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Orville Voth, Bethel’s eighth president, dies at 84

Bethel College’s eighth president, Orville L. Voth, Hesston, died Sept. 22 at St. Francis’ Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice in Wichita following a stroke. He was 84.

Voth was born Jan. 4, 1924, in Rosthern, Saskatchewan. The son of John J. and Mariecha Voth, Orville grew up as a Bethel College “campus kid.” John Voth was on the Bethel faculty, teaching Bible and industrial arts, from 1925-46 and also served as superintendent of buildings and grounds from 1936-48.

Orville graduated from Newton High School but his studies at Bethel College were interrupted in 1943 when he was drafted into Civilian Public Service. He served in Fort Collins, Colo., and Kalamazoo, Mich.

In 1945, Voth married Helen M. Voran, Belmont. He graduated from Bethel in 1948 and continued his education at Oklahoma State University, where he received an M.S. in chemistry with a minor in physiology. He went on to Pennsylvania State University, where he earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry with minors in bacteriology and organic chemistry.

Voth began his teaching career at Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina. He served as interim academic dean at Bethel and then as president from 1967-71 before returning to Kansas Wesleyan as vice president of academic affairs. He ended his career as director of independent study at the University of Kansas.

Fall Fest filled with special activities

Bethel’s 38th annual Fall Festival begins Thursday, Oct. 2, with volleyball on campus and Taste of Newton downtown and concludes Monday, Oct. 6, with the second showing of the historical documentary, “Through the Desert Goes Our Journey.” Special activities fill the schedule between.

Friday, Oct. 3, brings a campus visit day for prospective students, the second annual STEM Symposium, and the nursing association celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Bethel Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing. At 2 p.m. that day, 10 teams of Bethel students will compete for prizes in a “Building the Ad Building in 2 Hours” contest, using recycled materials to construct a creative replica of the historic edifice, one of several Fall Fest activities celebrating its 120th “birthday.” The first of three performances of “Protection Program,” a farce by alumnus Aaron Christopher ’02, Minneapolis, Minn., is at 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday, Oct. 4, thousands of alumni, family members and friends of Bethel will enjoy exhibits, performances, lectures, reunions, receptions, sports competitions and other events on campus. Runners, joggers and walkers can still sign up for the 5K jaunt that starts the day. Midday, 180 young singers will perform in the annual concert that features the Newton Community Children’s Choir, directed by alumna Brenda (Isaak) Bartel ’84. This year they are joined by the Goessel High School Elbiata Singers, directed by alumnus Greg Bontrager ’88, and Maize South Middle School Singers, directed by Karen (Graber) Sims ’82.

Worship, the Fall Fest farce, and a second showing of the audiovisual, “A Castle on the Prairie: Bethel’s ‘Old Main’ in Word and Image,” are on Sunday, Oct. 5.

We hope you can join us at Fall Festival 2008!

Math solution by Herman Bubbert in national publication

Bethel’s mythical but perpetual student, Herman Bubbert, has again received recognition for solving a complex mathematical equation. Herman’s solution is in the Problem Section of the September 2008 issue of “Math Horizons,” published by the Mathematical Association of America.

Problem #214, “Integrated Staircase,” proposed by Paolo Perfetti, Universita degli studi di Tor Vergata Roma, begins, “Let [a] represent the integer part of a real number a….” and is followed by an equation to evaluate. Herman’s answer includes the solution, an illustration and explanation that begins, “The integration region is a triangle with vertices (0, 0), (0, 1), and (1, 0), as shown above. Partition the region into the sequence of sub-triangles….”

Karl Friesen, assistant professor of computer science and department chair, reports that senior “Paul Regier [from Newton] was the student who was working with Herman on that one. Paul was one member of a problem-solving group that met regularly throughout the semester last spring.

“The group -- under its nom de plume ‘Herman Bubbert’ -- has been recognized on other occasions for submitting correct solutions. ‘Math Horizons’ usually receives several correct submissions for each problem. This one was especially noteworthy because it was the solution that was chosen for publication.”

