Bethel College enrollment rises again, up almost 10 percent

For the second year in a row, Bethel College enrollment has jumped by more than nine percent. In fact, it is up nearly 10 percent from fall 2010 to fall 2011.

Bethel’s overall enrollment for fall 2011 is 523, compared to 476 last year, for an increase of 9.9 percent. One hundred twenty-six new students on campus this fall are first-time freshmen and 77 are transfers.

The fall 2010 to fall 2011 retention rate for first-time freshmen is 77.2 percent, two points higher than last year and well above the national average of 66.6 percent for peer colleges.

Nursing Department receives KSBN approval

Following its June quarterly meeting, the Education Committee of the Kansas State Board of Nursing (KSBN) notified Bethel’s Department of Nursing that it would be granting full approval of the nursing program for the coming year.

Almost four years ago, Phyllis Miller assumed leadership of the department, and the entire nursing faculty then initiated a sustained, persistent program to address curriculum design, admission standards, pedagogy and testing.

Miller appeared before the KSBN’s Education Committee at its most recent meeting to highlight the changes made over the past three years.

“Internally, we have seen dramatic effects, manifest most notably in high first-time pass rates for the last two years,” said Brad Born, vice president for academic affairs. “The KSBN has now provided additional external validation of improvement.”

Singer/songwriter added to Fall Festival schedule

A change in scheduling at this year’s Fall Festival has provided the opportunity for alumnus Daryl Nickel ’71, a singer and songwriter from Overbrook to perform in the tent on the Green from 11:15 a.m.-noon on Saturday, Oct. 8.

Nickel performs original folk music with blues, bluegrass and old time music influences. His music has been described as “beautiful balladeering, borne of great stories worth the telling,” “thought-provoking lyrics - very graceful, it takes you on a journey” and “wonderful storytelling with an engaging presentation.”

Afterward, Nickel will sell CDs at a table next to the entertainment tent. He will also host a booth on the Green with information about his work and artistry custom building furniture. Some small items will be for sale. See www.nickelfurniture.com or call 785-766-3680 for more information.

The Jazzfest that had been announced as beginning at 11:30 a.m. will start at 12:30 p.m. Hesston High School students will perform at 12:30 p.m., musicians from Bethel at 1 p.m., the McPherson High School jazz band at approximately 2 p.m., followed by Newton High School students around 2:30 p.m.

Read a news story about Bethel’s 41st Fall Festival.

Read a story on this year’s stage production, “Charley’s Aunt,” or watch a video.

Read a story about Orin Friesen ’68 and the Prairie Rose Rangers.

New t-shirts celebrate Thresher identity and Herman Bubbert

Three new T-shirts that highlight Bethel’s unique mascot and its perennial mythical student prankster Herman Bubbert will be available in the college bookstore during Fall Festival.

“I’m proud to be an old piece of farm equipment” expresses pride in being a Thresher. The illustration on a second shirt connects Bethel’s symbol to the heavy metal rock band the Rolling Stones. And “It wasn’t me. It was Herman Bubbert” celebrates the longtime tradition of playing pranks and blaming the ubiquitous Bubbert. Cost is $14.99 each.

The shirts also broadcast the address of a new website, www.cowsinthelibrary.com, where you can read about pranks at Bethel and add your own story.

The shirts were commissioned by the 125th Anniversary Committee of the college, which has been planning five years of special activities and projects leading to Bethel’s quasquicentennial in 2012.

A special Fall Fest program, “Thank you, Herman Bubbert: Bethel pranks throughout the years,” will take place 1-2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, in Krehbiel Auditorium in the Fine Arts Center. It is free and open to the public.

BCWA to feature picnic basket and t-shirt at Fall Fest

At this year’s Fall Festival, the Bethel College Women’s Association (BCWA) will sell a limited-edition picnic basket with a drawing of the Administration Building on the wooden lid. The baskets will be available in the Market on the Green 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8.

“This is a signature item celebrating Bethel’s 125th Anniversary,” said BCWA spokesperson Donna Becker. “The finely crafted baskets have both practical and sentimental appeal.

“Traditional zwieback and peppernuts as well as famous Martha Stucky lollipops will also be offered, along with many other items. The market is a perennial favorite for Fall Fest attendees, and is our major source of income to fund special projects at Bethel.”

BCWA will also offer an updated version of its “Everyone loves a Mennonite girl” T-shirt.

“I would like friends and alumni to know that Jesse Graber, class of 2000, has updated the women’s T-shirt with a new Mennonite girl who has a zest for life, knows who she is and where she is going,” said BCWA member Mary Enz.

