Kansas Lawmakers Pass Resolution Recognizing Bethel’s 125th Year

A Bethel group made the trip to the Kansas Statehouse (though for some it was only across town) to hear the college’s 125th anniversary year made part of the official public record.

The group included President Perry and Dalene White along with former Bethel presidents E. LaVerne Epp ’72 (and Marilyn Epp ’72) of Lawrence and Doug Penner ’69 of Topeka, as well as a number of Bethel alumni, many of them also Bethel staff.

The "distinguished alumna" of the group was Rep. Judith Loganbill, a six-term Democrat from Kansas’ 86th district (Wichita) and a 1975 Bethel graduate, who last fall got the process started for writing a resolution declaring 2012 Bethel’s "quasquicentennial year" and made sure it was scheduled to be read in the Kansas House, on Wednesday, Feb. 15.

Sen. Carolyn McGinn, whose district includes all of Harvey County, picked up the resolution for reading in the Senate that same afternoon.

In addition to Loganbill, Penner and the Epps, Bethel alumni present for the reading of the resolution on the House floor were Fred Goering ’72, Bethel director of development, Duane Goossen ’78 and Rachel Waltner Goossen ’82, Topeka, Jim Juhnke ’62, Wichita, professor emeritus of history, Sondra Bandy Koontz ’70, Bethel vice president for advancement, Dave Linscheid ’75, Bethel director of alumni relations, Natalie Stucky, Bethel junior from Moundridge and Student Senate president, and Toby Tyner ’07, Bethel assistant director of development.

For more of this story, click here.

Students share moving interterm stories

Six recent Bethel news articles -- five of them by Bethel sophomores -- reveal the life-changing value of the college’s longtime interterm travel experiences.

Jocelyn Wilkinson from San Antonio, Texas, begins her story with the statement, "The interterm trip to South Africa and Lesotho is an experience I will carry with me for the rest of my life." Read more from Jocelyn.

Andrew Walker, Newton, participated in the European Science/Mathematics History Tour. His story of travel to learn not only about history but also cutting-edge technology can be found here.

Emily Harder, originally from Hesston, says "Seeing a part of the world most people never get a chance to was such a privilege. I will never forget my three weeks in China." Read about Emily’s adventures with that Interterm group.

Rebecca Epp, Newton, reports that "invisibility and identity quickly became themes of our time in Chicago. While there, we took a tour through some of the ’invisible’ communities of the city, communities of lower socioeconomic status." Rebecca and others were in Studies in Drama. Her observations can be found here.

Samantha Wilkerson, Neosho Rapids, learned about Social Development and Social Justice in nearby Wichita. "Little did I know that the five field trips we would take over the three weeks of the course would expose me to issues of social justice I was oblivious to," Samantha says. Read more.

In addition, junior Chris Smith, Hesston, spent two weeks installing reading software at four schools in Hinche, Haiti, as part of a collaborative project with three Bethel alumni: Cliff Dick ’81, North Newton, Don Fast ’68, Newton, and Wildy Mulatre ’94, Hinche. Their story can be found here.

Bethel represented at KMEA by musicians, prizewinning composer

Bethel was once again well-represented at the annual meeting of the Kansas Music Educators Association in Wichita in late February, including in a performance of a recent graduate’s prizewinning choral composition.

The Wichita State University A Cappella and Concert Chorale sang "I Peter 3:15" by 2011 Bethel graduate Nathaniel Yoder. Yoder learned in mid-December that the composition he had entered (while still a student) in the "Ensemble" category of KMEA’s annual competition for young composers had won first place.

Yoder originally wrote the piece for the 25th anniversary of Hope Mennonite Church, Wichita, in 2010. It will also be featured this spring on the Concert Choir tour with a special performance at the home concert, Sunday, March 25, at 7 p.m. in Memorial Hall.

Yoder was recognized for his award-winning composition at a joint KMEA presentation Feb. 25, where he shared the podium with alumna Janeal Crabb Krehbiel ’68, Lawrence, who was inducted into the KMEA Hall of Fame. Krehbiel is co-founder and director of the Lawrence Children’s Choir.

Two Bethel instrumental groups also performed at KMEA. The 65-member Wind Ensemble made its first appearance at the convention, directed by Timothy Shade, Bethel assistant professor of music and director of instrumental music. And Jazz Ensemble I again performed with James Pisano, associate professor of music and director of jazz studies, directing.

For a complete news story about Bethel’s involvement in this year’s KMEA event, go here.

Bethel welcomes guest director for Copland opera production

An American opera that hasn’t been performed on a Bethel College stage in more than 40 years is bringing a new director to campus.

The music and theater departments will present "The Tender Land" by Aaron Copland Friday, March 2, and Saturday, March 3, with guest director Brian Luedloff.

