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May 22 deadline for alumni banquet and A Thresher Refresher

All alumni and friends of Bethel are invited to the Alumni Banquet from 12–1:30 p.m., Saturday, June 6, in Memorial Hall. The event honors alumni award recipients and the spring reunion classes, with special recognition of the 50th-anniversary Golden Thresher class.

Three people will be recognized for their service and accomplishments: Delora Jantz Decker ’63 and Jerry Decker, North Newton, will receive the Outstanding Alumnus Award, and Samir Khabbaz ’54, Richlandtown, Pa., the Distinguished Achievement Award. For more information about these individuals, go to the Bethel College website.

A dessert reception with the award recipients is scheduled for 1:30–2:30 p.m. in the cafeteria of Schultz Student Center. The reception also honors retired faculty and staff.

Discount price for the banquet is $22.50 if paying by May 22 or $25 regular price May 25–27. For reservations, contact Thresher Bookstore in Schultz Student Center, 316-284-5205. Payment or credit card information is required when the reservation is made. No refunds can be given after May 29, since after that, the Alumni Office will have been charged for reserved meals. Those attending the banquet receive a nametag at the door, which serves as their tickets.

The theme for Alumni Weekend, June 5–7, is A Thresher Refresher, with opportunities to stay on campus, attend enrichment classes, eat, sing and worship together. The Classes of 1955, 1960 and 1965 will gather for reunion dinners Saturday night.

Information was mailed to the classes of 1965 and older in April. Those who did not receive it may visit the Bethel College website or contact the alumni office at alumni@bethelks.edu or 316-284-5251.

Alumni with class years ending in zero and five will be observe 10th–45th reunions at Fall Festival, Saturday, Oct. 10.

Gift of scanned negatives gives positive turn to mission story

For John Thiesen ’82, longtime archivist at the Mennonite Library and Archives (MLA) at Bethel College, as well as Bethel co-director of libraries, this past spring break brought a career high point.

Thiesen made a trip to northern Arizona to the Hopi Reservation to deliver a flash drive that represented one of my top five archival successes, he said — and that’s from a career that spans 25 years.

On that flash drive, in digital format, were about 2,300 photo negatives and 150 glass lantern slides from the collection of Heinrich (H.R.) Voth, a General Conference Mennonite Church missionary with the Hopi in the late 1800s.

The MLA has an ongoing program of digitizing photos and other materials from our holdings, Thiesen said. A few years ago, I decided to start scanning the H.R. Voth negatives. Many of them are from his various terms as a missionary in Orayvi on the Hopi Reservation, plus family and church activities from Kansas and Oklahoma. It represents probably one of our more important collections because of Voth’s ethnographic writing and research about the Hopi.

Voth was a serious student of Hopi language and culture, projects he first undertook to better equip himself for mission work but which increasingly fascinated him for their own sake. He collaborated with museums and anthropologists from around the world who were interested in the Hopi, most notably with George A. Dorsey and the Field Museum in Chicago.

Voth, who died in 1931, left his papers and photos — which also deal with his first mission efforts among the Arapaho in Oklahoma — to the MLA.

From the vantage point of 2015, Voth’s ethnographic and anthropological efforts among the Hopi have not always left him in a good light.

A lot of the photos relate to [Hopi] religious ceremonies, Thiesen noted, which is a controversial aspect because from a present-day perspective, he shouldn’t have taken the pictures.

That makes the Hopi oral tradition about Voth negative — he intruded into the religious life of the community and made it public, in a sense, by putting some of the photos into anthropology publications, pamphlets and books.

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

The end of Bethel’s fiscal year quickly approaches, and the Advancement Team welcomes your donations to the Bethel Fund.

Fred Goering ’72 is retiring from his position of development director after 15 years of service.

He’s built relationships across the country with Bethel alumni and friends, and we will miss him, said Pam Tieszen, vice president for institutional advancement. As a way of honoring Fred, we ask you to consider a gift to the Bethel Fund to make his final spring a rousing success. Fred has been there to support Bethel students and staff behind the scenes raising money for the annual fund. It is our hope you honor him by supporting Bethel students this spring.

In order to make giving easier, a year-end appeal letter with a return envelope will be mailed soon, or people can give online at the Bethel College website.

In light of Goering retiring, the Office of Development is being restructured to include an annual fund director in addition to a development director. For a full job description, visit the Bethel College website. Also listed there are openings for coordinator for First-Year Success and vice president for admissions.

Golfers win Team of Character Award

The Bethel College Golf team has been awarded the 2015 Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) Team of Character Award.

This year’s team members were Brian Krehbiel, sophomore from Donnelson, Iowa; Drew Trollope, sophomore from Kingman; Ethan Rodenberg, senior from Halstead; Jaden Schmidt, sophomore from Moundridge; Kyle Regier, sophomore from Whitewater; Matt Dewberry, junior from Blanchard, Oklahoma; and Sam Bertholf, freshman from Winfield.

This award is granted to the team that best represents the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics core values of respect, responsibility, servant leadership, integrity and sportsmanship. The winner is chosen by a vote of the conference coaches and was awarded at the completion of the KCAC Conference Tournament.

Golf continues a tradition of service, academics and values-based competition evident throughout the Thresher athletic program and is the second team at Bethel this spring to be awarded a Team of Character Award.

The team is coached by Gregg Dick ’87.

