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Honor choices made and those to come, Bethel graduates told

The Hon. Kimberly J. Mueller, federal judge for the Eastern District of California, quoted from Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” as she addressed the 94 members of Bethel’s Class of 2011 at the college’s 118th commencement, held May 22 in the afternoon.

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood … I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

She echoed the tone set in the morning baccalaureate worship service, based on words of Jeremiah 29, James 2 and William Jennings Bryan and centered on making choices.

The three student speakers in the service, all graduating seniors, touched on different ways their choices had led them to Bethel, shaped their college experiences and determined what they would take with them into the world.

“‘Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved,’” said Caleb Stephens, Lawrence. “I believe this quote was placed by God, scribed by William Jennings Bryan and spoken directly into my heart. [When I first arrived at Bethel], never, ever would I or anyone who knew me have imagined I would be asked to speak at baccalaureate. But I find that throughout my four years here, I have developed into someone people care about and trust.” …

A few hours later under sunny skies in Thresher Stadium, Mueller expanded on her topic of “Making All the Difference.”

Sworn in Dec. 21, 2010, Mueller is the first woman to be appointed federal judge for the Eastern District of California. She grew up in Grinnell, Iowa, although she was born in Newton and spent her earliest years in North Newton while her parents, Ted and Berneil Rupp Mueller, were finishing studies at Bethel.

Women’s tennis finishes year with singles win at nationals

The Bethel College women’s tennis team made its third straight appearance May 17 in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics National Tennis Championships in Mobile, Ala.

Although the Threshers lost 1-8 in the first round of the tournament to Vanguard University (Costa Mesa, Calif.), they recorded the first singles win at the national tournament under the coaching of Lonnie Isaac.

Rachael Bachman, senior from Emporia, won her #6 singles game, 6-1, 6-0, against Vanguard’s Ashley Tebeau.

“I was really proud of how the women competed against another really strong team,” Isaac said. “Despite the individual scores, I think most of the players felt like they hit the ball well.”

He continued,“The decision was made Sunday to give Rachael the chance at #6 singles despite her knee [injury from earlier in the season], and she made the most of that opportunity. I was really glad to see her play at a high level and get a victory at the national tournament.”

Bethel officially launches construction, renovation for new Academic Center

One of the special events of this year’s Alumni Weekend was a groundbreaking for the renovation of Old Science Hall into the Academic Center.

Bethel students, faculty, alumni and friends gathered Saturday afternoon, May 21, on the building’s east side, where the absence of the fire escape stairs, and the presence of construction vehicles and piles of material inside a recently erected temporary fence showed that “tear-down” in preparation for the extensive renovation had already begun.

Julia Huxman, senior from Wichita and the 2010-11 Student Senate president, said in her remarks: “My grandmother used to tell me ‘good things come to those who wait.’ While I believe there is a time and a place for those words of wisdom, and that this old Science Hall has definitely waited long enough to see renovations, I also believe that if you want something bad enough, you have to go after it with all your energy.

“I am so thrilled that Bethel College decided that renovating Old Science Hall is a priority deserving of that kind of energy,” she continued.

Year ending for BC fund

Bethel’s fiscal year ends June 30, and the college invites alumni and friends to contribute unrestricted donations of any amount by the end of the month.

Unrestricted gifts -- those not designated for a specific program or cause – go to the Bethel College Fund, which provides necessary support for scholarships, student ministries, faculty development, campus landscaping, technology upgrades and much more. More than $1 million in donations is needed for Bethel’s annual budget each year.

“Bethel had great success meeting the Mabee Challenge for the Academic Center. We are grateful to all who helped,” said Sondra Koontz, vice president for advancement. “We are now looking to have the same success with the Bethel College Fund.”

Gifts to the fund also help Bethel respond to various unexpected needs and opportunities as they arise.

Donate today by mailing a gift no later than June 30 to Development Office, Bethel College, 300 East 27th Street, North Newton, KS 67117. Thank you.

BCWA annual lecture a must for Erdrich fans

For the eighth annual Bethel College Women’s Association Faculty Public Lecture, Ami Regier, Bethel professor of literary studies, will examine the German immigrant stories that are part of the most recent novels of Louise Erdrich.

The free lecture is at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 2, in Krehbiel Auditorium of the Fine Arts Center. The public is invited. …

Regier is titling her presentation “German Immigrant Stories as a Comparative Discourse in the Ojibwe Upper Midwest: How Louise Erdrich Radically Reshapes the Novel with Community Histories.” …

Still time (and room) to go to camp

There’s still room in several Bethel summer camps, including two Uncle Carl’s Camps at Kauffman Museum.

