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Enrollment shows healthy increase

Bethel enrollment has jumped by more than nine percent from fall 2009 to fall 2010.

Overall enrollment for fall 2010 is 476, compared to 437 last year. One hundred twenty-seven new students on campus this fall are first-time freshmen -- the largest freshman class at Bethel in a decade -- and 59 are transfers.

Another positive number is the fall 2009 to fall 2010 retention percentage of 82.4 percent, three points over last year’s figure and well above the national average of 66.3 percent for colleges similar to Bethel.

“Wild West” history will flavor 40th Fall Festival

This year’s Fall Festival will have a “Wild West” flavor and it will also include the inauguration of the college’s 14th president.

As Bethel continues a five-year series of special events leading up to its 125th anniversary in 2012, a common thread for 2010 is history of the American West. The 40th annual Fall Festival takes place Oct. 7-10 with most events Saturday, Oct. 9, on campus.

In line with the Wild West theme, there will be a performance by the Prairie Rose Rangers, including Bethel alumnus Orin Friesen, Saturday at 10 a.m.; the traveling exhibit “The Bison: American Icon” at Kauffman Museum, to which admission is free Oct. 7-10 with a Fall Festival button; a presentation at the museum at 11 a.m. Saturday by alumnus Steve Friesen, director of the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave in Golden, Colo., on Buffalo Bill Cody’s connection to Newton and its “Wild West” reputation of the late 1800s; a “Bungee Bull Ride”; and a Saturday evening “Buffalo Barbecue.”

On Sunday morning at 10 a.m. in Memorial Hall, the community is invited to the Fall Festival worship service and the inauguration of Perry D. White as president.

Fall Festival’s traditional beginning is Taste of Newton downtown on Thursday evening, Oct. 7, featuring all kinds of food and live entertainment presented by a wide variety of local groups and organizations. President White and his wife, Dalene, will be at the Bethel booth at Broadway and Main from 6-9 p.m. to meet and greet.

One event has been cancelled due to a schedule conflict -- the public night sky viewing scheduled for Friday night in Mabee Observatory.

Young alumni post-game party to be hosted by Flint Hills Design

This year, young alumni and friends are invited to gather at the Flint Hills Design offices in North Newton following the Fall Festival football game, rather than at Reba’s Restaurant where the annual Post-Game Party has occurred in recent years. “We’ll have food and drinks, music, ping-pong and possibly some late-night barbecue by Abe Regier,” says Joel Gaeddert ’06, owner of the business.

Flint Hills Design is located in the old Mennonite Central Committee warehouse near 24th and Main -- the big yellow block building behind the post office (see map).

Contact any of the young alumni liaisons on the Alumni Council or Flint Hills Design team members with questions: Tonya Bartel ’01, Hesston; Brett Esau ’03, Hesston; Joel Gaeddert ’06, North Newton; Kira Kindall ’03, Newton; Dave Stucky ’05, Newton; Toby Tyner ’07, Newton; Evan Fast ’10, North Newton; and Abe Regier ’07, North Newton.

We hope to see you there!

Bethel praised for peace education and ‘great values with good value’

Bethel College has been recognized by another national magazine.

With the start of a new school year come the listings of U.S. colleges and universities noteworthy in a variety of categories. The September-October 2010 issue of “Mother Jones” magazine included the “MoJo Mini College Guide -- Our annual (and completely unscientific) guide to schools that combine great values with good value.”

Among the eight schools listed from across the country was Bethel, cited as a “Best value for: Students who want to give peace a chance.” Bethel earned the honor thanks to the Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (KIPCOR), where undergraduates can earn a certificate in conflict mediation in addition to their diploma.

KIPCOR, which is celebrating its 25th year, was the first regional peace institute in the Midwest and is one of the oldest in the country. In addition to its undergraduate curriculum, KIPCOR offers extensive resources, in terms of both training and direct staff assistance, for conflict mediation -- whether the conflict involves two people, a church or school group or a government agency.

“This listing in ‘Mother Jones’ is special,” said President Perry White, “as it recognizes one of the cornerstone characteristics of Bethel College -- our commitment to our traditional institutional values of discipleship, scholarship, service and integrity. We are proud of our heritage and appreciative of this recognition.”

