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Bethel makes third national ranking for 2012-13

As of Sept. 12, Bethel College has taken its place on three national college ranking lists.

The longest running and most recently announced of these is the “U.S. News & World Report” 2013 edition of Best Colleges. For the second year, Bethel is in the Top 20 “Best Regional Colleges-Midwest” at No. 18.

Bethel is the highest-ranking Kansas college in the Midwest region. Sister institution Bluffton (Ohio) University appears at No. 21. Five other Kansas private schools (Tabor College, Hillsboro, McPherson College, Ottawa University, Sterling College and Bethany College, Lindsborg) also appear on that list.

Bethel also made the “U.S. News” list of “A-Plus Schools for B Students” -- schools the magazine calls “those where non-superstars have a decent shot at being accepted and thriving, where spirit and hard work could make all the difference in admissions offices.”

“U.S. News” compared more than 1,600 accredited four-year schools nationwide using a set of up to 16 indicators, with key measures being: peer assessment; graduation and retention rates; faculty resources; student selectivity; financial resources; and alumni giving.

The “U.S. News” complete rankings are available at <http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/regional-colleges> and will be on newsstands starting Sept. 18.

Bethel is also listed in the “Washington Monthly” annual college guide and on Forbes.com.

For more of this story, go here.

North Newton declares ‘Bethel College Month’

North Newton has declared October “Bethel College Month.”

John Torline, North Newton city administrator, on Sept. 19 sent to the office of Bethel President Perry White the proclamation passed by the North Newton City Council at its Sept. 10 meeting and signed by North Newton Mayor Ron Braun.

The proclamation was made in honor of the college’s 125th anniversary. It was chartered in May 1887, with the cornerstone for the college’s first, still-standing building, the Administration Building, laid in early October of that year.

There will be special anniversary events throughout the 2012-13 school year, but the bulk of them will occur during Fall Festival, Oct. 10-14.

“This is indeed a great year to celebrate the rich history of Bethel College, Bethel’s achievements and the strong and caring Bethel community,” White said.

The proclamation reads, in its entirety:

WHEREAS, Bethel College, the preeminent college on the prairie, was founded in 1887 and
WHEREAS, the growth and prosperity of Bethel College has enhanced the growth and prosperity of the larger Newton/North Newton community, and
WHEREAS, Bethel College continues to provide excellence in advanced education including an impressive record of training individuals who provide leadership in local, state, national and international affairs, and
WHEREAS, Bethel College has been ranked at No. 4 of 352 colleges in the “Washington Monthly” list of “Best Baccalaureate Colleges 2012-13,” and
WHEREAS, the continuing prosperity and growth of Bethel College is the very best form of economic development by providing a non-polluting collegial environment with largely external revenue sources, and
WHEREAS, Bethel is celebrating its 125th anniversary of providing the above described qualities,
NOW, THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED by the City of North Newton, Kansas, that October 2012 is hereby proclaimed as Bethel College Month.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that all citizens in the greater Newton/North Newton area are encouraged to pause and reflect on this institution that has so enriched our lives.

Senior has prize photo at Kansas State Fair

Though Bethel senior Audra Miller has been “taking photos” since 4th grade and the days of disposable cameras, she began doing serious photography in high school when a friend wanted senior pictures but couldn’t afford to pay a professional.

Now the art major from Hesston -- known on campus for her T-shirt designs, Bubbert Award-winning short films and killer after dinner speeches, as well as her photography -- is earning wider recognition for her work.

Miller’s photos of Jordan Ortman, senior from Marion, S.D., were in the running to be part of a national ad campaign for American Eagle Outfitters earlier this summer. Most recently, her photo “Parisian Outlook” won a first prize and was runner up for Best in Show in the Professional Arts/Photography category at the Kansas State Fair.

This wasn’t Miller’s first statewide photography award. In 2010, she earned a Best of Show and in 2011 a first prize (Men Portrait category), both in the Kansas Professional Photographers Winter Print Competition.

She admits, however, that ever since a cousin began winning prizes for photography at a county fair, she’s lusted after a fair ribbon of her own.

Miller took her prizewinning photo from the top of the Eiffel Tower following a Bethel College interterm in Italy in 2011, when she and several friends traveled to France on their way home.

Despite scores, football is having a good season

Morale on the Bethel College football team is high.

Not what you might expect, given a head coach resignation two weeks before athletes arrived on campus for the 2012 season, a string of injuries that resulted in only 36 players dressed to play Bethany College recently, and a 0-3 record.

“We have had to pull together and fight for each other even more,” said Leland Brown, a sophomore defensive lineman from Galveston Island, Texas. “We’re getting better. We’re bonding.”

Levi Minkevitch, a senior offensive lineman from Newton, agreed. “I feel like we’re more of a team, maybe because of the fact that we’ve gone through so much together. In previous years, we’d find someone to blame or scapegoat but we’re all realizing there’s no point. With so few numbers, we can’t afford to have these disagreements -- we need to be a team.”

“We’re more of a family,” said Tevin Jones, a sophomore defensive back from McKinney, Texas. “We’re small in number but we’re working harder to achieve our goals.”

The players give plenty of credit to interim head coach Jim Dotson, who was living in Norton, Va., had just retired as executive director of Wise County Habitat for Humanity and “had a nice bucket list I wanted to pursue” when he got the call from Kent Allshouse, Bethel athletic director.

