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Phonathon progresses toward $150,000 goal

This year’s Alumni Association phonathon wrapped up Feb. 28 with more than $90,000 in gifts and commitments made in response to the invitation mailed in January and telephone calls to hundreds of alumni during February.

Fifty-four callers, including 39 alumni volunteers and 15 current students, spent more than 300 hours phoning, making significant progress toward the $150,000 in phonathon donations needed by June 30.

I thank the volunteers and students who spent hours visiting with alumni and inviting them to give, said Dave Linscheid ’75, director of alumni relations. They also left hundreds of messages reminding alumni of the opportunity to participate in reaching the goal.

Phonathon donations go to the Bethel Fund, for scholarships, academic programs, undergraduate research, campus ministries, cross-cultural learning, fine arts, athletics, student organizations, student recruitment and other essentials.

We are gratified with the response so far and invite others to contribute by the end of June, Linscheid said. We know that alumni we talked with still are considering giving, and that others will join them in response to our phone messages and the information sent earlier. Donations of all sizes make a real difference.

Alumni and friends may contribute by:

  • mailing a gift to Phonathon 2015, Bethel College, 300 E. 27th St., North Newton, KS 67117
  • providing a gift amount and credit card information by phone, 316-284-5250
  • giving online

Concert Choir on tour this month

The Bethel College Concert Choir, under the direction of William Eash, professor of music, will sing at 11 venues in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas on tour during spring break, March 20-29.

The choir includes 51 students. Peter Goerzen ’07, campus pastor and director of church relations, will travel with the group, as well.

Alumni, friends of Bethel, prospective students and their families are invited to any of the following concerts:

Friday, March 20
7:30 p.m. at Pleasant Valley Mennonite Church, 1020 East 14th Street, Harper, Kansas
Saturday, March 21
3 p.m. at Trinity Christian Church (in cooperation with Joy Mennonite Church, Oklahoma City), 1400 Northwest 178th Street, Edmond, Oklahoma
Sunday, March 22
  • 10 a.m. in worship at Luz del Evangelio, 1524 Dowdy Ferry Road, Dallas
  • 7 p.m. at Houston Mennonite Church, 1231 Wirt Road, Houston
Monday, March 23
7 p.m. at Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church, 3602 Sealy, Galveston, Texas
Tuesday, March 24
7 p.m. at San Antonio Mennonite Church, 1443 South St. Mary’s Street, San Antonio
Wednesday, March 25
7 p.m. at Austin Mennonite Church, 5801 Westminster Drive, Austin, Texas
Friday, March 27
7 p.m. at Northaven United Methodist Church (in cooperation with Peace Mennonite Church), 11211 Preston Road, Dallas
Saturday, March 28
7 p.m. at Holy Family Cathedral, 122 West 8th Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Sunday, March 29
  • 9:30 a.m. in worship at Grace Mennonite Church, 4006 North Oakwood Road, Enid, Oklahoma
  • 7 p.m., home concert in Memorial Hall on campus

Radio station receives new visual identity, website

KBCU-FM 88.1
KBCU-FM 88.1, Bethel’s student-run radio station, was given a facelift from graphic design student and full-time Bethel web developer Jesse Kaufman. He did the work as part of a design internship, managed by Tim Buller ’96 (manager of KBCU) and Rachel Epp Buller ’96 (faculty adviser) and included a Stay tuned ad campaign leading up to the official launch in February.

Kaufman designed the logo to create a modern, friendly visual identity for KBCU that is appealing to students in the day and age of apps, he said. I’m hoping to eventually have stickers and T-shirts with the logo, too.

Along with the logo, KBCU gained a new website that includes updated options for listening online, a dynamic program guide, contact information, Twitter feed and a design that scales to all modern devices.

Sorting Out Race exhibit opens at museum

Every day, thrift stores across America receive donations with racial imagery--antique advertising cards, collectible salt-and-pepper shakers, vintage children’s books, and mugs with sports team mascots. Are these harmless reminders of past attitudes or do they perpetuate stereotypes about race? Should thrift stores sell these objects? Or should they be sorted out of the resale environment?

Sorting Out Race, a new exhibit at Kauffman Museum, arose out of a desire to divert artifacts with racial content to an exhibit that would generate a healthy community conversation about racial stereotypes past and present in order to heighten awareness of our continuing struggles with race.

The opening reception is from 4-6 p.m. Saturday, March 7, at the museum. The exhibit runs through May 24.