Luedloff is director of opera theatre at the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley, as well as artistic director for Opera Fort Collins. He has produced operas for companies all over the country....

Luedloff came to Bethel due to his ties with President Perry White....

"The Tender Land" tells of a farm family in the Midwest, with oldest daughter Laurie ready to graduate from high school and dreaming of freedom. Aaron Copland was inspired to write the opera after viewing the Depression-era photographs of Walker Evans and reading James Agee’s "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men." He wrote the work (with libretto by Horace Everett, a pseudonym for Erik Johns) between 1952 and 1954 for the NBC Television Opera Workshop, with the intention of its being presented on TV, but producers rejected it.

Eventually, the work premiered April 1, 1954, at the New York City Opera. Bethel first presented "The Tender Land" in May 1969.

For the complete news story, click here.

2012 Young Alumnus awardee focused on study of conflict

Bethel’s 2012 Young Alumnus Award is no stranger to the effects of armed conflict, which may be one reason why his academic career has been devoted to studying them.

Jaroslav Tir, Boulder, Colo., majored in history and mathematical sciences, minored in economics and political science, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bethel in 1995. Just last August, he took a position as an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Colorado-Boulder, specializing in international relations with a focus on causes and management of armed conflicts.

Before coming to UC-Boulder, Tir taught political science at the University of Alabama for two years and then in the Department of International Affairs at the University of Georgia for eight years. He spent six months in 2008 as a Fulbright Senior Scholar on the faculty of political science at the University of Zagreb.

Originally from Croatia, Tir came to Kansas in 1990 as a high school exchange student....

Tir will speak in convocation at 11 a.m. Friday, March 9, where he will receive the 2012 Young Alumnus Award. His convocation topic is "Supply Side of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations: Trade Ties and Locations of UN-Led Deployments."

For the complete news story, go to here.

Kauffman Museum honoring famous archeology alumni

A new exhibition at Kauffman Museum honors two eminent archeologists who grew up in North Newton. "In the fields of time: The impact of two Kansas boys on American archeology" will be on display through May 20.

Emil W. Haury (1904-92), nicknamed "the dean of Southwest archeology," and Waldo R. Wedel (1908-96), "the father of Great Plains archeology," both traced their interest in prehistory to boyhood experiences along Sand Creek in North Newton. The two campus kids graduated from the Bethel academy (Haury in 1923, Wedel in 1926) and spent two years studying at the college before transferring to the University of Arizona to begin lifelong careers as professional archeologists with international reputations.

On Sunday, March 11, from 1:30-3:30 p.m., Kauffman Museum will partner with the Mud Creek Chapter of the Kansas Anthropological Association to host an artifact identification workshop. The public is invited to bring Native American artifacts or early historical items for assistance in identification and dating by avocational and professional archeologists. KAA members will also make suggestions for cataloging and maintaining private collections. No appraisals or sales will be made. The workshop is a free service to improve knowledge of the state’s archeological heritage.

At 3:30 p.m. that day, Raymond H. Thompson, director emeritus of the Arizona State Museum in Tucson, will speak on "Remembering Emil Haury: The Man and His Legacy." Haury is known for his extensive fieldwork investigating the ancient peoples of the Southwest, his work as professor of archeology at the University of Arizona and director at the Arizona State Museum, and his leadership of the Point of Pines Archeological Field School, a summer program that trained generations of American archeologists.

For more information, contact Rachel Pannabecker at Kauffman Museum.

College seeking former organ students to honor Alice Loewen Kreider

Last August, Alice (Hostetler) Loewen Kreider ’41, organ instructor at Bethel from 1968-1977, died at the age of 91. She was an influential teacher and performer, and the Bethel Music Department and Kauffman Museum are planning a concert in her honor.

Alumni who studied with Loewen Kreider -- even if only for a semester -- are asked to contact museum director Rachel Pannabecker at or current Bethel organ instructor Roseann Penner Kaufman at rpkaufman@bethelks.edu.

This year’s Grandparents Day is scheduled for Friday, April 20. The popular annual event is planned and hosted by members of the Student Alumni Association (SAA). More than 100 grandparents and guests attend each year.

Morning activities include time to visit with students over coffee and rolls, attend classes and convocation, enjoy a talent show and eat lunch with students. Additional optional activities are offered in the afternoon.

So that all grandparents of current students might receive an invitation, parents as well as grandparents are asked to e-mail the following to by Monday, March 12

  • name of current Bethel student
  • name(s) and address(es) of the student’s grandparent(s) and great-grandparent(s) who would appreciate receiving invitations..

Other guests are welcome to accompany grandparents who may need transportation or assistance while on campus. If needed, family may also e-mail a request that grandparents NOT receive an invitation due to health or travel concerns (they may be on the invitation list from the past).

For more information, contact SAA advisor and director of alumni relations Dave Linscheid ’75. Thank you.