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Kohlman welcomed as new alumni director

Pam Tieszen, vice president for institutional advancement, has announced the appointment of Brad Kohlman ’07, Whitewater, as the new director of alumni relations.

He’ll be filling some big shoes, as Dave Linscheid ’75 retires June 10 after 16 years in that position.

Kohlman comes to Bethel after a year as director at Hesston Recreation & Community Education.

Before that, he taught Grade 5 at Ewalt Elementary School, Augusta, and coached high school basketball, from 2007–2015.

Kohlman graduated from Bethel with a B.S. in elementary education. While at Bethel, he also served three years as assistant coach for the women’s basketball team.

Kohlman earned an M.Ed. in sports management from Wichita State University, which included an internship at the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in Wichita. 

“I am looking forward to building upon the solid foundation that Dave has provided over the last 16 years,” said Kohlman. “It is exciting to be part of a community that has meant so much to me and so many others.”

“I am pleased to announce the most recent addition to the advancement team,” Tieszen said. “As a 2007 alumnus, Brad offers a new perspective to the office of alumni relations, and the many events generated by the Alumni Association. Watch for new events as Brad begins his new responsibilities.”

Kohlman is married to Bethel graduate Megan (Klaassen) Kohlman ’08. They have one child, Lincoln, age 3.

To find your path, follow your passion, commencement speaker says

Commencement speaker Daniel Hege ’87 admitted up front that the title of his address, “Find your own path,” sounded like a platitude.

“Everyone has to find his or her own path, right? Why state the obvious?”

The point was that word “own.” “With all the expectations foisted on you from well-meaning people, and the dizzying amount of inputs you are confronted with, you may find yourself leading a life that is not yours. Try to realize this as soon as possible.”

Hege graduated from Bethel with degrees in music and history and earned a master’s degree in orchestra conducting from the University of Utah. He lives in Syracuse, New York, and makes regular trips to the center of the continent as music director of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra since 2009 and, as of the most recent season, principal guest conductor of the Tulsa Symphony.

Hege addressed the largest Bethel class in at least a decade — 131 counting those in absentia — in a speech that included six points of instruction to the graduates on finding a path that was their own. . . .

Robert Milliman, vice president for academic affairs, introduced the Class of 2016 by citing a number of its characteristics. In this class, women outnumbered men almost 2:1, due in part to a record-high number of nursing graduates (nursing remains a female-dominated occupation). At least five graduating seniors are following a long-standing Bethel tradition of taking voluntary service assignments, both overseas and within the United States, starting within the next several months. In addition to China, countries represented in the Class of 2016 are Canada, China, Guatemala, Japan, Korea, Russia, Taiwan and Vietnam. . . .

In the photo above, nursing graduate Mekale Chapple from Jones, Oklahoma, is pictured with President Perry White.

Read the complete article.

Students share what BC means to them

As the 2015–16 school year came to a close, the Development Office asked students to share what Bethel College means to them.

A video of their testimonials is now available on the Friends and Donors web page. The reflections serve as a reminder of how important alumni and donor support is to students.

Professor brings hidden German artist to the world

For the past five years, Rachel Epp Buller ’96, Bethel associate professor of visual art and design, has been working patiently to bring a German artist out of the shadows.

That work came to fruition with an exhibition opening April 13 at Das Verborgene Museum in Berlin and publication of the exhibition catalog as a book, Alice Lex-Nerlinger: Fotomonteurin und Malerin (Photomontage Artist and Painter), celebrated at Bethel April 29.

Epp Buller first came across the work of Alice Lex (Lex was married to fellow artist Oskar Nerlinger so is sometimes referred to as Lex-Nerlinger) when she was working on her doctorate in art history at the University of Kansas in the early 2000s. She wrote her dissertation on Lex and two other women artists in Weimar (post-World War I) Germany.

In 2011, Epp Buller received a Fulbright Fellowship that enabled her to devote full time for six months to learning more about Lex and finding her work. She spent the time in Berlin, working with staff and archives at Akademie der Künste (Academy of Arts).

She went back to Berlin in 2013 for several weeks with the help of a Gerda Henkel Stiftung Research Fellowship.

Returning this April for the opening of the first-ever Alice Lex retrospective, Epp Buller says that on the plane, she was looking back at journal entries about her work on Lex.

“It was five years to the week that [the museum staff and I] had first sat down to talk about this.”

She continues, “When I started the project, it was unclear what the outcome would be — an article, a book, an exhibition? By the end of 2011, I’d put together an exhibition wish list.”

Read more of this article.

Longtime alumni director bids Bethel farewell

After 16 years as Bethel’s director of alumni relations, Dave Linscheid ’75, will retire June 30, with his last day in the office June 10.

Pam Tieszen, vice president for institutional advancement, of which the Office of Alumni Relations is a part, said, “I’ve had the privilege of working with Dave only two years but I’ve learned he is gifted in a variety of areas.”

Among these, she said, are attention to detail, storytelling and a great sense of humor.