Speakers to examine Kansas Mennonite government encounters

Two historians with research interests in Mennonites in the 20th century, particularly in Kansas, will speak at the next Friends of the MLA lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 5, in the Administration Building chapel at Bethel College.

The talk is free and open to the public.

James Juhnke ’62, North Newton, will talk about his most recent book project, which deals with Kansas Mennonites and politics since World War II. Robin Deich Ottoson, Hillsboro, will discuss her dissertation research, which focuses on Hillsboro Mennonites during the Vietnam War era.

The title of Juhnke’s talk is Parade of Politicians.

From 1940 to the present, there have been 25 Mennonites from south-central Kansas who ran for state or national political office, Juhnke said. I will tell the stories of a number of them, and try to characterize the group as a whole.

Ottoson has titled her lecture Stories From the Heartland: Making Meaning in Hillsboro, Kansas, During the Vietnam War.

I’ll assess varied Mennonite responses in Hillsboro to church-state issues and why Hillsboro played an interesting role over the long Vietnam War, Ottoson said.

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

Bethel has four forensics championships

Hosting this year’s Kansas State Individual Events Tournament (KASIE) in forensics proved to be good karma for the Bethel team.

Eight other colleges and universities sent teams to the Feb. 21 event--Barton Community College, Friends University, Hutchinson Community College, Independence Community College, Kansas State University, Kansas Wesleyan University, Ottawa University and Sterling College.

Bethel had four state championships at the end of the day, more than any other school, and a student who earned one of those will be going to a prestigious national competition this spring.

Jacob Miller, sophomore from Westmoreland, is state champion in Persuasive Speaking and in Communication Analysis. He also took third in Impromptu Speaking.

Cameron Ponce, sophomore from Elkhart, Indiana, is state champion in Program of Oral Interpretation (POI) and in Prose Interpretation.

Ponce’s first-place finish in POI qualifies him for that event at the American Forensic Association Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET).

Ponce is now qualified in two events for AFA-NIET and Miller in three.

This was an especially wonderful KASIE Tournament for Bethel forensics, said Mallory Marsh, Bethel forensics head coach. In addition to the state championships and Cameron qualifying his POI to nationals, Jacob’s placement in Persuasive Speaking means he will represent both the state of Kansas and Bethel College at the Interstate Oratory Contest.

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

Veteran ponders lessons of military service, Bethel education

With American Sniper nominated for multiple Oscars and Eddie Ray Routh’s recent conviction for murder, one Bethel College senior has been thinking a lot about Chris Kyle lately.

Kyle was a famed Navy SEAL sharp-shooter who served four tours of duty in Iraq, and who is the subject of the feature film American Sniper. Routh was found guilty of shooting Kyle and another man—who were trying to help Routh deal with post-traumatic stress after his own military deployment—to death in February 2013.

Koki Lane, a business major on track to graduate in December, served in Iraq under the command of General David Petraeus and General Frank Helmick.

She saw American Sniper recently.

It’s about our identity as Americans and soldiers who, after 9-11, wanted to protect our freedom and love for each other, she said in a Bethel chapel soon after. I was one of those soldiers during 9-11 and, just like Chris Kyle, deployed to Mosul, Iraq, on Aug. 18, 2003.

The environment he saw was [similar to] the environment I saw, she continued. However, unlike Chris Kyle, I’m alive, and only God can answer why.

Koki is also in the somewhat unusual position of finding herself among a group of people —the Mennonites she has met as faculty and fellow students at Bethel—more likely to opt for conscientious objection to war than military service.

She came to Bethel two years ago partly by chance and partly because Bethel accepts the GI Bill to pay for college.

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

Reincarnated journal puts pin in college literary map

The current incarnation of a Bethel literary magazine is hearkening back and looking forward.

The first edition of YAWP! went live at the end of last year and can be found online (BClines was the name of the previous version).

The presence of a new professor in the literary studies department, Siobhán Scarry, has played a major role in putting new life back into an old literary magazine tradition.

I think it was around 2010, there was one issue of a [Bethel] literary journal called YAWP!, Scarry said. It was a renegade, or an extra, but it was such a wonderful name, with energy and a fantastic literary history (from Walt Whitman: I sound my barbaric YAWP! over the rooftops of the world).

So when the new editors found out about [the previous YAWP!], they wanted to infuse the current literary magazine with that history, the energy and interest.

In the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years, several students in literary studies and graphic design spearheaded BClines, which was online-only and which Scarry noted was more of a blog and less of a magazine.

Along with its new name, YAWP! has a new look and feel, a new logo and branding, and a redesigned website (though not yet moved over from the BClines URL).

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