- Several students from Bethel University spent a week serving churches in the Choctaw Presbytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church during the last week of June. These churches are located within the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. The Choctaw Nation is an American Indian tribe that is federally recognized by the United States government and consists of ten and a half counties in southeastern Oklahoma. From June 25-30, 2013 students participated in light construction projects and outreach events. Construction projects included scraping and repainting Lone Star Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Participants spent 2 days scraping off old paint and applying new paint to the church’s main building and sanctuary. Outreach events included conducting a vacation bible school (VBS) where students led worship with singing and sign language, performed skits, and shared their personal testimonies. Through various outreach and worship techniques, students were able to share the love and hope of Jesus Christ during the VBS. Outreach events also included participating in the 5th Sunday Presbytery Rally hosted by Rock Creek Church and being guest speakers at McGee Chapel during their Sunday morning worship service. The trip was made possible by the collaboration of several individuals and local churches. “We want to give a special thanks to the Bethel University Bookstore, Chaplain Anne Hames, Bible Union Baptist Church in Martin, Tenn., and McKenzie First Baptist Church for the things they each did to help us make this trip,” said mission participant Candace Salcido. Participants included Jacob Canaday, Kellie Ann Morgan, Victoria Motheral, Candace Salcido, and Joshua Sumner. The trip was organized by the Bethel University Missions Program and Betty Jacob, the Presbytery Coordinator for the Choctaw Presbytery. Plans are being made to make this an annual summer mission trip for students.
- This fall, Wil Freeman of Gleason, Tenn., will step foot on the campus of his dream school, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) not just for a visit, but to be a student at the prestigious institution. He is one of 1,620 incoming freshman students of the more than 18,000 who applied to MIT to get accepted for enrollment in Fall 2013. It won’t be the first time Wil has taken college level classes. He has been doing that for quite some time now at Bethel University, and Wil’s mother, Stacie Freeman, says Bethel University’s solid foundation in math and science was key to Wil’s being accepted to MIT. According to Freeman, who is a faculty member in sociology and human services at Bethel, Wil’s influence from Bethel began as early as her son’s fifth grade year. “Wil was working on a science fair project, and he had some questions about alternative energy,” Freeman said. “I helped him get in contact with Dr. Roger Johnson who teaches physics and computer science here at Bethel.” Freeman says Dr. Johnson was a huge help and inspiration to Wil and that Johnson’s advice, ideas and equipment have helped Wil win numerous regional science fair awards. Wil was even recently named an INTEL International Science Fair Finalist, which gave him the opportunity to travel to Phoenix, Ariz., this past May. As Wil’s last year of high school approached, Freeman and her son recognized that the Title I K-12 school in his hometown of Gleason lacked resources to prepare Wil to go to MIT. Bethel’s Early Admission Program for high school seniors was a way to help build the foundation he did need. So during Wil’s senior year, he would leave Gleason High School around 9:30 each day, and he took college level classes at Bethel. And these weren’t just your basic entry level college classes either. Freeman says Wil took Calculus II, Calculus III and Psychology and that he is tackling two terms of Chemistry this summer. “Wil took it upon himself to basically teach himself Calculus I over the summer of 2012 on a computer at Dresden High School,” Freeman says. “Dr. Jon Turner, who heads the math department at Bethel, was hesitant about letting Wil begin with Calculus II, but he agreed and assured me that if Wil struggled at all, we would take him out of the class.” Freeman says as it turned out, Wil did well enough to impress Dr. Turner who was instrumental in getting the 16-year-old a job as a math tutor to other college students at Bethel. “Wil will be the first to tell you he could not have done this on his own,” Freeman says. “And it wasn’t just guidance in the classroom either.” Freeman says some faculty members, including Robin Salyers, Kristi Corbin and Audrey Sistler prayed without ceasing over her family and over Wil on this journey. When asked what he will take with him from Bethel to MIT, Wil said, “Time management – I’ve really learned to juggle my time very effectively, and I know that will be an important skill to have in the next few years.” Wil’s career goal is to become a mechanical engineer. He says he could see himself working for a company like Apple or Google, or he might even begin his own engineering firm. Getting a degree from MIT will help him get one step closer to such a career, one that we can all be proud to say began here at Bethel University.
