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:
||issues of THRESHEReview edited (Linscheid started the newsletter in 2001)
||alumni and friends hosted at a Royals game in Kansas City in 2015, and 40 at a Pirates game in Pittsburgh in 2011
||alumni gatherings hosted, from Washington, D.C., to Tucson to San Francisco to Winnipeg, with more than 6,500 alumni and friends attending
||alumni served with the Alumni Council over those 16 years
||record high membership on the Student Alumni Association 2011–12 (he’s pictured at the right above with SAA in fall 2015)
||alumni honored with Young Alumnus, Outstanding Alumnus or Distinguished Achievement Awards (having been chosen by the Awards Committee)
||golf tournaments hosted at 5 locations in Kansas and Nebraska (with a record 129 players at the fall 2006 tourney)
||Alumni Weekends coordinated, with more than 5,000 guests attending
||commencements for 1,776 Bethel graduates (now alumni)
||Taste of Newton nights co-planned with the Newton Area Chamber of Commerce
||Fall Festivals coordinated, with around 5,000 visitors each year
||Grandparents Days organized with SAA, for more than 1,700 guests
||phonathons organized, calling alumni for more than 500 hours alongside 120 students and volunteers
||student-alumni Career Nights hosted with SAA, where each year an average of 120 students connected with 50 alumni
||Mudslam Volleyball Tournaments planned with SAA, in which more than 1,000 students played
||Mennonite Church USA conventions attended, to host gatherings for alumni and friends, and to help with the Admissions booth
||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.”