- Bethel University held its Spring 2015 Commencement exercises on Saturday, May 9 in the Rosemary and Harry Crisp II Arena located in the Vera Low Center for Student Enrichment on the school’s McKenzie campus. More than 600 students earned degrees.
- Bethel University has been ranked 2nd in the nation in the BestColleges.com list of Best Online Christian Liberal Arts Colleges for 2015. The list, found at www.bestcolleges.com, included Liberty University (Virginia) at number one followed by Bethel, the University of Findlay (Ohio), Indiana Wesleyan University (Indiana), and Southeastern University (Florida) to fill the top five positions.
- The Rev. Kip J. Rush, will be the speaker for Bethel University’s Spring 2015 Commencement ceremonies scheduled for Saturday, May 9. Rush received his Bachelor of Arts from Bethel College in 1986. He is a life-long Cumberland Presbyterian and was ordained as Minister of Word and Sacrament in 1990 after earning his Masters of Divinity at Memphis Theological Seminary. He has served churches in Texas, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee. He is currently the pastor of the Brenthaven Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Brentwood, Tenn., where he has served for the past 10 years. He also serves on the Youth Ministry Planning Council for the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and the 2016 Presbyterian Youth Triennium Production Team. In Nashville Presbytery, he serves on the Committee on Ministry for Ordained Clergy. Rush met his wife, Jodi Hearn, while they were cheerleading together at Bethel. They are the proud parents of two daughters, Madison, who is a 2015 Bethel graduate, and Devin, who is a sophomore at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Mich. When weather permits, Rush can be found in the woods around fairways looking for his golf ball, and being a Texan -- he loves watching the Texas Longhorns and Dallas Cowboys. Rush and wife, Jodi, have also served as co-presidents of the Bethel Alumni Association. Commencement will be held in the Rosemary and Harry Crisp II Arena located in the Vera Low Center for Student Enrichment on the school’s McKenzie campus. Undergraduates from all programs will graduate at 10 a.m.; Graduates from all programs will graduate at 1 p.m. Prospective graduates and family members with questions, please contact the registrar of your program for additional information.
- Spring 2015 Graduation will be Saturday, May 9. There will be two services: Undergraduates from all programs will graduate at 10 a.m.; Graduates from all programs will graduate at 1 p.m.
- Katie Koestner, a national expert on student safety and wellness issues, spoke at Bethel University Wednesday night April 8 in Crisp Arena. The event, sponsored by the school's Department of Housing and Student Life, was part of a month-long celebration to commemorate Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April. Ms. Koestner, who has presented to more than one million students in the U.S., was the first victim of date rape to speak out nationally about her experience at The College of William and Mary. Here, she is shown speaking with Bethel students after her presentation. Koestner's presentation kicked off a Take Back the Night event where students made t-shirts and signs to raise awareness and to gain empowerment against sexual assault.
- More than 40 employees from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Health Sciences and Public Service were recognized recently for milestone years of service to Bethel University. Recognized for five years of service were: Kim Callahan, John Norwood, Craig Lunn, Tina Sumner, Brandon Kilburn, Christopher Terry, Eddie Christian, Garry Mason, Thomas “Bub” Edwards, Dustin Boyd, Nick Thompson, Julie Miller, Michael Taylor, Eric Patton, Dayna Edwards, Sandra Smith, Alex DeBonis, Dan Dalrymple, and Charlie McConnell. Recognized for 10 years of service were: Sandra Ashley, Lisa Bolin, Steve Cude, Farrell Hubble, Sabrina Chambers, Peter Jeffrey, David Lancaster, Teresa Rose, Rusty Thompson, Becky Hames, Chris Elliott, Jana Higdon, and Bob Hicks. Recognized for 15 years of service were: Cindy Mallard, Misty Aird, Brenda Bradshaw, Joe Hames, and Sherrye Hudson. Recognized for 20 years of service was: Keliea McCartney. Recognized for 25 years of service were: Russell Holder and Jane Campbell. Finally, Laura Bateman was recognized for 35 years of service to Bethel.
- The Bethel University Renaissance Theatre Program is honored to present one of the most highly acclaimed musicals of all time Les Miserables. This enormous production will boast intricate costumes, elaborate sets, and most importantly, an astonishing cast and crew. “Les Miserables is one of those productions that makes you leave the theatre wanting more,” added Travis McLeese, Associate Director of Renaissance. “This story takes you on a journey through 20 years of struggle, passion, love, rebellion, and redemption. The timeless music, multitude of settings, and numerous costume changes are all just extras!” Winner of over 100 international awards and seen by over 65 million people worldwide, Les Misérables is an epic and uplifting story about the survival of the human spirit. The true modern classic is based on Victor Hugo’s novel and features one of the most memorable scores of all time. “This is one of the largest and most well known productions our program has ever tackled,” commented Matthew Holt, Executive Director of Renaissance. “Our staff is doing a remarkable job at organizing and bringing to life a production of this magnitude.” Les Miserables will take the stage of the Dixie Carter Performing Arts and Academic Enrichment Center Friday April 10 at 7 p.m., Saturday April 11 at 2 p.m., Friday April 17 at 7 and Saturday April 18 at 7 p.m. There will be a special “Bethel Only” performance on Thursday April 9 for Bethel Faculty, Staff and Students. Tickets for the Bethel Performance on April 9 can be reserved by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the Renaissance office (731) 352-6980. Tickets for this production are $15 and can be purchased on the Dixie website www.dixiepac.net. For more information contact the Dixie Box Office at (731) 986-2100.
