Character Scorecard to measure each institution’s commitment to the Champions of Character program. Institutions earn points in five key areas: character training, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition and character promotion.

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Tieszen chosen as new advancement vice president

Bethel College President Perry D. White announced the appointment of Pamela K. Tieszen as vice president for advancement.

Since 2008, Tieszen has been superintendent and principal at Freeman (S.D.) Academy.

“As the CEO of the academy, Pam brings leadership experience in the area of institutional fundraising and office management,” White said. “We are very pleased to welcome someone with her experience to our strong advancement staff.”

Tieszen received her associate of arts degree from Freeman Junior College and her bachelor of arts from Jamestown (N.D.) College with a double major in history and political science, and physical education. She earned her master of arts in leadership in education from the University of Sioux Falls, S.D., and is working toward a doctorate in education (leadership focus) from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn.

Tieszen has a long history at Freeman Academy. Following her graduation from Jamestown College, she taught social studies and physical education and coached track, cross country and girls basketball there for four years, 1987-91.

Tieszen will start in her new position at Bethel College in 2014.

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Support Bethel’s strategic plan through Phonathon 2014

This year, volunteer callers will invite alumni to support Bethel’s five-year strategic plan by giving to Phonathon 2014, the fundraising project conducted each February.

Phonathon materials, which will be mailed soon, invite alumni to affirm recent additions to programming and campus improvements and to support new initiatives, including the following:

  • China studies initiative (Spring 2011): offering Mandarin Chinese classes, recruitment of Chinese students from Mennonite high schools and China, exploration of a formal student exchange program with Chinese universities, submission of a formal proposal with Mennonite Partners in China, interterm travel
  • New curriculum initiatives: individualized major (Fall 2010), graphic design major (Spring 2011), sport management minor (Fall 2012), computer science minor (Fall 2012), coordinator of First Year Success (Fall 2013), finance and accounting emphasis (Fall 2014)
  • new and enhanced programs: initiation of the Research, Internship and Careers in Health and Environment (RICHE) program (Summer 2013); expansion of the Undergraduate Research, Internships and Creative Activity (URICA) Symposium (Spring 2012)
  • physical improvements: new Prairie Sky Stage and first phase of Fine Arts Center renovation (Fall 2013), College Avenue entryway plaza (Summer 2013), air conditioning in Memorial Hall and Thresher Gym (Spring 2013)

Alumni are encouraged to increase their support by giving monthly by credit card. They also may respond with a one-time gift. Donors may provide their credit card information by using the post-paid envelope sent with the phonathon flier, or may give online at www.bethelks.edu/gift. Volunteers will call those who have not responded by Friday, Jan. 31.

Affirm the college’s strategic plan with a gift to Phonathon 2014!

Mark your calendar for this year’s Fall Festival

Mark your calendar now for the 44th annual Bethel College Fall Festival fair on campus Saturday, Oct. 18.

This year’s Fall Fest weekend -- with activities Thursday, Oct. 16, through Sunday, Oct. 19 -- is later than usual. The dates are determined by the first home football game in October, as scheduled by the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.

The last weekend of September was considered; however, it would not have allowed enough time for rehearsing a musical and preparing reports for the Board of Directors, which meets that weekend.

See you at Fall Fest 2014!

Concert Choir on tour in Europe

Forty-five student vocalists are touring Europe this month, as the Bethel College Concert Choir performs at 12 locations in Germany, the Netherlands and Poland.

Details of the trip, including times and locations of the concerts, are at www.bethelks.edu/Europe. Students will share their observations at blog.bethelks.edu.

William Eash, professor of music, conducts the choir. Merle Schlabaugh, professor of German, made arrangements for the concerts and travel and is traveling with the group.

Shortly after returning, the choir will perform its annual home concert at 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, in Memorial Hall.

Mandela death prompts memories for alumni

Bethel College students who were on campus the day Nelson Mandela was released from prison remembered that event the day after the former South African president died Dec. 5.

Facebook was the instrument for a stream of memories resulting from Sara Jackson Miller’s ’90 post of a photo scanned from the 1989-90 “Bethel College Thresher” yearbook.

The photo shows a banner made from a sheet, hanging from a third-floor window of the campus Administration Building. It reads: “Lift every voice and rejoice! Mandela free at last. Let the struggle continue.”

Feb. 11, 1990, Nelson Mandela left Robben Island after 27 years of confinement. It was a Sunday and “an unseasonably warm day,” said Miller, then a Bethel senior and now a high school teacher in Westmoreland, Kan.

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McFarland to volunteer at winter Olympics

Bethel College’s Allison McFarland is going to the Olympics.

Although she is a triple medalist (two gold, one silver) in the 2012 Kansas Senior Olympics, the professor of business and economics is actually not competing in the XXII Olympic Winter Games Feb. 7-23, 2014, in Sochi, Russia.

Instead, she’ll be a volunteer, or “event services team member.” Around 180,000 people, most of them from Russia, applied to be Winter Games volunteers. McFarland was one of an estimated 29,000 selected.

Although she has been in academics for 22 years, this month McFarland begins her first-ever sabbatical. Besides the fact that she loves sports, she is particularly interested, she says, “in the tactical planning that surrounds event management.

“Political and social news from Russia have become a regular part of our media coverage,” she said. “It is my hope that this experience will allow me to better understand the Russian culture and differences in managerial values and leadership styles between our two cultures.”

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Pankratz returns to Bethel as visiting artist

Artist Teresa Pankratz ’78, Chicago, will be on campus during much of January as a visiting artist.

Her exhibition, “The Dream House Collection OR Tales of a Narrow Escape: A Sculptural Novel,” will open Jan. 16, with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m., in the Fine Arts Center Gallery. During her stay, Teresa, whose work combines text, sculpture and performance, will work with students in Rachel Epp Buller’s (’96) Book Arts class and in Ami Regier’s (’85) Studies in Multicultural Drama class.

Part of Teresa’s exhibition will include two public performances open to the community. From 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, and Monday, Jan. 20, Teresa will perform a live narration from the exhibition’s primary text, “The View from a House in Kansas.” Seating for these performances is limited, so anyone interested in attending should RSVP to the artist at teresapankratz@gmail.com.

Kauffman Museum to celebrate Kansas Day

From 1:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, hundreds of people will gather at Kauffman Museum to honor the anniversary of Kansas becoming a state. The theme of this year’s 17th annual Celebrate Kansas Day! event will be “The Arts in Kansas.”

Celebrate Kansas Day! has become a regional favorite for all ages with make-it-and-take-it crafts for children, presentations, demonstrations, popcorn popped over an open fire, a bake sale, silent auction and horse-drawn wagon rides. Presentations include a performance by Bethel College of Academy of Performing Arts dancers, music by NUTS (Newton Ukulele Tunes Society), and a book reading and program by illustrator Brad Sneed.

Kansas Day is a free event supported by a North Newton Community Development Grant.

Sunday, Jan. 5, will be the closing day of Kauffman Museum’s special exhibition “Art That Worked: WPA Art in Newton, 1935-1943.”

At 3:30 p.m., the museum will host a walk through the exhibition with informal remarks by historian John Thiesen ’82, Mennonite Library and Archives (MLA), and art historian Rachel Epp Buller ’96, Bethel College Art Department.

Thiesen will share his experiences researching the background of the WPA artworks in the MLA collection. Epp Buller will comment on printmaking techniques of the period.

The gallery walk is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Rachel Pannabecker at rpann@bethelks.edu.