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Young alumnus award winners have Middle East connections in common

The Awards Committee of the Alumni Association has named Terrance (Terry) Rempel, Bethlehem, West Bank, and Alain Epp Weaver and Sonia Weaver, Amman, Jordan, as the recipients of Young Alumnus Awards for 2006.

Terry is one of the founders of the BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights in Bethlehem. From 1998-2004, he was coordinator of research and information for BADIL, and from 2004-05, he was senior researcher with the organization. He is now an independent consultant for BADIL.

Terry graduated from Bethel in 1990 with a history major. He also has an M.A. in Middle East politics from Exeter (United Kingdom) University and is a Ph.D. candidate in politics at Exeter University. His dissertation is titled “The politics of refugee participation: Palestinian refugees in comparative context.” He has authored, co-authored and edited numerous articles and publications, including the forthcoming book “The Refugees the World Forgot,” written with Susan M. Akram.

Alain Epp Weaver and Sonia Weaver became co-country representatives for Palestine, Jordan and Iraq for Mennonite Central Committee in July 2004. They were previously MCC country representatives for Palestine (since 2000), worked in the Gaza Strip as MCC project coordinators in 1996 and 1999, and taught English in the West Bank from 1992-95.

Alain and Sonia are 1991 graduates of Bethel, Alain with majors in Bible and religion, English, German and philosophy, and Sonia with majors in Bible and religion and German and a minor in international development. They spent their junior year at Philipps-Universität in Marburg, Germany.

Alain has a master of divinity degree from the University of Chicago Divinity School and Sonia has an M.A. in religious studies from the same institution. They spent the 1991-92 school year studying at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Ind.

Alain and Sonia are co-authors of “Salt and Sign: Mennonite Central Committee in Palestine, 1949-1999,” and have written and edited a number of other articles, books and publications.

Terry, Alain and Sonia will receive their awards and present a special convocation program on Monday, March 27, at 11 a.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Campus observes Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and alumni recall his visit here

Bethel celebrated this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday, Jan. 16, with an evening program in the Fine Arts Center. Amy Barker, campus pastor and assistant professor of youth ministry, planned the event as a worship service.

African-American Alumni Association vice president Sammie Simmons ’89, Newton, spoke on “Dream Chasers,” and the Rev. Bob Layne, rector of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, shared memories of his work in the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky in the 1960s. Performers included Bethel students, a community Gospel choir, a children’s choir, blues ensemble and dancers.

Special guest musician was pianist and vocalist Huron Breaux from Saint Mark United Methodist Church, Wichita. Peggy Meade-Finizio, director of dance with the Bethel College Academy of Performing Arts, served as choreographer and was the producer of a photo montage about Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement. She also created a reader’s theater presentation featuring Bethel students with children from the community reading letters to Dr. King.

On January 21, 1960, Martin Luther King Jr. gave a lecture at Bethel College as part of the Memorial Hall series. Forty-six years later, alumni and friends still remember his visit to campus. For a complete article, go to www.bethelks.edu/news/archives/002161.php.

Education major well-connected with alumni

Emily Rothlisberger, a junior education major from Leonardville, is the first recipient of the Dean R. and Hulda G. Stucky Scholarship. The endowed scholarship is given to a Bethel junior or senior whose career goal is teaching in primary, secondary and higher education. Preference is given to students who want to teach in inner city schools or other educational programs that promote diversity.

As a requirement for the class School and Community, taught by Lisa Janzen Scott ’84, Emily recently spent time observing Michael Brown ’75, a math teacher at Stucky Middle School in Wichita. The principal of Stucky is Ken Jantz ’81, whose brother Allen Jantz ’84 is associate professor of education and directs the secondary education program at Bethel.

Stucky Middle School was named for longtime Wichita educator and superintendent of schools Dean Stucky ’47. He died in 2000 and his widow, Hulda Stucky ’45, set up the Dean R. and Hulda G. Stucky Scholarship Fund in 2004.

Football players receive All-America honors

Three Bethel football players were honored Jan. 17 when the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) named its All-America teams.

Punter Garrett Whorton, a junior from Little River, was one of only three players from Kansas schools named to the All-America first team.

Two other Bethel players received NAIA honorable mention: Peter Garibaldi, punt returner, a senior from Washington, D.C., and Chad Hershberger, kick returner, sophomore from Hesston. They were among 12 players in Kansas named in this category.

Fretz Estate Gift reflects a lifetime interest in peace and justice work

In his long life, J. Winfield Fretz had many friends, numerous interests and a web of church connections.

A year after he died at age 94 on Jan. 24, 2005, the bulk of his and his wife Marguerite Fretz’s estate (Marguerite ’36, died in 2002) has been given to support one of those interests at a church institution he served for many years.

A gift of more than $305,000 will go to Bethel College’s endowment for the support of the Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution. The Fretz estate gift will produce for KIPCOR an annual income of $15,000 from interest earnings.

Dr. Fretz was a professor of sociology at Bethel from 1942-63 and served as acting president in his last years at the college, before going on to be the founding president of Conrad Grebel College (now University College) in Waterloo, Ont.

“My father and mother saw in KIPCOR an opportunity for partnership with Bethel College and a way to encourage academic scholarship in the much needed realm of peace studies and conflict resolution,” says Sara Fretz Goering ’76 of Silver Spring, Md.

New York times includes Bethel in list of prestigious U.S. colleges

You won’t often find Bethel College’s name in the New York Times, but on Jan. 8, it showed up among august academic company.

That issue’s “Education Life” section included a chart showing some of the criteria that colleges and universities across the country list as important on the College Board’s annual survey. The College Board is a consortium of educational institutions, best known for assessment instruments such as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), PSAT and National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, along with such programs as Advanced Placement (AP) in high schools.

The 106 institutions listed in the New York Times were those that consistently ranked “high academic record” and standardized test scores (SAT and ACT) as important admission criteria. These colleges and universities “admit the country’s best students: 25 percent of the freshman classes in fall 2004 scored 700 or more on the verbal SAT and placed in the top 10 percent of their graduating classes,” the Times reported.

By the magic of alphabetical order, Bethel College appears high on the list, among institutions that included Amherst College, Carleton College, Grinnell College, Harvard, Kenyon College, MIT, New York University, Princeton, St. Olaf College, UCLA, the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Champaign, and Yale. The only other institutions in Bethel’s geographic region listed were Hendrix College, Conway, Ark., a liberal arts college affiliated with the United Methodist Church, William Jewell College, a Baptist-affiliated liberal arts college in Liberty, Mo., and the University of Missouri at Kansas City.