Bethel’s top-tier tradition continues

Bethel is in a top category of U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of colleges and universities for the ninth year in a row.

The national news weekly publishes new rankings each fall. Bethel is one of only three Kansas colleges, and one of two Mennonite-affiliated colleges, to make the top half of the 2007 Best Comprehensive Colleges-Midwest list, appearing the highest in both cases at #29 and maintaining last year’s placement.

Institutions in the Comprehensive College category focus on undergraduate education and provide a range of degree programs in the liberal arts and in professional fields such as business, education and nursing.

There are separate rankings for universities (which emphasize research and offer doctoral programs), liberal arts colleges and comprehensive colleges. Comprehensive colleges are compared against other schools in the same group and region (North, South, Midwest or West).

The information is also available at www.usnews.com.

Project Kaleidoscope includes Krehbiel Science Center on Web site

Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL), an advocate for undergraduate programs in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), has included Krehbiel Science Center in its facilities directory on the Web.

PKAL invites architectural and design firms to submit information on STEM buildings and projects from around the United States. CSNA Architects, Colorado Springs, Colo., which designed Bethel’s science center, submitted the information on Krehbiel Science Center. The firm is included among the design professionals and architects listed on the PKAL site.

According to its Web site, “PKAL focuses on building learning environments that attract and sustain undergraduate students to the study of STEM fields and motivate them to consider careers in related fields.” It invites viewers to “use the directory as a resource to discover facilities related to your own plans and projects.”

For more information about PKAL go to www.pkal.org. For the feature on Krehbiel Science Center go to www.pkal.org/facilities/index.cfm?show=project&P_ID=257.

Women’s basketball and volleyball honored for academic achievement

Both the Thresher women’s basketball team and Thresher volleyball team recently received national recognition for academic achievement.

The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced its 2005-2006 Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Bethel, with a team grade point average of 2.991, made the list at number 25.

The WBCA annually recognizes teams throughout the nation that have the highest mean GPAs based on nominations submitted by WBCA-member coaches. Bethel is the only school in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) to have made the list.

The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) named the Threshers as one of the recipients of the Game Plan/AVCA Team Academic Award for 2005-06.

Bethel was one of 21 NAIA schools and one of only two schools in the KCAC (with Southwestern College in Winfield) to receive the award. It was the third time Bethel volleyball was honored with the award. The team GPA for the past year was 3.44.

The latter award, initiated during the 1992-93 academic year, honors college and high school teams that display excellence in the classroom by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale or a 4.10 cumulative team GPA on a 5.0 scale during the school year. Nominating head coaches must be AVCA members.

Son establishes award to honor father’s music contributions

For almost 40 years, from 1923-1962, Walter H. Hohmann ’15 taught music and directed choral groups at Bethel College.

In a distinguished career that also included writing choral compositions and co-editing the 1940 “Mennonite Hymnary,” one of the certain highlights was the Mennonite A Cappella Choir’s performance under Hohmann’s direction in the summer of 1935 at the California Pacific International Exposition in San Diego. There, Bethel’s mixed-voice chorus won a medal for excellence in performance. The medal is now on display in the Fine Arts Center lobby.

The music tradition that Hohmann helped to establish at Bethel continues, and conducting is an important part of it. William Eash, professor of music and director of the Concert Choir, Men’s Ensemble and Women’s Chorus, has been teaching the conducting class since he came to Bethel in 1999.

For the most recent incarnation of the class, Eash tried something new--team teaching with a faculty member whose conducting concentration is in instrumental rather than vocal music. Richard Tirk, assistant professor of music and director of the Sinfonia and Wind Ensemble, had major responsibility for teaching instrumental conducting, with Eash concentrating on choral.

