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Bethel named to 2014 community service honor roll

The Corporation for National and Community Service announced its annual honor roll — 770 U.S. colleges and universities, including Bethel College, where students, faculty and staff have demonstrated their commitment to bettering their communities through volunteering, civic engagement and service learning.

Bethel was one of six Kansas schools and one of four Kansas private colleges named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

Bethel made the honor roll based on values and actions. Among Bethel’s seven core values are service, that prizes compassion and concern for the powerless …; community, that prizes social connectivity and shared endeavor with others; [and] peace and social justice, that prizes commitment to a peaceful and just society.

These become concrete in annual service events that include, among others, all-campus efforts such as a beginning-of-the-school-year service project, the fall Service Day and the Angel Tree each December to benefit residents of the Harvey County Domestic Violence Task Force’s safe house; the spring break service trip; and the individual, group and team service projects that occur throughout the school year.

The Community Service Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities.

The honor roll was initially inspired by the thousands of college students who traveled from all corners of the country to support relief efforts along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

For more of this article, visit the Bethel College website.

Alumni Phonathon goal: Let’s raise $150,000

February’s coming, and that means volunteers, current students and staff will call alumni to visit and ask them to support Bethel through this year’s Alumni Association phonathon.

Ever since Ed R. Stucky ’42, former director of church and alumni relations, initiated phonathon in 1980, the annual calling project has renewed friendships, spurred memories and raised thousands of dollars for Bethel. This year the Alumni Association’s phonathon goal is $150,000.

The goal is 10 percent of the $1.5 million in donations to the Bethel Fund needed by June 30, said Dave Linscheid ’75, director of alumni relations. Last year, generous donors responded to the phonathon by giving $141,000 by the end of the calendar year. This year’s goal can be accomplished if new donors pitch in, and others give a bit more.

The 2015 phonathon flier will feature reflections by young alumni across the United States and illustrate how the $150,000 raised will enhance the Bethel student experience in a variety of ways. It will be mailed not only to alumni but to friends of the college, as well.

We want to share a few special alumni stories with everyone, show what’s happening at Bethel today and give everyone the opportunity to contribute, Linscheid said.

The phonathon flier will be mailed soon. When it arrives, please respond by

  • sending a check in the envelope provided
  • providing your gift amount and credit card information on the response slip
  • giving online
  • or emailing your donation plans to alumni@bethelks.edu.

The volunteer callers, students and staff thank you in advance for helping to meet this year’s $150,000 goal!

Celebrate Kansas Day! expands programming

Kauffman Museum will expand its traditional Kansas Day programming this year.

The event is from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Jan. 31.

The theme is transportation, and Amelia Earhart historical interpreter Ann Birney will give a free program for all ages at 11 a.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium in the Luyken Fine Arts Center followed by a special Kansas Day luncheon from noon–1 p.m. in Schultz Student Center. The cost of the meal is $6.75 for one or $12 for two adults, $4 for children 5–12 and free for children 4 and younger. Reservations for the meal are not required, but so a general headcount can be obtained, contact Andi Schmidt Andres at asa@bethelks.edu if you plan to attend.

Events at the museum begin at 1 p.m. and include wagon rides, popcorn popping over an open fire, make-it-take-it crafts and more. A wide variety of vehicles, everything from a fire truck to a model A to a tractor — will be on display in the museum parking lot.

For more information, contact Andi Schmidt Andres at asa@bethelks.edu or 316-283-1612.

A Thresher Refresher in June

Mark your calendar now for Alumni Weekend, Friday–Sunday, June 5–7, again in early summer rather than late spring. Last year’s new and improved weekend brought more than 200 alumni and guests to campus for an array of engaging activities. All alumni and friends of the college are invited.

This year’s theme is A Thresher Refresher! After checking in Friday, participants will have the opportunity to attend an opening ice cream social with the president in the evening and stay overnight in Voth Hall.

Faculty lectures and coffee time will be Saturday morning, followed by the Alumni Banquet, again at noon rather than in the evening. The Golden Thresher Class of 1965 will be recognized at the banquet as they observe 50 years since being at Bethel. The Alumni Association also will honor two graduates with this year’s Outstanding Alumnus and Distinguished Achievement awards.

In the evening, the Class of 1965 will continue its celebration at a reunion dinner. The Classes of 1960 and 1955 also will dine together, as they observe 55 and 60 years since their Bethel days. And, Advancement staff will host a Heritage Class reunion for those in the Class of 1950 and earlier, to visit and tell stories after attending BC 65 years ago or more.

Singers are invited to join an alumni choir, which will rehearse Saturday afternoon. The group will provide music during worship in the chapel Sunday morning, when those in the Heritage Roll of Honor who supported BC through planned giving will be recognized, and family members or friends thanked for the legacy of support their loved ones provided.

More information will be in Thresher E-View in spring, details will be posted at www.bethelks.edu/alumni-weekend and reunion class members should watch for a schedule and registration brochure mailed in March.

Head back to Bethel in June for A Thresher Refresher!

Alumni choir forms in Newton area

A group of Newton-area Bethel choir alumni who want a way to keep singing choral music have formed a group that gave its first concert Dec. 7 at Trinity Heights United Methodist Church, Newton.