In “Exploring Printmaking II” June 27-July 1, artist and educator LaDonna Unruh Voth, Newton, will give youngsters ages 10-12 a glimpse of how an artist turns inspiration into art. Campers will create artwork on paper and fabric.

In “Finding Treasures at Kauffman Museum” June 28-July 1, educator LuAnn Zook, Newton, will take students ages 13-18 through the exhibit creation process – from choosing artifacts to recording memories to writing exhibit text to planning exhibit layout.

To register for either Uncle Carl’s camp or for more information, contact Andi Schmidt Andres, 316-283-1612.

Estate sale to benefit Kauffman Museum

Collectors Ursula and Paul Metsker chose Kauffman Museum to be one of four beneficiaries of their estate. Their modest house in southeast Wichita holds a treasure trove of antiques and collectibles that will be sold to the public 9 a.m.-5 p.m. June 8-11 at 2608 Sennett in Wichita. Proceeds from the sale benefit Kauffman Museum.

Alumni LaVonne Sawatzky and Bob Bartel of L&B Estate Sales are organizing the sale. They report “great finds,” including two roll-top desks, a Victorian carved bed frame, spindle cradle, three-door barrister bookcase, 60-drawer card catalog, Art Deco dental cabinet, antique hanging light fixtures, 1930s-’40s quilt tops, Wedgwood Jasperware, Zane Grey novels, a large collection of costume jewelry and tie clasps, and much more.

For details – including photos of many of the artifacts – go to www.estatesales.net/estate-sales/179586.aspx. For additional information, contact Rachel Pannabecker at 316-283-1612 or via e-mail.

Be an awesome curator

Do you remember something unique at Kauffman Museum when it was in Alumni Hall? Perhaps you or your family donated something that is not in the current permanent display. Maybe you’d just like the opportunity to go behind the scenes to learn more about what Kauffman Museum collects.

Bethel alumni are invited to select their favorite antique or taxidermy specimen from collections in storage for the exhibition “Awesome 150: Museum Friends Share Their Favorites,” which will open in mid-July and run through Fall Festival in October.

Youth enrolled in the summer camp, “Finding Treasure at Kauffman Museum” (see story above), will document the stories of 150 people who select artifacts for the exhibit.

To volunteer as an “Awesome 150” curator, contact Pannabecker at 316-283-1612 or via e-mail.

Get your tickets for Bethel night at the Pirates game

Tickets are still available for Bethel night at the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game Wednesday evening, July 6, in Pittsburgh’s PNC Park. The purchase deadline is Friday, June 10.

The event takes place the week of the Mennonite Church USA convention in Pittsburgh. President Perry White and Dalene White, plus Todd Moore, vice president for admissions, Lori Livengood, vice president for marketing and communications, and Dave Linscheid, director of alumni relations, will join alumni and friends in Bethel’s block of reserved seats.

A $35 ticket in the “all you can eat” section overlooking right field gives access to a special concession stand. To reserve a seat, visit or call Thresher Bookstore in Schultz Student Center, 316-284-5205. Payment or credit card information is required when the purchase is made.

The pre-paid, non-refundable tickets will be mailed upon request two weeks prior to the game, or – for those attending the convention – may be picked up at the Bethel booth or at the gathering for alumni and friends Tuesday, July 5, 9-10:30 p.m. in Room 408 of the convention center.

Who deserves an alumni award?

The Bethel College Alumni Association Awards Committee invites nominations for alumni awards: Young Alumnus, Outstanding Alumnus and Distinguished Achievement.

The Young Alumnus Award recognizes character and citizenship, achievement or service rendered, honor and recognition received; the recipient should be age 39 or under. The Outstanding Alumnus Award is given on the basis of character and citizenship, service to church/community or college, or other outstanding achievements, honors and recognition. The Distinguished Achievement Award acknowledges character and citizenship, achievement in a chosen profession or vocation, and work of benefit to humanity.

The committee welcomes a broad range of nominees who reflect Bethel’s many programs, college experiences and diversity as well as achievement or service in a variety of areas. Send names with accompanying comments to Awards Committee, c/o Office of Alumni Relations, Bethel College, 300 East 27th Street, North Newton, KS 67117, or contact Dave Linscheid, director of alumni relations and liaison to the committee, at 316-284-5252 or via e-mail.