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Bethel welcomes healthy enrollment increase

For fall 2015, Bethel College has the best enrollment numbers it’s seen since 2011.

Bethel’s overall enrollment went from 481 at this time last year to 525, representing an increase of 8 percent.

The class of 2019 includes 11 valedictorians, with 22 percent of freshmen coming from the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class and 42 percent from the top quarter.

Other characteristics of Bethel’s fall 2015 student body:

  • First-time freshmen come from 14 states (Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Washington) in addition to Kansas, with two new international students, from Canada and Jamaica.
  • First-time freshmen represent 37 different Kansas high schools.
  • 29 first-time freshmen are legacy students, meaning a parent, grandparent or sibling has previously attended Bethel.
  • First-time freshmen number 130 and transfers 76. Transfer students come from 11 states.
  • There are two additional students from Germany, from the Bergische Universität in Wuppertal, as part of the exchange program that has been in place since 1951.

“U.S. News” 2016 rankings place Bethel highest of peer schools

The annual “U.S. News & World Report” rankings of the nation’s best colleges and universities place Bethel College at No. 27 on the Best Regional Colleges-Midwest list.

In the top third of the top tier, Bethel is the highest-ranking of its 10 peer Kansas private colleges that are part of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, and the second-highest Kansas private college listed overall in the Midwest region.

This year, Bethel is tied with its sister institution, Bluffton (Ohio) University. Both are members of Mennonite Education Agency of Mennonite Church USA.

Seven other Kansas private schools (Benedictine College, Atchison; Tabor College, Hillsboro; McPherson College; Kansas Wesleyan University, Salina; Ottawa University; Sterling College; and Bethany College, Lindsborg) also appear on the Best-Midwest list.

“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: academic reputation, as assessed by peer institutions; graduation and retention rates; faculty resources; student selectivity; financial resources; graduation rate performance; and alumni giving.

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

Get to know Bethel’s new football coach on YouTube

Much excitement has accompanied new Bethel football coach Morris Lolar’s arrival at Bethel. An interview with Lolar is on YouTube.

After a thrilling, come-from-behind victory over Bethany College (30–23) Sept. 19 and another win over McPherson College (28–14) Sept. 26, the Thresher football team is 2–1 in Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference play and tied for first in the conference.

Threshers will look to build on their momentum Oct. 3 at Ottawa University and at Fall Fest against the University of St. Mary at 7 p.m. Oct. 10 on Joe W. Goering Field.

For more Bethel features on YouTube — the latest TV commercial, Admissions information, a feature on the “This Room Rocks” contest, a peek inside the Thresher Shop, students packaging food for those in need, and more — visit the Bethel College YouTube channel.

Wind Ensemble and Philharmonia to perform

The Bethel College Wind Ensemble will open its performance year with classics and a world premiere at 3 p.m. Oct. 4, in Memorial Hall. The concert includes music by William Schuman, Carl Nielsen, Charles Ives and Vincent Persichetti.

In addition, the concert will feature the premiere of “Starry Night,” a concerto for flute, vibraphone and wind ensemble by Michael Kallstrom. The performance will feature BC faculty members Kristin Shaffer and Kim Trujillo as soloists.

The event also will feature Bethel senior Liz Schrag, Newton, as guest conductor of Carl Nielsen’s paraphrase on “Nearer My God To Thee.” For more about the concert, visit the Bethel College website.

The Bethel Philharmonia will present a concert celebrating Ludwig van Beethoven at 7 p.m. Oct. 26, in Memorial Hall, with performances of his Symphony No. 8, Overture to Coriolan and the first movement of Symphony No. 5.

The concert will also be the culmination of Bethel’s third annual Honors Orchestra Clinic featuring high school musicians from throughout the area.

Both concerts are free and open to the public. Donations will be accepted to support instrumental music at Bethel College.

Campus visit day Oct. 9

High school students and their parents are invited to visit campus Friday, Oct. 9, during the extended Fall Festival weekend at Bethel.

The visit includes opportunities to tour campus; meet professors, coaches and students; learn about financial aid; eat lunch in the cafeteria; and visit with admissions counselors.

Call the Admissions Office at 1-800-522-1887, ext. 230, to request a schedule or to make reservations, or register online. Individual financial aid and audition appointments are available upon request.

Thresher Shop stocks new items for Fall Fest

Make sure you visit Thresher Shop throughout the month of October, especially on Fall Fest weekend!

Many of the items that are for sale have just come in, including new men’s and women’s jackets, short- and long-sleeve shirts, pants, and clothing for youth.

Located in the Shultz Student Center, Thresher Shop is open 8 a.m.–5 p.m. CST weekdays. Please call 316-283-2500 to inquire about the products they carry.

Thresher Shop staff members are still developing an online store. Until it is up and running, they would be happy to e-mail pictures of products, take phone orders and ship purchases anywhere in the world.