- Bethel President Robert Prosser has announced his plans to retire effective July 31 of this year according to Judge Ben Cantrell, Chair of the Bethel University Board of Trustees. Cantrell made the official announcement of Prosser’s retirement plans at a Bethel University dinner held in Murfreesboro at the 183rd General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church on Tuesday evening, June 18.
- Manati, Puerto Rico- Student-Athletes spend their summer off-seasons in various ways. Some take summer jobs, while others take the time to relax and condition themselves for the grueling upcoming seasons of competition.
- Florence, Ala. -The Bethel University Bass Cats took first place in a huge victory this past week during very tough competition from over 165 other Bass teams in Florence Alabama. Day one saw Bethel's Cody Ross and Dewey Swims with an expressive five fish limit weighing in at 23.07 pounds. Not far behind the dynamic duo were teams from UT Chattanooga, Tennessee Tech University as well as another Bethel Bass Cat team consisting of Zack Parker and Matt Roberts. Murray State would round out the top five teams at the end of day one. Day two would start out at a chilly 45 degrees and breezy conditions for the field of collegiate anglers. As the Sun warmed the Tennessee River impoundment of beautiful Pickwick Lake, things heated up for all three of the Bethel Wildcat Bass Teams. Only a few of the 168 teams had reached the weigh in site when Bethel's Parker and Roberts walked to the scales. As the huge sack of five fish was weighed, the total for the second day was tabulated at 25.88 pounds topped by the big fish of the tournament weighing in at 7.87 pounds. This put Parker and Roberts' two day total weigh at 46.76 pounds. Holding the other top four teams back until the entire field had weighed- in created a huge amount of tension for Zack and Matt especially knowing that their teammates had done so well during the first day of competition. Tennessee Tech weighed in second to last and tipped the scales at a two day total of 44.27 pounds with Bethel's team of Ross and Swims headed to the scales next. The crowd of over four hundred fans and spectators watched as the day one leaders placed their fish on the scales. The second day weight of 20.78 pounds would not be enough to unseat their teammates from Bethel but would vault the to third place as Tennessee Tech took second place. Hats off to Bethel's team of Jake Lawrence and Jacob Hardy for their 16th place finish. After having motor trouble on day one just minutes after the blast off, the guys had to be towed back to the dock. They were then allowed to take another boat and head back out onto the lake. Their total for the two day tournament was an impressive 35.03 pounds The Bethel Wildcat Bass Team was crowned Boat U S Collegiate Bass Fishing National Champions for 2013 Statistics can be found at www.collegiatebassfishingchampionship.com Bethel Coach Garry Mason commented on the effort and championship. "Both myself and Coach Louden are very proud of our team. These great young anglers have represented our university on a national platform and have performed without flaw throughout our whole fishing season. Congratulations to Bethel University and thanks to everyone for supporting the Bethel University Collegiate National Championship Bass Fishing Team."
- Bethel University was host to a community wide Renewable Energy Forum on Friday, May 17 in the Board Room of the Vera Low Center for Student Enrichment. The event was planned by the Tennessee Renewable Energy Economic Council (TREEDC). TREEDC Mayors McKenzie Mayor Jill Holland, Carroll County Mayor Kenny McBride and Huntingdon Mayor Dale Kelley helped to coordinate the event. Other sponsors included Pathway Lending, the Tennessee Soybean Association, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the Tennessee Energy Education Initiative. Presentations included information on the Tennessee Energy Education Initiative, the Tennessee Technology Center of McKenzie’s Green Initiatives, the benefits of compressed gas, converting fleets to natural gas, solar renewable energy programs, grant writing tips to attain money for renewable resource projects, and many other topics as well. TREEDC is a statewide network of 92 city and county mayors and businesses working together to create a path to fast-track renewables in Tennessee. Its mission is to promote and connect renewable energy with economic development and energy efficiency for all Tennessee communities.
