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Bethel receives $725,000 mabee challenge grant for renovation

The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation of Tulsa, Okla., has awarded Bethel a $725,000 challenge grant for renovation of Old Science Hall into the Academic Center.

To receive the grant, the college must raise an additional $921,424 by April 2011. The purpose of a challenge grant is to provide incentive for enlisting the support of a broad base of donors.

Old Science Hall, constructed in 1925, is the second oldest building on campus after the Administration Building. It currently sees limited use, housing mathematics faculty offices and classrooms and the campus computer labs as well as Institutional Communications and Information and Media Services offices.

The major renovation of the building will result in a facility that accommodates, in addition to mathematics, the departments of Bible and religion, business, history, nursing, social work and teacher education — including faculty offices, classrooms, labs, seminar and conference rooms, student and faculty lounges, the student health center, nursing simulation classrooms, nursing practice and post-op rooms — along with an elevator, atrium and accessible restrooms.

The latter three features will add 11,475 square feet to the 27,240-square-foot structure and will bring the building into ADA compliance. Plans also include exterior groundwork for accessibility and landscaping, and a 45-space parking lot.

Bethel to break ground for new tennis courts

Bethel will honor a successful former coach and create a state-of-the-art tennis facility for student and community use when it builds six new tennis courts this summer. Groundbreaking is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday, May 22, at the northeast corner of campus (location of existing courts). The public is invited.

Ward Tennis Center will be named for Marty Ward, Corpus Christi, Texas, who coached men’s and women’s tennis at Bethel from 1985 to 1999 and established one of the most dominant tennis programs in the history of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC).

“Bethel has a long history of championship tennis,” said Sondra Koontz, vice president for advancement, “but our current tennis courts are ‘tired.’ They do not reflect the academic or athletic strength of our student athletes or the high quality that Bethel wishes for its facilities.

“There is major cracking and peeling back of the surface. Safety is now an issue. It impacts practice sessions and necessitates finding other courts for tournament play.”

College personnel talked with contractors about repairs, but none could guarantee the lasting quality of such work. With that in mind, they began planning and fund raising for replacement courts.

Renner Sports, Denver, will begin construction May 26. The six courts will have 12-foot extensions between them. A 12-foot walkway will run between the north and south sides. Black vinyl fencing and windscreen material will skirt the perimeter. The playing area will be lit by LSI Courtsider Lighting.

Funded through generous donations from alumni, friends, businesses and the City of North Newton, the total cost will be $455,784, covering not only the court components but pre-construction costs, sidewalks, permits, electrical work and a contingency fund. The facility is to be ready by the beginning of classes this fall.

Coach Ward’s men’s teams won 10 KCAC championships, went undefeated in KCAC dual matches, and qualified for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national championships five times from 1990 to 1999. His women’s teams won 11 KCAC championships, lost only one KCAC dual match, and qualified for the NAIA national tennis championships six times from 1987 to 1998. The 1998-1999 women’s team finished 17th in the nation, the highest finish by a Thresher tennis team at the national tennis championships.

Students serve campus, community and beyond

For the last number of years, Bethel has set aside “Service Day” in mid-April.

This year, it was more like a Service Week, spurred by the momentum of a high-participation event in mid-February — eight hours of meal packaging for Haiti earthquake relief sponsored by the local charity Numana Inc. (founded and directed by Bethel graduate Rick McNary).

The week started when students picked up their April 9 issue of the biweekly student newspaper, the “Bethel Collegian, ” and read junior Zach Metzler ’s story about how two Bethel students, sisters Ruth and Terra Wiens of Newton, a freshman and junior respectively, spent their early spring break.

Starting March 3, Ruth and Terra accompanied their father, Bethel graduate Tim Wiens, M.D., for 10 days working at a clinic in Grand-Goâve, Haiti, where he’d served 28 years ago as a first-year medical student...

In the same issue of the paper, annual spring break reports included accounts of two service trips during the week of March 20-28. Eight students did landscaping and organizing for the World Impact center in south Dallas. Six students and Vice President of Student Life Chad Childs spent a week with the congregation of Community Mennonite Church, Markham, Ill...

Once students had read in the “Collegian ” about how some of their number had served beyond Newton and North Newton, they could then get involved in the local community by staffing the Harvey County Homeless Shelter April 9-13, in the days leading up to Service Day April 14.