Fall Fest program updates

Following are updates to the Fall Festival printed program that was prepared in summer and sent to alumni and friends in August:

  • Due to a STEM Symposium speaker’s flight time Friday, Oct. 9, Chad Unrau ’04, Houston, Texas, will speak at 1 p.m. (instead of 2 p.m.), and David Lynn Kaufman ’98, Ann Arbor, Michigan, will speak at 2 p.m., both in Krehbiel Auditorium. Saturday’s schedule remains the same, with Bill Schmidt ’82, Rochester, Minn., in the chapel at 9 a.m.
  • Due to a conflict on the first Saturday of October, Kauffman Museum’s monthly Birdwalk will be on Fall Fest Saturday, Oct. 10. Host Gregg Friesen will start the walk at 7:30 a.m. in the museum parking lot.
  • The a cappella vocal groups Woven and Open Road will be perform on the Prairie Sky Stage (Memorial Hall, if needed, due to weather) 10–10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 10, filling the “Thresher Entertainers” slot.
  • The schedule for Jazzfest at Fall Fest has been finalized. Newton High School students will perform 11:30 a.m.-noon, Hesston High School noon-12:30 p.m., a Bethel College faculty jazz ensemble will play 12:30–1 p.m., Bethel student musicians 1–2 p.m., and students from McPherson High School 2–2:30 p.m. The jazz performances will be on the Prairie Sky Stage (Memorial Hall, if needed).

In addition to these changes, here are two reminders:

  • All singers are invited to join the recently formed Alumni Choir at 11 a.m. Saturday to rehearse for the 2 p.m. concert and hymn sing at Bethel College Mennonite Church that day. For more information, e-mail director Andrew Voth ’13, North Newton.
  • The current Cheer Team and Coach Joseph Gogus invite all former cheerleaders to eat together 5–6 p.m. Saturday at the Tailgate Barbecue east of Thresher Stadium parking lot (cafeteria, Schultz Student Center, if rain). Visit or call the Thresher Shop at 316-284-5205 for tickets (deadline Oct. 2, though tickets at the door on a first-come, first-served basis).

A link to the printed program is on the Bethel College website.

A general news article about Fall Fest is also available. Additional specific articles are on the Bethel College website.

Advancement update

Look for the 2015–16 Advancement team newsletter, recently mailed to alumni and friends of the college. The letter includes a photo of staff — with new faces in both the alumni and development offices — and new initiatives for the year.

“We would like to thank everyone who already has given a gift this fiscal year,” said Pam Tieszen, vice president for advancement. “Please consider supporting Bethel College and our students by donating online. We look forward to connecting with you in the future.”

Sports columnist to speak at museum endowment dinner

“Wichita Eagle” sports columnist Bob Lutz will be the featured speaker at the Kauffman Museum's annual Living Endowment Dinner on Nov. 8.

Echoing the theme of the museum’s special exhibition, “Root for the Home Team: Building Community through Sports,” Lutz’s presentation will highlight his work with the non-profit youth baseball organization, League 42, which offers baseball to all children in Wichita regardless of financial resources.

For more information or to make reservations at $125 per person no later than Nov. 3, contact Andi Schmidt Andres or 316-283-1612.

Admissions on the road, eager to meet students

Bethel Admissions staff continue their travels, and are eager to meet college-bound students, their friends and family members at the following locations this month:

Oct. 1

  • 9-10:30 a.m. — Clay Center High School
  • 1-2:30 p.m. — Beloit High School

Oct. 5

  • 9:30-11 a.m. — Ark City High School
  • 1:15-2:30 p.m. — Butler Community College
  • 6-7:30 p.m. — Wichita Futures Fair, Koch Arena

Oct. 6

  • 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. — Wichita Futures Fair, Koch Arena

Oct. 7

  • 9-10:30 a.m. — Newton High School
  • 1:30-3 p.m. — McPherson High School

Oct. 8

  • 1-3 p.m. — Topeka Expo Center
  • 6:30-8 p.m. — Leavenworth High School

Oct. 12

  • 9-11 a.m. — Manhattan High School
  • 1:30-3 p.m. — Abilene High School
  • 6:30-8:30 p.m. — Kansas City Metro

Oct. 13

  • 9-10:30 a.m. — Highland Community College
  • 5:30-7 p.m. — USD 500 Public School Fair (Kansas City, Kansas)

Oct. 14

  • 1-2:30 p.m. — Osawatomie High School
  • 6:30-8:30 p.m. — Shawnee Mission East High School

Oct. 15

  • 9-11 a.m. — Emporia High School
  • 6:30-8 p.m. — Lawrence High School
  • Oct. 19

  • 9:15-10:55 a.m. — Hutchinson High School
  • 1:30-3:30 p.m. — Great Bend High School
  • Oct. 20

    • 9:50-11:10 a.m. — Russell High School
    • 2-3:05 p.m. — Hays High School

    Oct. 26

    • 1-2:30 p.m. — Pittsburg High School

    Oct. 27

    • 9:30-10:30 a.m. — Labette High School
    • 1-2:30 p.m. — Baxter Springs High School

    Oct. 28

    • 9-10:30 a.m. — Coffeyville Community College
    • 1-2 p.m. — Allen County Community College

    Oct. 29

    • 9:30-10:30 a.m. — Valley Heights High School
    • 2-3:30 p.m. — Junction City High School

    Staff are also traveling to high schools and community colleges this fall. For more information, contact Admissions, 316-284-5230, or 1-800-522-1887, ext. 230.