Walter and Elsbeth Hohmann’s son Rupert Hohmann ’49, North Newton, who taught and conducted instrumental music (he is a violinist) and opera at Bethel from 1957-62, would like to make sure that interested students can have a well-rounded conducting experience well into the future. He recently gave a gift that established the Walter H. Hohmann Choral Conducting Award both to honor his father and, he hopes, to make funds available to pay a student conductor who will assist the choral director.

He says he hopes that Bethel alumni who remember singing in choirs with his father and other able conductors will want to contribute to the scholarship so that Bethel’s choral music conducting tradition lives long.

To contribute to the Hohmann Choral Conducting Award fund, contact Fred Goering at (316) 284-5226, fgoering@bethelks.edu.

“K is for Kansas” wins national history award

Kauffman Museum’s traveling exhibit “K is for Kansas” keeps racking up awards.

The latest is an Award of Merit from the Nashville, Tenn.-based American Association for State and Local History. The Award of Merit, AASLH’s highest award, is part of the organization’s Leadership in History Awards program, now in its 61st year.

The exhibit’s latest national award is part of a program that the AASLH initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation and interpretation of state and local history throughout the United States. The 2006 awards went to 84 organizations and individuals across the country.

“K is for Kansas” uses large alphabet blocks from A to Z to help visitors explore the state’s history, geography, flora, fauna, arts, science and culture. The words chosen for each letter of the alphabet include names of animals, people, places, products and ideas (such as “F is for Free State”) that depict some aspect of Kansas.

The exhibit will be on display until June 3, 2007.

Fall Fest highlights include inauguration

Plan now to attend this year’s Fall Festival activities, Oct. 5-8. Following is a sampling of entertainment and features that are new this year or in recent years. They include special events celebrating the inauguration of Barry Bartel ’84 as Bethel’s 13th president. A complete program is at www.bethelks.edu/alumni/fallfest/

Thursday, October 5

--9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Kauffman Museum: “K is for Kansas” and “Mennonite Immigrant Furniture” (also 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday, 1:30-4:30 p.m. Sunday)

--7:30-9 p.m., Comedy: Mark Twain’s “The Diaries of Adam and Eve”

Friday, October 6

--11 a.m., Convocation: Student Talent Show

--7:30-9 p.m., Comedy: Mark Twain’s “The Diaries of Adam and Eve”

--8:30-10:30 p.m., Mabee Observatory Open

Saturday, October 7

--10 a.m., Kiln Opening and Art Reception

--10-11 a.m., Goessel High School Brass Choir

--10-11 a.m., Sciences Lecture by Deborah Wiebe ’81, Dallas, Texas

--10 a.m.-3 p.m., Fun Cycles

--11 a.m.-Noon, Children’s Choir Festival

--11 a.m.-Noon, The Free Staters

--11 a.m.-Noon, Tropical Shores Steel Drum Band

--11 a.m.-Noon, Mathematical Sciences Lecture by Elias Toubassi ’66, Tucson, Ariz.

--Noon-1 p.m., Lindsborg Swedish Folk Dancers

--1-2 p.m., Bethel College Academy of Performing Arts Suzuki Strings and Dance Program

--1-2 p.m., Volleyball Reunion

--1-2 p.m., Social Justice and Peace Gathering

--1-2 p.m., Mennonite Central Committee Gathering

--1:30-3 p.m., “Meet the President” Reception

--2-3 p.m., Shoe Scuffers Square Dance Club

--2-3 p.m., Full Circle

--2-3:30 p.m., Class Reunions: 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996

--3-4 p.m., Midian Shrine Band

--4 p.m., African-American Alumni Association “Meet and Greet”

--4-5:30 p.m., Comedy: Mark Twain’s “The Diaries of Adam and Eve”

--5-6:30 p.m., Thresher Tailgate Barbecue on Campus

--6:30 p.m., Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

--7 p.m., Homecoming Football Game and Halftime World Record Event

Sunday, October 7

--10 a.m., Presidential Inauguration Worship Service

--2:30 p.m., Inauguration of Barry Bartel ’84 as President