Psychology students present poster on capitol hill

On April 13, in Washington, D.C., the Council of Undergraduate Research (CUR) honored the research achievements of 75 undergraduate students — three of them Bethel science majors.

The event was CUR’s annual Posters on the Hill reception on Capitol Hill in the Rayburn House Office Building. Each student presented his or her research, displayed on posters, to the members of Congress, congressional staff members, federal government officials and others in attendance.

The Bethel students were Sonia Barrera, junior psychology major from Newton, José Rojas, senior chemistry major from Newton, and Aimee Siebert, senior communication arts and psychology major from Topeka. They presented the poster “Validating a music search engine through affective and physiological responses of listeners.” Dwight Krehbiel, professor of psychology and the students’ advisor for the poster, accompanied them to Washington.

The Bethel students’ poster was one of 58 selected from more than 300 applications. The 75 students at Posters on the Hill were from 54 colleges and universities nationwide. Bethel was the only Kansas institution represented.

Education program recognized for partnership wih Newton school district

The Bethel College Education Department received a Partner Activity Award at the 29th Friends of Education Awards banquet in El Dorado April 10. Organized by the Confidence in Kansas Public Education Task Force and Kansas Partners in Education, the annual event honors individuals and institutions that support public schools in Kansas.

Newton Unified School District 373 nominated Bethel based on its partnership activity with the school system for the newly revised “Teaching the Expressive Arts” class taught at Northridge Elementary School by USD 373 teachers Gail Pryce, Denetta Denno, Brian Postier and LaDonna Voth. Through the partnership, Bethel students were able to combine theory and practice in immediate and meaningful ways with students and teachers.

“One of the intended outcomes of moving the class to Northridge was to give our students an opportunity to see how teachers can creatively collaborate across the curriculum in art, music, physical education and writing,” said Doug Siemens, director of elementary teacher education. “It was a great success and it is wonderful to be recognized for trying something new.”

In addition to Siemens, Vice President for Academic Affairs Brad Born and teacher education faculty members Allen Jantz and Lisa Scott attended the banquet to accept the award.

New alumni council members to be affirmed at banquet

The following alumni have agreed to serve on the Bethel College Alumni Association Council from 2010-2013. Their selection is to be affirmed at the association’s brief business meeting during the Alumni Banquet in May.

  • Kathy (Friesen) Campbell ’79, North Newton
  • Debbie (Regier) Claassen ’85, Whitewater
  • Byron Ediger ’66, Newton
  • Sarah (Duffy) Hershberger ’03, Newton
  • Kira Kindall ’03, Newton
  • Dan Kroeker ’84, Hutchinson
  • Delbert Peters ’75, Hillsboro/Goessel

This is Ediger’s second term on the council. He will also serve as president of the Alumni Association. Kindall will also be serving a second term and will continue as recorder for council meetings.

Members serve three-year terms. Some fill vacancies on the current council. For more information — including the names of current and continuing members — go online . If interested in joining, call Dave Linscheid, director of alumni relations, (316) 284-5252, or e-mail.

The Alumni Banquet is Saturday, May 22, at 6 p.m. in Memorial Hall. It will honor reunion classes, the graduating class of 2010 and recipients of this year’s alumni awards: Janeal Crabb Krehbiel ’68, Lawrence, and Jim Schrag ’66, Newton. The program will include music by the Bethel College Jazz Combo.

The discount price for the meal is $18 per person if paying by May 7, $20 May 10-12. 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.

“Images of Paraguay” open through May 23

The cooperative exhibition, “Images of Paraguay,” will be on display at Kauffman Museum and Carriage Factory Gallery through May 23.

The museum’s part of the exhibit focuses on ethnographic and folk art, ranging from Ayoreo feather body ornaments to fine lacework introduced during the colonial period. Contemporary works, many of which feature images of political protest and social justice, are at the gallery.

Summer camps for students of all ages

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

  • a wide variety of sports opportunities between June 1 and July 29
  • Uncle Carl’s Camps at Kauffman Museum between June 1 and July 23
  • Summer Science Institute, June 6-11 (already filled)
  • Summer Music Camp, June 13-19
  • Broadway at Bethel, June 20-27

Go online for more information, including exact dates, descriptions and age requirements, go to. Some camps listed may already be full; please check with the contact person listed.