For more information, visit .

Museum racing forward on special exhibition

Kauffman Museum will offer its final Sunday-Afternoon-at-the-Museum program of the academic year, Racing Forward, in conjunction with the special exhibition Sorting Out Race: Racial Identity & Stereotypes in Thrift Store Donations at 3 p.m. May 24 at the museum.

Museum director Annette LeZotte and retired director Rachel Pannabecker ’80, who were integral in the development of the exhibit, will share community reactions and interactions with the exhibit. May 24 is the final day to view the exhibit before it is prepared for travel to other museums in Kansas and across the nation.

Uncle Carl’s Camps seeking enrollment

Kauffman Museum continues its popular Uncle Carl’s Camps program this summer for children ages 4–18. The week-long, half-day camps encourage children to explore a variety of art, natural and cultural history topics in a hands-on, discovery-oriented environment.

New camps this year are Minecraft at the Museum for 9- to 12-year-olds and Art and Books for LIFE! in two sessions for 9- to 12-year-olds and 13- to 18-year-olds. Returning favorites include Survivor: Prairie and Printmaking for students who have completed grades kindergarten through second grade and Little Houses on the Prairie for preschoolers ages 4–5.

Survivor: Prairie, June 1–5, places campers ages 6 through 8 in tribes that will learn how native plants, animals, insects and peoples have adapted to life on the prairies of Kansas. Amber Celestin ’04 will coach campers on how to outwit, outgrow and outlast the harsh prairie environment to become Kansas survivors.

Campers ages 6 through 8 in Exploring Printmaking, June 8–12, will learn a variety of simple printmaking techniques. Instructor LaDonna Unruh Voth ’86 will introduce young artists to many forms of printing from the museum’s collection of paper and fabric artifacts.

Art and Books for LIFE! camps are a unique collaboration between Kauffman Museum and Books for Life International with two sessions the week of June 15–19. Campers will create a book that will be published and distributed via Books for Life to children’s libraries in developing countries across the globe. Nine- to 12-year-olds, under the supervision of Unruh Voth, will create illustrations for the book using the museum’s collection of artifacts as inspiration. Campers ages 13 through 18 will work with Kathy Schroeder ’77 to design, lay out and edit the book.

In Minecraft at the Museum, June 22–26, campers ages 9 through 12 and teacher Brian Skinner ’13 will build structures based upon the popular video game Minecraft. They will study historical time periods and use the visual effects of Minecraft to create virtual models of past societies. The camp will emphasize collaborative work to build a larger model. The Minecraft at the Museum morning session is filled, but an additional afternoon session will be offered if enough registrations come in.

Little Houses on the Prairie, June 29-July 2, lets preschoolers (ages 4 and 5) learn about different types of homes from pioneer days. With campers, Kristin Neufeld Epp ’95 of New Creation Preschool will explore who built pioneer homes, where they were built and what they did inside the houses.

Additional information and registration forms for Uncle Carl’s Camps can be found on the Kauffman Museum web site. Camps are $65 per camper for museum members or $80 per camper for non-members. A limited number of need-based scholarships are available; for more information, contact Andi Schmidt Andres ’84 (asa@bethelks.edu) or Rachel Unruh ’13 (rachel.j.unruh@gmail.com) at 316-283-1612.

Committee needs award nominations

The Awards Committee of the Bethel College Alumni Association invites nominations for alumni awards for 2016: Young Alumnus, Outstanding Alumnus and Distinguished Achievement.

The Young Alumnus Award recognizes character and citizenship, achievement or service rendered, honor and recognition received; the recipient should be age 39 or younger. The Outstanding Alumnus Award is given on the basis of character and citizenship, service to church/community or college, or other outstanding achievements, honors and recognition. The Distinguished Achievement Award acknowledges character and citizenship, achievement in a chosen profession or vocation, and work of benefit to humanity.

The committee welcomes a broad range of nominees who reflect Bethel’s many programs, college experiences and diversity as well as achievement or service in a variety of areas. Award recipients must be graduates of Bethel, or the college was their terminal or only post-secondary educational experience. An exception may be made in the case of couples, where one of the individuals meets the guidelines fully but the other does not.

Send names with comments and accompanying documentation, if possible, to alumni@bethelks.edu or Office of Alumni Relations, Bethel College, 300 E. 27th St., North Newton, KS 67117.

People now have the opportunity to give to Bethel College through AmazonSmile. People shopping on Amazon also can support Bethel College by shopping for most of the same items under AmazonSmile.

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for people to support their favorite charitable organizations every time they shop — at no cost to them. When customers shop at smile.amazon.com, they will find the same prices, selection and shopping experience as Amazon.com with the added bonus Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to people’s selected charitable organizations.

Here are the steps to use AmazonSmile:

  1. Visit smile.amazon.com.
  2. Sign in.
  3. Choose your charity. Type in Bethel College in the search box and choose Bethel College in North Newton, KS (it should be the first result).
  4. Begin shopping! Once you’ve selected Bethel College as your charity, everything else functions the same. Shop for your favorite products or the perfect gift. Most products are eligible on AmazonSmile (eligible products are noted on Amazon). You can check out normally, as well. No extra cost is passed to you — Amazon will donate 0.5 percent of your purchase to Bethel College.
  5. Make sure to always use smile.amazon.com when visiting Amazon for the purchase to count!