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New enrollment leader looks forward to challenges

Bethel’s new vice president of enrollment says he’s excited about the challenges that small private colleges face in recruiting students in a tough economy.

Todd Moore began Sept. 14 in the position, replacing Lori Livengood, who stepped into the admissions office in an interim role from March to September while continuing to serve as vice president of marketing and communications.

Bethel’s overall enrollment for fall 2009 is 437, which represents a decrease in 100 students over the past two years. Ninety-two new students on campus this fall are first-time freshmen and 49 are transfers.

“While the overall numbers are disappointing,” Moore says, “the quality of the class academically is as strong as any at Bethel in the last decade, maybe ever.

“The 25 average ACT [score] has to be one of the highest in the state,” Moore adds. “More than a third were in the top 10 percent of their high school class. I doubt there’s another school that could say that.”

Bethel’s class of 2013 includes 15 valedictorians and two salutatorians. “We’re excited to inherit a strong class,” Moore says. “We’re getting quality students [academically] -- we just need more of them.”

Moore comes to the position with more previous experience in enrollment and admissions than other recent appointments to the post. He has a bachelor’s degree from Phillips University, Enid, Okla., where, immediately after graduation, he served three years as admissions counselor and associate dean of admissions before going on to Central Missouri State University, Warrensburg, for his master’s degree.

You can help Bethel admissions staff

In September and October, Admissions staff members have been communicating with prospective students and their parents, visiting high schools and representing Bethel at College Planning Conferences. They will conclude the fall Kansas college fair circuit at the following locations in November:

Nov. 2

  • 1-2:30 p.m. -- Arkansas City High School
  • 7-8:30 p.m. -- McPherson High School

Nov. 3

  • 9-2:30 p.m. -- Wichita Futures Fair, Century II

Nov. 4

  • 1:15-2:30 p.m. -- Butler County Community College, El Dorado

Alumni should encourage high school and potential college transfer students to talk with Admissions staff at college fairs, by phone or when they visit their school. In addition, to refer a student to Bethel and to find out who the contact person for your geographic area is, call (316) 284-5229 or e-mail .

Board of Directors names presidential search committee

Meeting in its fall session on campus Oct. 23-24, the Bethel College Board endorsed a recommendation for the search process to select a new president.

The board also selected a presidential search committee. Ray Penner, North Newton, will serve as chair. Other members are Delora Decker, North Newton, Wally Dyck, Temple, Texas, Berneil Rupp Mueller, North Newton, Donovan Nickel, Windsor, Colo., and Leticia Palacioz Nielsen, Wichita, representing the board; John McCabe-Juhnke, professor of communication arts, and Allison McFarland, professor of management and marketing, representing Bethel faculty; and Sondra Bandy Koontz, vice president for advancement, representing Bethel staff. Board Chair Melvin Goering, Santa Fe, N.M., will sit on the search committee as an ex officio member, and Elaine Moyer, associate director for Mennonite Education Agency, will serve as a consultant in the presidential search process.

The process should “begin . . . with deliberate speed but without an arbitrary deadline for completion, recognizing it is more important to find the right person than to find a person quickly,” the recommendation stated.

Adventure course construction set to begin soon

Implementing adventure education at Bethel College was a high priority for its former head of student life, and his successor is seeing that dream to reality.

For several years before he left Bethel to take an assignment with Mennonite Central Committee, Aaron Chappell-Deckert was working to establish an “adventure course” on campus. New Vice President for Student Life Chad Childs gladly took on that task.

In cooperation with Next Element Consulting LLC, a Newton leadership training group, and with the contracted services of Tom Leahy of Leahy & Associates, Lafayette, Colo., Bethel will begin this fall to construct its own adventure course adjacent to Sand Creek Trail in the northeast corner of the campus.

Kauffman Museum receives inaugural technology award

Kauffman Museum is the first winner of a newly established award from the Mountain-Plains Museums Association (MPMA).

MPMA chose the museum to receive its inaugural Technology Award, given for a multimedia project done by a museum with an institutional budget under $250,000 annually. MPMA is a regional museum association, established in 1953, that provides services to museum professionals in Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.

MPMA president Rick Young of Fort Caspar Museum in Wyoming presented the Technology Award to Chuck Regier, Kauffman Museum curator of exhibits, at the MPMA annual meeting in Cheyenne, Wyo., Oct. 8. Kauffman Museum received the award for its StoryTablet, a system designed by the museum’s exhibit team to deliver audio programs to museum visitors.

Upcoming museum events and exhibits

The Big Read

Kauffman Museum, Bethel College and Newton Public Library will host a program by Bethel English professor Ami Regier, “Consciousness, Living Art and Taxidermy in ‘The Raven.’” Sunday, Nov. 8, at 3:30 p.m. The program is free and open to the public, and will be held in the museum auditorium.

The program is the second of two on the prose and poetry of Edgar Allan Poe for Wichita’s Big Read. For her talk, Regier will use a Kauffman Museum taxidermy specimen as an illustration.

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to restore reading to the center of American culture.

Wheels keep turning

“Wheels: Transportation and Toys from the Kauffman Museum Collections” is the newest special exhibition in the museum gallery. The show, geared to children and adults of all ages, will be on display through Jan. 24, 2010.

The public is also invited to “Big Wheels,” an outdoor family event from 1:30-4:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 7. On display in the museum parking lot will be the Newton Fire Department’s 1928 fire truck, a vintage concrete truck from Builder’s Supply Concrete, a 1955 Kenworth semi with flatbed and loader from Goering Enterprises, Personal Energy Transportation off-road wheelchairs brought by Kirby Goering, a new Indian motorcycle (to compare with the 1914 Indian motorcycle on display in the exhibit) and more. Viewing the “Big Wheels” outdoors is free, and all children will be admitted free to the museum that afternoon when accompanied by an adult.

Model train collection sought

For December, the museum is seeking a Bethel alumnus with a model train collection to display. For more information, contact Rachel Pannabecker at Kauffman Museum at (316) 283-1612 or by e-mail.

Mark your calendar for next year’s Fall Fest

Next year’s Fall Festival fair on campus will be held Oct. 9, 2010, the second Saturday of the month. The date for Fall Fest is determined by the first home football game in October (or last home game in September, if necessary), as scheduled by the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Taste of Newton will take place Thursday evening, Oct. 7. The annual STEM Symposium will be held Friday, Oct. 8.

The classes of 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995 and 2000 will hold reunions Saturday, Oct. 9. Additional activities will be scheduled throughout the extended Fall Fest weekend.