- Mobile, Ala. –The Bethel Wildcat Men's Tennis squad lost to Cumberland University 5-2 Wednesday in the 2013 Men's Tennis National Championship in Mobile, Alabama. The Wildcats' only two losses were to CU as the Bulldogs were the only team to have beaten Bethel during the regular season, doing so back on March 27 in McKenzie. Cumberland beat Mobile 9-0 Tuesday to advance to the match-up against the Wildcats. CU faces No 2 seeded Auburn Montgomery in the Quarterfinals Thursday at 9 a.m. AUM beat Graceland 5-0 Wednesday to advance. AUM is 19 -4 on the season. The No. 7 seeded Wildcats qualified for the national event with an automatic bid after winning the AMWC/HAAC/TranSouth Conference tournament. The Wildcats finished 20 -2 on the season and were ranked 7th in the nation in the final regular season poll of the year. This was Bethel's fourth appearance in the national tournament and marked the first appearance for Bethel since 2009. Bethel is 3-4 all-time in national tournament matches. Peter Baca, Robin Demasse, Eduardo Espinar, Travis Hyman, Nilola Salvik, Kristian Takac, and Paolo Vecchi represented the university in Mobile. The squad is coached by Rafael Delgado who is assisted by Ernesto Escamilla Jr. Escamilla was named the ITA Men's Assistant Coach of the Year earlier this week.
- David Lankford of McKenzie, who taught Mathematics at Bethel for more than four decades, was presented an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters during Spring 2013 Commencement to honor his years of service and leadership to the school's Math Department.
- 601 students graduated from Bethel University during the school’s Spring 2013 Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 4. Commencement was held in the Rosemary and Harry Crisp II Arena on the school’s McKenzie campus, and Roy Herron, Chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party and a former legislator, was the Commencement speaker. Herron kept his remarks very brief sharing a couple of stories that conveyed what he wanted the graduates to remember. “Your life will be as you will it to be,” Herron said. “And nothing can separate you from the love of God.” Students graduated with the following degrees: Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Arts, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies.
- Roy Herron, former legislator and current Chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party, will deliver the Commencement address at Bethel University’s spring 2013 Commencement. Bethel’s Commencement ceremonies will be this Saturday, May 4, at 10 a.m., in the school’s Rosemary and Harry Crisp II Arena on Wildcat Lane on the McKenzie campus. Roy Herron graduated from UT-Martin with highest honors, studied New Testament and Ethics in Scotland as a Rotary Scholar, then became one of Vanderbilt University’s first two joint Divinity and Law graduates. He worked part-time as a minister and began making his living as a country lawyer and small businessman. He began public service by working on the staffs of his Dresden neighbor, then-Speaker Ned McWherter, and then-Congressman Al Gore when he ran for the U.S. Senate. He was elected to Governor Ned McWherter’s Tennessee House seat, and served there and then in the Tennessee Senate where his colleagues elected him Democratic Floor Leader and Democratic Caucus Chair. He authored literally dozens of laws strengthening ethics, enabling health care, attacking crime, helping victims, and protecting children, workers, whistleblowers and freedoms. Herron held over 1,000 listening meetings, more than any other Tennessee legislator, while attending 1,292 floor sessions, every single session for 26 years except the day his youngest son was being born. He also worked on Vice President Al Gore’s presidential campaigns, serving as Gore’s Tennessee state director in 2000. In 2010, Herron won the Democratic nomination seeking to fill Congressman John Tanner’s seat representing Middle and West Tennessee. He earned all eight newspaper endorsements, including those of the Nashville, Jackson and Memphis dailies. In January 2013, Herron concluded his service in the Tennessee Senate and was elected Chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party. Herron is the author of three books about faith, family and political humor. He and his “bride” of 26 years, Nancy, a Tennessee Claims Commissioner, are the parents of three Eagle Scouts who now are college students. They are members of the First United Methodist Church in Dresden. Herron also is a Boston Marathoner who has completed more than 30 marathons and ultra-marathons, and last August he completed his fourth Ironman Triathlon, swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles, then completing a marathon, 26.2 miles, for a total of 140 miles. Seating for Commencement will begin at 9 a.m. and the processional lineup (for both students and faculty) will also be at 9 a.m. For more information about Bethel University’s spring 2013 Commencement, contact Myra Carlock at 731-352-4090 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.