Linscheid’s care for detail is among “some of the best I’ve witnessed in my years as an administrator,” Tieszen said. “The next alumni director will be the fortunate recipient of [Dave’s] collection [of binders and electronic records] and every detail they need to know.”

Linscheid has worked in the Alumni Office since April 2000. Here are some significant numbers from that time:

153 issues of THRESHEReview edited (Linscheid started the newsletter in 2001)
140+ alumni and friends hosted at a Royals game in Kansas City in 2015, and 40 at a Pirates game in Pittsburgh in 2011
125+ alumni gatherings hosted, from Washington, D.C., to Tucson to San Francisco to Winnipeg, with more than 6,500 alumni and friends attending
100+ alumni served with the Alumni Council over those 16 years
77 record high membership on the Student Alumni Association 2011–12 (he’s pictured at the right above with SAA in fall 2015)
65 alumni honored with Young Alumnus, Outstanding Alumnus or Distinguished Achievement Awards (having been chosen by the Awards Committee)
33 golf tournaments hosted at 5 locations in Kansas and Nebraska (with a record 129 players at the fall 2006 tourney)
17 Alumni Weekends coordinated, with more than 5,000 guests attending
17 commencements for 1,776 Bethel graduates (now alumni)
16 Taste of Newton nights co-planned with the Newton Area Chamber of Commerce
16 Fall Festivals coordinated, with around 5,000 visitors each year
16 Grandparents Days organized with SAA, for more than 1,700 guests
15 phonathons organized, calling alumni for more than 500 hours alongside 120 students and volunteers
14 student-alumni Career Nights hosted with SAA, where each year an average of 120 students connected with 50 alumni
13 Mudslam Volleyball Tournaments planned with SAA, in which more than 1,000 students played
8 Mennonite Church USA conventions attended, to host gatherings for alumni and friends, and to help with the Admissions booth
1 colony of honey bees discovered in the alumni office ceiling in summer 2010 (nobody counted the bees)

Linscheid helped alumni start the African-American Alumni Association in 2002, and joined AAAA members at gatherings on campus, and in Virginia Beach, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City and Orlando. He served on the Bethel College Context editorial board, the 125th Anniversary celebration committee and the Bethel College accreditation team; hosted 31 travelers on an alumni choir tour to Europe in 2003; and coordinated a gala to celebrate 50 years of operas or musicals at Bethel in 2005. He has connected with thousands of alumni in person, on the phone or by e-mail, responding to requests and enjoying their BC stories.

Tieszen noted that Linscheid’s gift for storytelling may come from “years of experience in one position. Dave knows many alumni and can quickly recall some quirk or minute detail about an individual when we need assistance figuring out who people are and their connection to Bethel family.

“Dave’s quick wit is particularly special. He has this uncanny ability to twist a word or name into an altered state highlighting a characteristic of the person or event. Our advancement team meetings have been much more enjoyable because of Dave, and I know our alumni and campus have benefited from his humor and storytelling as well.

“I’ve truly enjoyed working in the alumni office and serving Bethel,” Linscheid said. “I’ll miss the automatic people connections that come with the job. Ultimately, it’s been about building relationships between alumni and Bethel, rather than some quantity of projects or events.”

Linscheid worked as an assistant in the Bethel drama department from 1978–79. He returned to the college from 1981–86, to the Admissions Office, where he served as associate director for three years and director for two. From 1986–2000, he was communications director for the binational General Conference Mennonite Church denomination, where he met many alumni in congregations across the United States and Canada.

Linscheid is the grandson of Bethel Academy graduates Emma (Schmidt) Duerksen ’17 and Anna (Claassen) Linscheid ’13 and Bethel College graduate John E. Linscheid ’14. His mother Ruth (Duerksen) ’68 and father J. Willard ’48 Linscheid were also Bethel graduates, as is his wife Cynthia (Lehman) ’80, son Aaron ’07 and wife Caitlin (Welch) ’07, and son Joel ’08 and fiancé Kimberly Schmidt ’08.

“A special perk of the job was getting to know my grandfather through former students who had him as an English teacher at Bethel in the late 1930s,” Linscheid said. “He died in 1939, long before I was born. Alumni told me he was fun and witty, but also a real stickler for good writing, including proper grammar.”

Linscheid said he looks forward to more time with family, including two grandsons, ages 3 and 4 1/2.

“Bethel has been blessed by Dave’s passion and gifts,” Tieszen said. “Our alumni will miss him and, on a selfish note, team meetings will not be the same without him, but we are happy for you and Cynthia and wish you well in your next chapter.”

Herman needs help!

In an exclusive interview with THRESHEReview, perpetual Bethel student Herman Bubbert begged alumni to meet the college’s 2015–16 giving goal of $1.4 million by June 30.

“I love Bethel,” Bubbert said. “My friends and I and a cow in the library have loved Bethel. We’ve put sparrows under cups in the dining hall so that they might lift their voices in song when released by thirsty Threshers.

“We’ve posted our affection by putting signs in the Ad Building chimneys. We’ve expressed our warm feelings by shaping ice-cold snow into a toboggan run on the steps of that edifice. We’ve piled tables in a pyramid in front, pointing to the words ‘Bethel College’ emblazoned above. We’ve circled the flagpole with tires, not unlike wedding rings of commitment to BC.