The choir started in September to give alumni a place to sing at a high caliber, among familiar faces and experienced voices.

Andrew Voth ’13 directs the choir, which has about 25 members and is looking to grow.

The choir had its genesis last spring while William Eash, Bethel director of choral music, was on sabbatical in Minnesota.

Bill heard an alumni choir from St. Olaf College perform and realized that he never really gets to sing any more, despite being the head of a choral program, said Jocelyn Wilkinson ’14, alumni choir manager. He figured there’s a decent amount of Bethel choir alumni in the area, so he contacted Andrew about the viability of the idea. Things just built from there.

Eash had mentioned the idea of an alumni choir to graduating Concert Choir seniors at the end of the 2013–14 school year. Otherwise, we’ve largely been connecting with alumni through Facebook and word of mouth, Wilkinson said.

The first performance featured several secular pieces alongside traditional Christmas carols. Choir members were pleasantly surprised when 80–100 people turned out for the concert, given all the competing activities on that date.

There also were some guest instrumentalists: choir alumni Evan Koch ’14 on trumpet and Rachel Unruh ’12, with current sophomore Grace Bradfield on violin, in addition to Voth on cello and Wilkinson on oboe.

Personnel for the Dec. 7 concert, in addition to Wilkinson and Eash, were Daniel Barrera ’14, Erin Brubacher ’01, Kyle Doesken ’12, Elizabeth Friesen ’10, Ryan Goertzen ’12, Katherine and Peter Goerzen ’07, Jenae Janzen ’13, Caroline Mayhew ’15, David Nance ’06, Cristopher Nelson ’14, Johann Reimer ’06, Kara Schmidt ’05, Kiley Schmidt ’08, Monica Schmidt ’11, Casey Schunn ’14, Brian Skinner ’13, Micah Smith ’14, Aaron Tschetter ’15, Kristin Unruh ’13, Brittany Voth ’10, Cameron Voth ’12 and Andrew Walker ’14.

Any alumni of Bethel choral groups are welcome to join the alumni choir. The basic requirements are to be able to read music and to have had experience in choral ensembles, Wilkinson said.

Although the general format will be once-a-month practices, with the next concert scheduled for Feb. 22 (also at 3 p.m. at Trinity Heights United Methodist Church), there will be two practices in January and two or more in February.

Anyone interested in joining the choir can check out the Bethel Alumni Choir Facebook page and contact Wilkinson at jocelynwilk92@gmail.com or Voth at votha@usd411.com.

Donors thanked for generosity in 2014

The Bethel College Development office thanks alumni and friends for their generosity during 2014.

Bethel is blessed with dedicated alumni and friends who support staff and students, said Pam Tieszen, vice president for institutional advancement. May 2015 be filled with the excitement and wonder of the Creator.

Pannabecker to be honored Jan. 11

Join the staff and members of Kauffman Museum at 3:30 p.m. Jan. 11 as they honor Rachel Pannabecker ’80 for her 30 years of service.

Refreshments will be served, and museum colleagues will share memories of their interactions with Pannabecker during the years.

For more information, contact the museum at kauffman@bethelks.edu or 316-283-1612.

In lieu of a retirement gift, Pannabecker requested the Kauffman Museum Board of Directors honor her service by initiating a fundraising campaign to increase the amount of the Kauffman Museum Endowment Fund. This fundraising campaign began in November 2014 and continues through the celebration Jan. 11.

New board members represent rural, urban settings

At its fall meeting, the Bethel College Board of Directors welcomed two new members, whose terms began in the new year.

North Newton native Kate Brubacher lives in New York City, where she practices law as an associate in the commercial litigation group of Cooley LLC.

Brubacher is a graduate of Stanford University, with a bachelor of arts in philosophy and religious studies, and a master of arts in history. She has a master of arts in religion, ethics concentration, from Yale Divinity School and her juris doctor degree from Yale Law School.

At Yale Law, Brubacher was a founding director of the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project and development editor for the “Yale Journal of International Law.”

Brubacher is the daughter of Joan ’70 and Wade ’70 Brubacher, North Newton. She and her husband, Grayson Murphy, have one daughter, Eleanor Murphy.

The other new board member is Sharon Waltner ’66, Parker, South Dakota. With her husband, Keith Waltner ’67, she co-owns and co-manages a diversified farming operation.

She is also a consultant for Avera Education and Staffing Solutions, working with health-care and educational facilities and organizations in leadership training and mediation.

For more of this article, visit the Bethel College website.

Fall Fest 2015 starts Oct. 8

Mark your calendar for this year’s Fall Festival, Oct. 8–11, with the Fall Fest fair on campus Saturday, Oct. 10.

The extended weekend of activities will begin with Taste of Newton downtown Thursday, Oct. 8; continue with special lectures, banquets, receptions and a stage performance on campus Friday, Oct. 9; swell with a wealth of options at the longtime Fall Fest fair Saturday, Oct. 10; and end with worship and a closing stage performance Sunday, Oct. 11.

In coming years, Saturday’s Fall Fest fair on campus is scheduled for Oct. 1, 2016, Oct. 14, 2017, Oct. 6, 2018, Oct. 5, 2019 and Oct. 10, 2020. The dates are determined by the first home football game in October, as scheduled by the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference and posted at the KCAC website.