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Forensics to present nationals preview April 1

The Bethel forensics squad will say goodbye to five seniors this year -- and all of them have qualified for the 2013 American Forensic Association-National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET).

The squad will send seven members in nine events to AFA-NIET, April 5-8 on the campus of Hutchinson Community College. Bethel has qualified at least one student for AFA-NIET for its entire existence, since 1978.

The annual nationals preview is April 1 at 7 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium in the Fine Arts Center, and is free and open to the public.

Competing for Bethel are seniors Audra Miller, Hesston (fourth straight nationals in After Dinner Speaking), Julia Miller, Hesston (Persuasive Speaking; Duo Interpretation with Aaron Rudeen), Chris Riesen, Beatrice, Neb. (Prose Interpretation), Aaron Rudeen, Osage City (Duo Interpretation with Julia Miller) and Natalie Stucky (Informative Speaking), along with juniors Marike Stucky, Moundridge (Prose Interpretation; Program of Oral Interpretation) and Henry Unruh, Newton (Impromptu Speaking).

Bethel receives one of North Newton foundation’s first grants

Bethel College and a related program were two of the first three recipients of one of the state’s newest community foundations, located in North Newton.

The North Newton Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Central Kansas Community Foundation, organized about 16 months ago. In an awards ceremony held March 25 in the community room of the North Newton City Hall, NNCF awarded grants to Bethel College, Bethel College Academy of Performing Arts and Community Playschool Inc.

Jake Goering of North Newton -- who at age 95 may be the oldest community foundation board member in the state -- presented the award of $500 to Bethel President Perry D. White. The grant supports ongoing campus beautification efforts, specifically by funding production of a large outdoor map to be installed in the new entrance plaza at the south end of the Green.

NNCF board member Dalene White of Bethel College presented the BCAPA grant although Danica Bielek, BCAPA executive director, was unable to be present. The $796 will pay for scholarships for qualified students in music and dance whose family income is too low to meet BCAPA enrollment fees.

Board member Pam Copper presented the third award, for $400, to Jeanette Leary, executive director of Community Playschool Inc. in North Newton. The grant -- specifically supported by the Kansas Health Foundation -- will be used to supplement healthy snacks, enabling purchase of more fresh food such as fruit, vegetables and cheese.

The amount awarded totaled $1,696. Each grant was funded to the full amount requested.

Read more here.

Bethel named to community service honor roll

The Corporation for National and Community Service on March 4 announced its annual honor roll of the U.S. colleges and universities, including Bethel, whose students, faculty members and staff have demonstrated their commitment to bettering their communities through community service and service learning.

Bethel was one of six Kansas higher education institutions and one of four Kansas private colleges named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Nationwide, there were 695 colleges and universities on the list.

Bethel made the honor roll based on values and actions. One of Bethel’s core values, as stated in the college’s mission statement, is “an ethic of service that deems concern for the powerless to be intrinsic to the Christian gospel and stresses peacemaking and voluntary service.”

This value becomes concrete in annual service events that include, among others, the campus Service Day, a spring break service trip and participation in Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Harvey County and the Angel Tree project to benefit the Harvey County Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Task Force’s safe house, along with individual and group service projects that happen more spontaneously throughout the school year.

Read more here.

Two Lady Threshers earn national academic honors

The Bethel women’s basketball team’s two “senior” members -- who are actually juniors -- have achieved national academic recognition.

March 22, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Division II named Katie Regier, Whitewater, and Samantha Wilkerson, Neosho Rapids, as Daktronics Scholar-Athletes.

Nominated by head coaches, student-athletes must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status to qualify for this honor.

Regier and Wilkerson are the only juniors on the Lady Threshers team, which this year has no seniors.

Find out more about Thresher Athletics.

Mennonite clocks, Kansas nocturnal animals and Bob Regier photographs

April events at Kauffman Museum embrace the multiple dimensions of its programs -- history, nature and art.

From 2-4 p.m. Saturday, April 6, the public is invited to a come-and-go event featuring Arthur Kroeger, author of “Kroeger Clocks,” published in 2012 by Mennonite Heritage Village in Steinbach, Manitoba. Kroeger, who is descended from the Kroeger clock making family of Chortitza, South Russia, will sign copies of his book, available that day in the museum store. He will also provide informal appraisals of Russian Mennonite clocks brought by visitors. For more information, contact Rachel Pannabecker ’80 at rpann@bethelks.edu. Find out more about the event here.

Beginning at 7 p.m., Friday, April 19, Kauffman Museum will host its annual Earth Day Adventure. Richard Rempel ’63, North Newton, Bethel emeritus professor of mathematics, will present “Night Life in Kansas.” Using taxidermy specimens from the museum collections, Rempel will talk about nocturnal animals in Kansas. A children’s craft activity and snack -- popcorn made over a bonfire -- will follow the 30-minute program. The public is invited to this free event, through which Kauffman Museum seeks to grow community appreciation for the natural world. For more information, contact Andi Schmidt Andres ’84 at asa@bethelks.edu or 316-283-1612.

From April 13-May 19, Kauffman Museum will present “Considering the Common Place: Prairie Towns through the Lens of Bob Regier.” The special exhibition was launched in 2009 and has been shared with other museums in Kansas. It features digital photography by Robert W. Regier ’52, North Newton, Bethel emeritus professor of art, in an immersive, modular system designed and built by Kauffman Museum staff.

Everyone invited to Alumni Banquet

All alumni and friends of Bethel are invited to the Alumni Banquet Saturday, May 18, at 6 p.m. in Memorial Hall. The annual event honors this spring’s alumni award recipients, reunion classes and Class of 2013 graduates. The women’s vocal ensemble Woven will provide music.

Two alumni will be recognized for their accomplishments: Justina Neufeld ’55/’57, North Newton, will receive the Outstanding Alumnus Award, and G. John Dick ’61, Claremont, Calif., the Distinguished Achievement Award. For more information about these individuals, visit our website.

Discount price of the banquet is $20 per person if paying by May 3, or $22 regular price if paying May 6-8. The ticket price covers not only the cost of the meal but includes a donation to the Alumni Association, which treats the graduating seniors to the banquet free of charge.

To make a reservation, visit or phone Thresher Bookstore in Schultz Student Center at 316-284-5205. Payment or credit card information is required when the reservation is made. No refunds can be given after May 10, since after that the alumni office will have been charged for reserved meals. Those attending receive a nametag at the door, which serves as their banquet ticket. Please arrive early to allow ample time to be seated.

In addition, the following reunion classes are invited to special meals and coffees that are also part of Alumni Weekend, Friday and Saturday, May 17-18: 1938, 1943, 1948, 1953, 1958, 1963, 1968 and 1973. Class members who have not received an invitation by mid-April should contact the alumni office, 316-284-5251, alumni@bethelks.edu.

Links to the Alumni Weekend schedule and registration form can be found online.

Another fun-filled summer of Bethel camps

Bethel will again offer camps for students of all ages and interests this summer, including the following:

  • Uncle Carl’s Camps at Kauffman Museum May 28-July 19
  • Summer Science Institute, June 2-7 (already filled)
  • Summer Music Camp, June 9-15
  • Broadway at Bethel, June 16-23
  • sports camps (check for information as it becomes available)

For details -- including dates, descriptions and age requirements -- visit our website. Some camp sessions may not yet be listed. Some sessions may already be full (Such as this year’s Summer Science Institue). Please check with the contact person listed.