“Inside, we’ve exhibited our devotion in the President’s Office — with balloons, Post-It notes and aluminum foil — and anointed the chapel floor with hundreds of water-filled cups.

“We’ve shown our playfulness by placing cars in entryways, and recreating Mount Sanai in the cafeteria. Our love has rained down like ping pong balls in convocation, and rolled like earth balls pushed by Monks at Play across the Krehbiel Auditorium stage.

“Surely all alumni can express their love for Bethel, can’t they?” Bubbert implored, with tears in his soulful eyes. “All they need to do is give by June 30.

“I’m sure my beloved math professor Arnold Wedel ’47 would agree that, when added up, every gift counts!”

Please, oh please, respond to Herman’s plea with a gift TODAY by:

  • mailing a check (made payable to “Bethel College”) Development Office, 300 East 27th Street, North Newton, KS 67117
  • donating online
  • or setting up a monthly credit card gift or bank auto-draft by calling 316-284-5250 or e-mailing the Development Office for details.

Softball honored as KCAC Team of Character

The Bethel softball team has been awarded the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) Team of Character honor.

“Athletes are always held at a higher standard while on campus, so we are always working hard at serving others and showing positive leadership,” head coach Stacy Middleton ’95 said.

“We have focused the most on servant leadership this year, which incorporates responsibility, integrity and respect. Our entire team worked on Service Day and served in other community activities that included holding a food drive for the Harvey County Homeless Shelter, serving supper for the Builder’s Banquet for Kidron Bethel, helping clean up after the blood drive, serving supper at the Habitat for Humanity fundraising night, holding a youth softball clinic, leading an FCA meeting and participating in chapel services.”

Earlier this year, both the Bethel men’s and women’s basketball teams and the Bethel golf team were also selected for the same KCAC team of character honor.

The award is based on the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Champions of Character award and recognizes a school in each sport, as voted on by their peer coaches.

75% off clearance items at Thresher Shop

To make room for the new 2016–17 gear, Thresher Shop will be offering large discounts in June — up to 75 percent off clearance items!

Then, in July, new inventory will start to arrive. Be on the lookout at threshershop.com to get your hands on the newest merchandise as soon as it gets to the store.

In summer, Thresher Shop hours are reduced to 9 a.m.–3 p.m. CST; however online orders can be placed 24/7. Just visit threshershop.com, make your selections, enter your shipping information and select your payment option. Payment can be made via credit card or PayPal, and Thresher Shop can ship just about anywhere in the world.

If questions, e-mail the shop or call 316-283-2500 during business hours, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Monday–Friday.

Planning already under way for Fall Fest

With this year’s Fall Festival earlier than in recent years, planning is already under way. The Fall Fest fair on campus is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 1. Taste of Newton will be Thursday evening, Sept. 29. Special activities will also occur Friday, Sept. 30, and Sunday, Oct. 2.

Dwight Krehbiel ’69, professor of psychology, is coordinating the 10th annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Symposium. This year’s event will focus on public health and inter-professional collaboration. A number of alumni have accepted Krehbiel’s invitation to participate:

At 1 p.m. Friday, Eric Cook-Wiens ’99, an epidemiologist with the Kansas Healthcare Collaborative, Topeka, will speak on the “Quality of Health Care in Kansas.”

At 2 p.m., a panel discussion on “Improving Health Care through Collaboration among Professions” will feature Jacy Barker ’07/’09, a nurse practitioner with Comcare in Wichita; Melisa Cooper ’97, a physician assistant in McPherson; Miranda DeLuna ’98, an urgent care and family practice physician in Wichita; Tracy Ediger ’93, a pediatric gastroenterologist in Columbus, Ohio; and Jodi Runge ’07, a physical therapist in Newton.

At 3:20 p.m., Matthew Burkey ’02, a public health researcher in British Columbia and assistant in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, will join Friday’s other presenters to explore “STEM-Related Careers: Health and Other Areas,” with all seven talking about their own career paths and answering questions that might help students think about their options for the future.

The symposium includes time to visit over coffee and a dinner at 5:30 p.m. Friday. It concludes at 9 a.m. Saturday, when Burkey will speak on “An International Perspective on Child Behavioral Health.”

Watch for more Fall Fest details in future issues of THRESHEReview, the Fall Fest webpage and the program sent to all alumni and friends of the college in late August.

Experience the Jerusalem Seminar next January

Bethel alumni and friends are invited to participate in the next college-hosted tour to Jordan, Palestine and Israel Jan. 3–24, 2017.

The “Jerusalem Seminar” includes a study of the history and geography of the region, with connections to biblical texts, the present Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and the religions and cultures of the region. Time for worship and reflection is also included.

The many locations to be visited include Jerusalem, Gethsemane, Mt. Nebo, Petra, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jericho, the Jordan River, the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee.

Those interested should contact Peter Goerzen ’07, campus pastor and director of church relations, by e-mail, or phone 316-284-5356.