- It was another historic week-end for the Bethel University Bass program. The Bass Cats competed in the FLW event at Moors Resort and Marina at Kentucky Lake near Benton. Kentucky. Three teams from the program qualified for the upcoming nationals being held in April 2016 at Lake Murray near Columbia, South Carolina. No School has ever qualified three teams in one FLW tournament to advance to the national championship. Bethel holds the record for the most teams to qualify for any national championship when they qualified five teams in 2014 to fish the Bass Masters national championship. Bethel will have a chance to qualify more teams for the FLW championship as the season progresses. FLW Tournament Director Kevin Hunt had the following statement.” I've been very impressed with Bethel University and its Wildcat Bass Fishing program. They are consistently in the top tier of collegiate bass fishing and I am very impressed with the freshmen and sophomores Bethel has recruited. Bethel has acquired some great young talent from across the nation. Plus, to have three teams place in the top 10 at the FLW College Fishing Open speaks volumes of how good they are and will continue to be with such young anglers.” The three teams qualifying were: Ty Dyer and Joseph Huggins, 5th place, 10 bass, 38.1 lbs. Grant Rutter and KJ Queen, 7th place, 10 bass, 36.2 lbs. Alec Piekarski and Kyler Chelminiak, 8th place, 10 bass. 34.9 lbs. Brian Pahl and John Garrett with four of their five fish weighing in at over 25 lbs. tied for the largest five fish one day weight in the tournament. They did not qualify for the nationals but will have other chances before the event to do so.
- Katherine Koestner, a national expert on student safety and wellness issues, will speak at Bethel University Wednesday night, April 8 at 7:30 p.m. in Crisp Arena. The event, sponsored by the Department of Housing and Student Life, is part of a month-long event to commemorate Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April. The event is free and open to the public, and high school students as well as church youth and adult groups are encouraged to attend. Ms. Koestner has presented to more than one million students in the U.S. As the first victim of date rape to speak out nationally and publically about her experience at The College of William and Mary, she appeared on the cover of TIME Magazine in June of 1991. HBO made a movie about her story in 1993. Ms. Koestner has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Geraldo, NBC Nightly News, CNBC Talk Live, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, Later Today, CNN, Entertainment Tonight, MTV, Lifetime Television, Italian TV, The Jane Whitney Show, The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, and dozens of other news programs. She has given interviews for the Washington Post, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, The Journal of Higher Education, and countless other national and regional publications. Ms. Koestner’s appearance and press conference on Capitol Hill with Congressman Jim Ramstad helped to encourage Congress, and later President George H. Bush, to pass the Campus Sexual Assault Victim’s Bill of Rights into law in 1992. Ms. Koestner has keynoted over 200 conferences including the East and West Coast 4th Annual Student Conferences on Campus Sexual Violence in 1995, as well as on behalf of the New Mexico School Boards Association, the association of Maryland Independent Schools, the Pennsylvania State Educators’ Association, and the U.S. Department of Defense. She has presented at the national conferences for the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the National School Boards Association (NSBA), the American College Personnel Association (ACPA), The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS), and the Association for Student Judicial Affairs (ASJA). At age 21, Ms. Koestner was asked to present to the incoming students at MIT, Dartmouth University, West Point, the US Naval Academy, Brown University, Amherst College, Williams College, Colorado College and many other top universities. She continues to regularly present for students and is under contract with public and private secondary and post-secondary schools throughout the country, ranging from Phillips Andover Academy and the Lawrenceville School to Brown University and Colorado College. To date, she has presented on student safety issues at over 1,500 schools in forty-nine states, Canada and numerous other international locations. Ms. Koestner has served as a consultant to schools on the revision and development of their sexual misconduct and technology policies and response protocols. She is the architect of The Complete Sexual Misconduct Reduction and Response System and The Customizable Model Acceptable Use Policy in place at schools across the country. She has partnered with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars’ Foundation to work with students in twenty-four public schools in Jacksonville, Florida. The U.S. Department of Education asked Ms. Koestner to work with Tipper Gore and Bonnie Campbell in its initiative to help women at risk for sexual violence. She founded “The I Club,” a national high school peer leadership organization focusing on respectful relationships, and she directs the foundation for Take Back the Night, an international organization dedicated to ending sexual violence. In 2002, Ms. Koestner worked with MIT to create “LifeLessons: Sexual Assault 101,” an interactive CD ROM for high school and college students. In 2003, she wrote and directed two films with national award-winning Top Hat Productions: “Please Write Back: Sexual Assault among America’s Students” and “Helping a Sexual Assault Survivor.” These thirty-minute educational videos