The shirts may also be ordered by e-mailing Enz at enz.mary@gmail.com.

Get your flu shot at Fall Fest

In cooperation with the Bethel College Department of Nursing, the Harvey County Health Department will offer flu and pneumonia vaccinations at Fall Festival from 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 8. Seniors in Bethel’s nursing program will help administer the shots.

Medicare, Medicaid and many private insurance plans will cover the cost. The price will be $30 for a flu shot, $69 for the pneumonia vaccine.

Look for the health department booth along the brick sidewalk leading from the Administration Building to the fountain, next to the BC-KANS (Bethel chapter of the Kansas Association of Nursing Students) booth.

Change of venue for Fall Fest Business and Economics Coffee

This year’s Business and Economics Department coffee from 10-11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, will be held in Seminar Rooms B & C in Schultz Student Center rather than the location announced earlier.

Departmental receptions are open not only to alumni but to all current students and friends of Bethel with interest or involvement in the department, plus family members.

Soccer program celebrates early achievements

The men’s and women’s soccer program at Bethel is off to a great start.

“We typically have a lot to celebrate in the soccer programs, but we have a few exceptional things to be proud of at the beginning of the season this year,” said Jason Moore, head soccer coach at Bethel.

“The men’s team started the season 4-0 for the first time in the soccer program’s history. On Sept. 1, the team beat Newman University for the first time since the Bethel program began, bringing the head-to-head record to 1-11.

“And, on the women’s team, freshman Caryn Welch was [Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference] leading scorer and was named conference offensive player of the week twice.”

Welch, who is from Topeka, currently has seven goals and one assist. In addition, freshman Madison Wiles from Hutchinson was named conference defensive player of the week the first week of the season.

To see who this year’s players are, view a schedule so you can attend matches, or keep up with soccer scores go to the men’s soccer and women’s soccer.

For information on all Bethel’s sports, go to www.bethelthreshers.com.

Photojournalist to speak at Kauffman Museum dinner

A special program for this year’s Kauffman Museum Living Endowment fundraising event has made it necessary to move to a special location.

On Saturday, Nov. 5, photojournalist Jim Richardson, Lindsborg, will present “Kansas in the World” on the big screen in Krehbiel Auditorium in the Fine Arts Center. Richardson has photographed more than 25 stories for “National Geographic” magazine, including a well-received essay on the Flint Hills in 2007.

The meal prior to the program will be held in the center’s circular hallway.

Reservations are required, due by Oct. 28. Cost for the dinner and program is $125. Attendees will receive a $100 gift receipt for the portion that is tax-deductible.

For more information or to make reservation, contact Andi Schmidt Andres at 316-283-1612 or via e-mail.

Bethel, museum and public library partner for “Big Read”

For a third year, Bethel College, Kauffman Museum and Newton Public Library are partnering to provide public programming in support of the Big Read project. This year, Big Read-Wichita selected “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien as the book for the community to read.

At 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16, Kauffman Museum will host Karen Ross Epp, 1968 Bethel graduate and retired Newton art teacher, who will present “Sharing the Things He Carried: Vietnam Letters from My Brother.” Epp’s talk will be based on the experiences of her brother, Stanley D. Ross of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, whose life and death are recounted in her book “With Love Stan.”

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1, Newton Public Library will host Brad Born, Bethel vice president for academic affairs, speaking on “Tim O’Brien’s ‘The Things They Carried’: Standing Vigil as We Read.” Born will share experiences teaching O’Brien’s book to college students.

For more information on these programs contact Rachel Pannabecker at Kauffman Museum, 316-283-1612, e-mail. For more information about Big Read-Wichita, go to www.bigreadwichita.org.

Bethel to host first Worship and the Arts Symposium

Two renowned scholars and practitioners of the arts in Christian worship will be the major resources for Bethel’s first Worship and the Arts Symposium.

“Think, Celebrate, Sing” will take place on campus Saturday, Nov. 19, and will be centered on the Psalms. Thomas G. Long, a professor of preaching at Emory University, and John Ferguson, a professor of organ and church music and cantor to the student congregation at St. Olaf College, will provide primary input.

The symposium will include plenary and concurrent sessions with the resource people, a “meet the artist” event, and an evening hymn festival born out of the day’s collaborative work. The 7:30 p.m. service in Memorial Hall will be free and open to the public.

Check progress of new Academic Center online

Construction crews continue to transform the old Science Hall into a new Academic Center. The steel framework is up for the new addition outside, and rooms are being cleared inside. Photos of progress are in an online photo gallery.

The center will be ready for fall semester 2012. It will be dedicated at Fall Festival, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, when the college also celebrates its 125th anniversary.