Young alumni invited to network at Fall Fest and beyond

This year, October brings the opportunity for young alumni to network not only at Fall Festival, but also on the third Thursday of the month, beginning a monthly effort to nurture relationships among recent Bethel grads.

Members of the Young Alumni Committee invite recent students plus alumni, their families and friends of all ages to the Lemonade Stand west of the Ad Building on Saturday, Oct. 4. In addition to enjoying lemonade, iced coffee and other beverages, visitors will be able to warm themselves around a fire pit filled with hot coals while roasting marshmallows and making s’mores.

After the homecoming football game against Bethany that evening, young alumni will gather at the local restaurant, Reba’s, 301 North Main, for the annual post-game party.

Beginning Thursday evening, Oct. 16, and continuing every third Thursday of the month, Bethel young alumni can network at Reba’s on a regular basis. Owner Reba Ballard is offering a “buy one tapas, get one for half price” special to this group through May 31; present a coupon available at the Lemonade Stand and Post-Game Party at Fall Fest, and from the alumni office thereafter. The time frame for gathering is 7-9 p.m.

Bethel’s Young Alumni Committee came up with the idea for monthly networking at Reba’s. They will evaluate the idea next June. Members of the committee are Tonya Bartel ’01, Hesston; Brett Esau ’03, Hesston; Crystal ’04 and Joel ’06 Gaeddert, Newton; Kira Kindall ’03, Newton; David Nance ’06, Newton; Jerol Schrag ’02, Newton; and Toby Tyner ’07, Newton. Other are invited to join. Contact the alumni office at (316) 284-5251, alumni@bethelks.edu if interested.

Museum programs to feature current and past faculty members

Kauffman Museum’s tallgrass prairie and Voth-Unruh-Fast House have been selected to support the Wichita “Big Read” program focusing on Willa Cather’s novel “My Antonia” about early settlement in Nebraska. To complement Wichita programs encouraging the reading of the novel, the museum invites visitors to walk through big bluestem grasses and sunflowers on the grounds and the immigrant house on Sunday, Oct. 12, 1:30-4:30 p.m.,

At 3:30 p.m., Bethel English professor Ami Regier ’85 will lead a discussion of contemporary responses to “My Antonia.” Admission that day is free. For more information contact Rachel Pannabecker, (316) 283-1612, rpannabe@bethelks.edu.

On Friday, Oct. 24, Kauffman Museum will feature three former Bethel music faculty members at its annual Living Endowment Dinner. Organist Shirley King, Boiling Springs, Pa., oboist Don Kehrberg, Newton, and flutist Margaret Toews, North Newton, reunite as the Deknatel Consort to perform 18th century trio sonatas. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, the trio played regularly on the Bethel campus and in area churches and toured the Midwest.

In addition, King will perform solo organ literature by J. S. Bach, Johann Pachelbel and Max Reger. Central to the performance is the newly restored Teschemacher-Deknatel-van der Smissen cabinet organ built in 1750 and refurbished in 2007 by master organ builder Fritz Noack.

Attendance is by reservation only. Seats are $125 per person and may be reserved using a credit card by calling (316) 283-1612 or emailing asa@bethelks.edu.

Alumni professionals sought for 14th career night

Each November since 1995, the Student Alumni Association has planned and hosted Career Night, where students have the opportunity to interact with alumni about job options and professions. The 14th annual event is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 19, beginning with a meal for alumni at 6 p.m. and followed by the career fair in Memorial Hall from 7:30-9 p.m.

Alumni are invited to represent their professions and life experience at this year’s Career Night. Representatives sit at tables in Memorial Hall gym and students stop by to visit. Many alumni bring displays and literature as well as prizes for a drawing held at the end of the evening. For photos from last year’s event, go to www.bethelks.edu/bc/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=10697.

Alumni who are interested in volunteering should e-mail their name, mailing address, home and work phone numbers, profession/title and company name to alumni@bethelks.edu, and indicate that they would like to receive an invitation to attend.