After input from stakeholders, Bethel launches new tagline

With help from a local marketing agency, Bethel has developed a new tagline for admissions and other college promotional materials.

The new line is “Seek. Serve. Grow.” It was unveiled March 8 with an official announcement and campus-wide celebration.

“During late fall, we contracted with Armstrong/Shank [of Haysville], an agency that has worked with small, private colleges across the Midwest and with the Kansas Independent Colleges Association, to conduct a communications audit,” said Lori Livengood, vice president for marketing and communications.

Using the audit and existing research, including information gathered by the Committee on the Future of the College and “What is a Thresher?” questionnaires, Armstrong/Shank consultants presented “several benefits-oriented positioning lines” to focus groups Feb. 15.

The three focus groups were composed of prospective students, current students and faculty/staff. The result of the meetings, Livengood said, “was a greater understanding of overarching themes, types of photographs that effectively reinforce those themes, and a preferred positioning statement. Armstrong/Shank noted they were surprised when prospective and current student opinions were in nearly unanimous agreement with faculty and staff.”

Two alumni to be honored in May

The Bethel College Alumni Association will honor two alumni at its annual Alumni Banquet on May 22.

Janeal Crabb Krehbiel, Lawrence, will receive the Distinguished Achievement Award. Krehbiel majored in music and received a bachelor of arts degree from Bethel in 1968. She is co-founder (along with her sister, Marilyn Crabb Epp) and director of the highly acclaimed Lawrence Children’s Choir -- which travels worldwide -- and is a clinician, seminar leader and festival director throughout the U.S. Krehbiel was guest conductor of the 2000 and 2007 National Children’s Choirs at Carnegie Hall, where the Lawrence Children’s Choir also sang featured performances.

Jim Schrag, Newton, will receive the Outstanding Alumnus Award. Schrag majored in history and social science and received a bachelor of arts degree from Bethel in 1966. He taught school in the U.S. and abroad and was a pastor at Tabor Mennonite Church, Goessel, and Oak Grove Mennonite Church, Smithville, Ohio. Schrag was general secretary of the General Conference Mennonite Church denomination from 1996-99, project director for transformation of that denomination and the Mennonite Church into Mennonite Church USA from 1999-2001, and the new denomination’s first executive director from 2001-09.

The 6 p.m. banquet will be in Memorial Hall. Discount price is $18 per person if paying by May 7, $20 regular price if paying May 10-12. To make a reservation, visit or phone Thresher Bookstore in Schultz Student Center at (316) 284-5205.

The event is part of Alumni Weekend, May 21-22, during which the Classes of 1935, 1940, 1945, 1950, 1955, 1960, 1965 and 1970 celebrate anniversaries with other special activities. Class members who did not receive information at the end of March may contact the alumni office at (316) 284-5251 or e-mail, or find information online .

Bethel named to 2009 community service honor roll

Bethel College has been named to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the third time since the award was launched in 2006.

Bethel was one of three Kansas private colleges named to the Honor Roll, which recognizes educational institutions nationwide that support effective community service and service-learning programs. The Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition of a college or university for commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement. It is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.

Blackburn named to all-america team

Hannah Blackburn, senior from Kingman, became the first Bethel women’s basketball player in more than a decade to make All-American.

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics announced the 2010 Division II Women’s Basketball All-America teams March 15. Blackburn received Honorable Mention All-America honors. Lisa Schmidt Graber was the last Bethel women’s player to receive All-America honors, in 1999.

This season, Blackburn averaged 14.6 points and 10.4 rebounds per game, shooting 45.6 percent from the floor and 65.2 percent from the free throw line. She broke Bethel’s single season rebounding record, securing 281 total (103 offensive, 178 defensive) as well as the career rebounding record, grabbing 910 total (288 offensive, 622 defensive).

For her career, Blackburn scored 1,386 points, averaging 12.8 points per game and shooting 45.6 percent from the field and 66 percent from the free throw line.

Social work program earns maximum reaccreditation

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) has reaccredited Bethel’s social work program for the maximum period of eight years.

As part of the renewal process, faculty and staff engaged in several years of intensive self-study, consulted with the program’s Professional Advisory Council and hosted a site visit in October 2009. The CSWE announced the reaccreditation in late February.

Initially accredited in 1974, Bethel’s social work program was one of the first accredited baccalaureate programs in Kansas. During those 36 years of continuous accreditation, more than 330 graduates have entered the social work profession, said Larry Friesen, professor of social work and program director. Ada Schmidt-Tieszen, professor of social work, is the other faculty member in the department.

Is your company interested in a business intern?

Two years ago, Bethel’s Department of Business and Economics initiated a senior-level internship experience as a requirement for graduation. The prerequisite has already served as a catalyst for 34 students to gain hands-on, applied experience in a professional work environment.

Alumni and friends of the college are invited to host student interns in their workplaces. Students are to complete 120 clock hours of on-site experience, guided by an internship manual and working under a designated site supervisor.

For more information or to sign up as an internship host, go online or e-mail department chair Allison McFarland.

Museum to offer varied presentations in April

On Friday, April 23, Kauffman Museum will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day with a 7 p.m. presentation by local bird enthusiast Gregg Friesen titled “Frequent Fliers: The Demanding Lifestyle of Migratory Birds.” The interactive program for all ages will focus on the extreme physical and environmental demands faced by birds that migrate.

After Friesen’s program, participants young and old will have the opportunity to make a bird craft, eat a bird snack, look at children’s books highlighting birds and play a game that focuses on bird beak adaptations. The program is free and open to the public. For more information, e-mail Andi Schmidt Andres or call (316) 283-1612.

On Sunday, April 25, the museum will host a 3:30 p.m. lecture by Calvin W. Redekop, retired sociologist/anthropologist from Conrad Grebel College/University of Waterloo, Ontario. Redekop will contrast the utopian-like opportunities that Paraguay offered to harassed Russian Mennonites with the reality of that “promised land” being the homeland of numerous indigenous tribes. Redekop chronicled Mennonite-Indian relations in his book “Strangers Became Neighbors.” He will bring an update based on a January trip to Paraguay.

The program is the final event in a series illuminating the artistic and historical contexts of the special exhibition “Images of Paraguay,” on display at the museum and Carriage Factory Gallery through May 23. For more information, e-mail Rachel Pannabecker or call (316) 283-1612.

International conference to be held at Bethel

Historians and scholars from across Europe and North America will gather at Bethel in June for a conference that will shine a light on a heretofore neglected area in Anabaptist and Mennonite historical study.

“Marginal or Mainstream?: Anabaptists, Mennonites and Modernity in European Society” will take place on campus June 25-26.

While earlier general surveys of 16th-century European history ignored Anabaptists -- at most mentioning the horrors of Münster without much context -- today the history of Anabaptism in the second and third decades of the 1500s has made its way out of the confines of denominational history and into all the standard textbooks of the era. Once chronological surveys arrive at the 1540s, however, the lights go dim and Anabaptist/Mennonite historiography retreats back to its corner, a deficiency this conference is designed to address.