Extended family’s gift shows gratitude

An extended family’s interest in their history has led to a gift of almost $3,000 to the Mennonite Library and Archives.

Tabor College’s Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies in Hillsboro also benefited from the family’s financial gratitude.

For almost 20 years, the Johann Ediger extended family descendants met for triennial reunions, starting in 1994 in Henderson, Neb. Following the 2003 reunion in North Newton, however, interest in the larger reunions began to wane, says Harold Franz of Wichita.

During the years of the Ediger reunions, the planning committees were required to pay deposits to reserve the reunion facilities, with a special fund set up for this purpose, Franz says. A reunion had been intended for 2006 but did not take place, leaving a total in the “deposit fund” of $4,689.

Bethel and HCC formalize agreement for seamless transfer

Hutchinson Community College (HCC) students will find it even easier to transfer to Bethel thanks to a new partnership between the two institutions.

On Sept. 7, President Perry White and Vice President for Academic Affairs Brad Born traveled to Hutchinson to sign an articulation agreement with HCC President Ed Berger and Dean of Instruction Sue Darby and smooth the path for HCC students seeking a four-year degree.

Bethel and sister institution Hesston College (like HCC, a two-year college) have an articulation agreement but this is the first between Bethel and a public two-year institution.

Museum events will complement bison exhibit

Kauffman Museum invites the Bethel community to a Sunday-Afternoon-at-the-Museum program titled “Four Men and a Bison: The Creation of a Traveling Exhibit” at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 3.

Chuck Regier ’81, curator of exhibits at Kauffman Museum, and Joel Gaeddert ’06, Flint Hills Design, will tell how they transformed the permanent exhibit “The Bison: American Icon” at the C.M. Russell Museum, Great Falls, Mont., into a traveling version that will tour the United States for five years. Mark Schmidt Andres ’83 of Osage Woodworks and Flint Hills Design staff Abe Regier ’07 and Joel Krehbiel ’06 were also involved in the project.

“The Bison” is currently on display at the museum. Admission to the program and the exhibit is free to the public Oct. 3.

Kauffman Museum continues the bison theme during Fall Festival with a Buffalo Barbecue dinner 5-6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9. Kansas bison, scalloped potatoes, green beans, coleslaw, a dinner roll and ice cream will be served on Centennial Plaza as a fund-raiser for the museum. Advance tickets are available at Thresher Bookstore (open Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.) or at the museum (open Tuesday-Friday 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 1:30-4:30 p.m.). A limited number of tickets will also be available at the door.

Share your wisdom with students at 16th career night

Each November since 1995, the Student Alumni Association has planned and hosted Career Night, where students interact with alumni about job options and professions. The 16th annual Career Night is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 17, beginning with a meal for alumni at 6 p.m. and followed by the career fair in Memorial Hall from 7:30-9 p.m. Alumni are invited to tell about their professions and life experience at this year’s event.

Representatives sit at tables in Memorial Hall gym and students stop by to visit. Many alumni bring displays and literature as well as prizes for a drawing held at the end of the evening. Although the evening is not a “job fair” where students are interviewed, contacts in the past have led them to positions following graduation.

President Perry White and Dalene White plan to attend the meal and will stop by the fair afterward.

Alumni who are interested in volunteering should e-mail their name, mailing address, home and work phone numbers, profession/title and company name and indicate that they would like to receive an invitation to attend.

Need a place to stay when visiting North Newton?

Those seeking a place to stay when visiting Bethel or someone in North Newton are invited to enjoy Woodland Hideaway, a guest apartment just a few blocks from campus.

Located in a woodland garden setting, the apartment can accommodate up to five people and has a full kitchen. Food for a continental breakfast as well as bedding and towels are provided, along with Wi-Fi Internet access. Children staying with family must be 12 years of age or older. No smoking is allowed.

Woodland Hideaway is managed by Vada Snider ’80, who makes it available to alumni and friends of the college for short stays. For cost and other information, e-mail or call (316) 283-5231.