are used by schools and rape crisis centers across the country to educate students in health classes and other community awareness programs, as well as to train faculty, police officers, coaches and other responders on the appropriate steps to take in assisting a student who reports a sexual assault experience. In 2008, Ms. Koestner developed the first Virtual Sexual Assault Response Training Center for schools, utilizing subject matter experts from Colorado College, Harvard University, the University of San Diego, Franklin and Marshall College, the University of Texas at San Antonio, and top education attorneys. This online platform enables any school to provide affordable, consistent, high-quality training and resources for their staff. Ms. Koestner’s latest energies have focused on the risks and responsibilities for students and schools with respect to technology in its many forms. She has assisted schools and school districts in developing proactive policies, procedures, risk management strategies, and educational programs around such topics as social networking sites, video phone usage, text and instant messaging, boundary setting for faculty and staff members, online gaming, identity theft, defamation of character, bullying, harassment, sexual exploitation, and a myriad of other ramifications of technology. In 2006, Ms. Koestner developed an online education series, Parent-Connect, a powerful program that brings together parents nationwide through the internet to hear from national experts on a variety of student wellness and parenting issues, such as depression, learning differences, harassment, substance use, and high risk drinking. Additionally, her foray into the benefits of technology has also enabled her to direct an annual program to assist schools in updating their policies and procedures on an emerging issue each spring in order to stay ahead of the fast-paced curve of today’s ever-changing educational landscape. She has been asked to assist fortune 500 companies, the U.S. Military, large public school districts, national public television groups, Canadian university presidents, and numerous other groups with their technology education programs. In 2009, the U.S. Ambassador to India asked Ms. Koestner to lead the first campaign to raise awareness about violence against women in India. Ms. Koestner also keynoted the First National Take Back the Night Conference at Columbia University in November 2009, and has since become a highlight for boarding schools in annually reviewing top risk issues. April 2010 became the first year for Take Back the Night to hold its Ten Points of Light to Take Back the Night Campaign. Her tireless campaign for safety and respect continue to lead her down new avenues toward that end. In 2010, she launched Dragonfly learning, an online educational series for parents, students and schools. In 2011, Ms. Koestner’s Foundation, Take Back the Night, was chosen by the TV Show, The Good Wife, as their charity of choice for their first ever Celebrity Golf Tournament. In November 2011, the Girl Scouts of America selected Ms. Koestner, Katie Couric, and a handful of others as honored women leaders to present for their 125th Anniversary Celebration. January 2012 marks the first Thaw Out the Night Benefit for Take Back the Night.
- The Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced today the six 2015 United States Marine Corps/WBCA National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Regional Coaches of the Year, all of whom are finalists for the Pat Summitt Trophy to be presented to the 2015 United States Marine Corps/WBCA NAIA National Coach of the Year. They are: * Region 1 – Shelley Jarrard, Westminster College * Region 2 – Drew Olson, Concordia University (Neb.) * Region 3 – Dale Neal, Freed-Hardeman University * Region 4 – Mike Williams, Davenport University * Region 5 – Ginger Colvin, Campbellsville University * Region 6 – Chris Nelson, Bethel University (Tenn.) The 2015 United States Marine Corps/WBCA NAIA National Coach of the Year will be named during the Fifth Annual WBCA Awards Show on Monday, April 6, in the Grand Ballroom at the Tampa Marriott Waterside. This event is part of the WBCA National Convention and is held in conjunction with the NCAA® Women's Final Four®. "The WBCA congratulates these six outstanding coaches on being named finalists for the Pat Summitt Trophy, presented to the 2015 United States Marine Corps/WBCA NAIA National Coach of the Year," said WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew. "Each coach was selected as a finalist by their peers after leading their respective teams to exceptional seasons. The WBCA appreciates and applauds each coach's commitment to their student-athletes, institutions, and communities." "The Marine Corps congratulates the finalists for the 2015 United States Marine Corps/WBCA NAIA National Coach of Year," said Lieutenant Colonel Brian C. Proctor, Assistant Chief of Staff Diversity, Marine Corps Recruiting Command. "The hard work and dedication needed to achieve this recognition from their peers exemplifies the Marine Corps leadership values of honor, courage and commitment." The United States Marine Corps and the WBCA present the Pat Summitt Trophy, named for the legendary University of Tennessee coach, to the United States Marine Corps/WBCA National Coach of the Year annually in each of the six WBCA membership divisions (NCAA Divisions I, II and III; NAIA; junior/community college and high school). This is the 31st year since 1983 that the WBCA has presented this honor to an NAIA head coach. For a list of past recipients, visit WBCA.org. # # # About the WBCA: Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game as a sport for women and girls. For more information on the WBCA, please visit wbca.org.