Dotson had spent a year in the late 1990s as a defensive line coach at Bethel and had good memories of it. Plus, he says, “I’ve always been one who loves a challenge.”

For more of this story, go here.

Multicultural Student Union to give Fall Fest program

Bethel’s new Multicultural Student Union (MSU) will give a Mini-Concert on the Green as part of this year’s Fall Festival. The group, which formed at the beginning of the school year -- after the Fall Fest flier was printed -- decided they wanted to showcase members’ talents at the festival.

“We have several students who are talented in slam poetry, singing, etc., and would like to showcase some of these talents,” said Caleb Lázaro, MSU adviser and resident director of Warkentin Court. “We see this as a new and creative way of expressing what Multicultural Student Union is all about.

“Special guest YV Triple K’s will perform the original song and unofficial Bethel College team spirit jam, ‘Thresher Zone.’ The program will also feature slam poetry, gospel, Puerto Rican hip hop and more.”

The Mini-Concert on the Green is scheduled for 10:30-11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, in the Entertainment Tent on the Green. Admission is free and the public is invited.

MSU will also host a booth along the brick walkway at the center of campus, not far from the tent. It sponsors a number of social and educational events. Membership is open to any Bethel student who has an interest in minority student issues.

125th-anniversary T-shirt to be offered at Fall Festival

Bethel’s 42nd annual Fall Festival will not only feature special events celebrating the college’s 125th anniversary but a commemorative quasquicentennial T-shirt, as well.

The Bethel College Women’s Association (BCWA) will sell the limited-edition shirt in its Market on the Green on Saturday, Oct. 13, along with other products and an array of goodies.

Audra Miller, senior from Hesston, used whimsical line drawings of campus buildings and other sketches representing Bethel life to form the letter B in gray on the front of the maroon shirt. The 125th-anniversary logo accents a sleeve.

The cost will be $17 each for S through XL sizes, $19 for XXL. All proceeds benefit the college through BCWA.

Volunteer at Fall Fest

Each year, hundreds of alumni in the Newton area put in many hours preparing for and volunteering during Fall Fest weekend. Alumni from afar are invited to volunteer, as well, to help make Fall Fest Saturday enjoyable for the thousands who attend.

The Alumni Association Food Tent is one venue where alumni from miles away can don a maroon BC apron and a smile, and serve sloppy joes, hot dogs, chips, fruit, verenike, cookie bars and beverages to alumni, students and other hungry festival goers. Another is the Verenike Booth, where you can dish out the delectable Mennonite treat and smother it with steaming ham gravy for those waiting in line.

Several people are needed for 90-minute shifts mid-morning through mid-afternoon. Alumni Council members provide guidance at each venue.

Volunteers get to rub shoulders not only with other alumni, but members of the Student Alumni Association. Forty-one members of SAA’s Fall Festival Committee provide valuable help at Alumni Association and SAA booths at Taste of Newton downtown on Thursday evening and with African-American Alumni Association and Alumni Association activities on Saturday.

If interested in volunteering, contact the alumni office, 316-284-5251 or <alumni@bethelks.edu>.

For a complete Fall Festival schedule, go here. For a news story, go here.

Museum exhibition focuses on the story of the threshing stone

Kauffman Museum’s newest special exhibition, “Threshing Stone: Mennonite Artifact and Icon,” which opens to the public Saturday, Oct. 6, will be the museum’s featured attraction during Fall Festival.

On Sunday, Oct. 21, guest curator Glen Ediger ’75, North Newton, will give a program titled “Leave No Stone Unturned,” the first of several related to the exhibit. Ediger will share the story of his research on threshing stone history and his quest to locate surviving threshing stones in North America. Because of limited seating in the museum auditorium, Ediger will give the presentation twice -- at 1:45 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

For more information about the exhibition and additional public programs, go here or contact Rachel Pannabecker, director of the museum.

The exhibition and programs are supported in part by a grant from the Kansas Humanities Council.

Bethel to host gathering at MEDA convention

Bethel alumni and friends are invited to join President Perry White, Dalene White, Assistant Professor of Business Phil Mason and several Bethel economics and business students at a gathering during the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) annual convention in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Friday evening, Nov. 2.

The gathering will be held from 5:15-6:15 p.m. in Upper Fallsview Studio B on the 5th floor of the Sheraton on the Falls, 5875 Falls Avenue, Niagara Falls.

Bethel alumni and friends in the geographic area as well as those attending the MEDA convention are invited to the gathering. Come for great conversation, light refreshments and a stunning view of the falls!

Join the ‘Footsteps of Paul’ tour

Join the 15-day “Footsteps of Paul” tour with alumnus, pastor and tour guide Weldon Martens ’77 and Bethel professor Dan Quinlin June 20 - May 3, 2013. Visit Rome, Athens, Corinth, Ephesus, Olympia, Pompeii and more.

The trip is being offered to students in conjunction with Quinlin’s New Testament Greek class and as a cross-cultural learning option, but is open for others to join. Reservation secured upon $500 deposit. Registration and final payment deadline is March 21, 2013.

For information visit here or contact Weldon Martens, 402-202-9276 or <weldon.martens@gmail.com>.