- This past summer, seven Bethel University students worked professional theatre jobs. Erika Blake of Newark, Ohio, Cody Allen of Millington, Chelsea Fuller of Huntingdon, Jacob Estes of Medina, Nick Batey of Charlotte, Jamie Sullivan of Cowan and Joy Pointe of Clarksville spent their summer living the dream of being a professional actor, actress or tech. Erika Blake, who graduated from Bethel this past May, was hired through D & G Entertainment in Charlotte, North Carolina and is currently performing four shows a day. Three of the shows consist of Rock and Roll themed music, and the other show is based on country music. “I have learned that hard work pays off, and to always be yourself. It is better for somebody to hire you for who you are than it is for them to hire you for someone you are trying to be. Stick to your roots,” Erika commented. Following this contract she plans to audition for cruises and for Disney Theme Parks. Although she loves what she is doing, her dream is to move to Nashville and pursue country music. Chelsea Fuller and Jacob Estes played love interests Elle Woods and Warner in the new musical craze “Legally Blonde the Musical” at the Prizery Theatre in South Boston, Virginia. Serving on the tech crew, Cody Allen, Jamie Sullivan and Joy Pointe also spent the summer with the same company helping to produce three mainstage musicals. Legally Blonde performed to twelve packed houses during its eleven-day run. “The Prizery is honored to have had six students representing Bethel University which has become such an integral part of our Professional Summer Theatre program,” commented Chris Jones, Executive Director of the Prizery. “It began last summer with Jacob Estes playing Jesus in our production of Godspell and continues this year with Chelsea Fuller as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, Cody Allen and Joy Pointe as general technicians, Jamie Sullivan as a box-office manager and with Nick Batey playing percussion. We hope that they all will return in the future! We wish the best of luck to Bethel University and its awesome arts programs!” “Renaissance, The Bethel Performing Arts Experience, prides itself on providing performance opportunities that jumpstart students’ careers,” said Travis McLeese, Director of Renaissance Relations. “These students are a prime example of the caliber of performers we have here at Bethel.”
- Two hundred twenty-nine students graduated from Bethel University during the school’s Summer 2013 Commencement Exercises on Saturday, Aug. 3. Commencement ceremonies were held in the Rosemary and Harry Crisp II Arena on the school’s McKenzie campus, and the Rev. Elton C. Hall, Sr., Moderator of the General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America, was the speaker. Hall pointed out that with the freedom of being new college graduates comes great responsibility. “With college in your rear view mirror, it up to you to begin making your own decisions,” he said. Hall shared with the graduates two main points. First, he talked about change. “We live in a world where nothing stays the same,” he said. “Change is not merely necessary to get through life – it is life.” Hall also talked about continuing one’s education. “You are not through learning,” he said. “And you can learn a lot from other people.” Finally, Hall reminded the graduates that each of them has something inside that motivates them to get back up when they get knocked down. “It’s not over…it’s not finished until God says it’s over,” he said. Also during graduation ceremonies, recently retired Bethel President Robert Prosser was conferred the status of President Emeritus by The Honorable Ben Cantrell, chairman of the Bethel University Board of Trustees. Students graduated with the following degrees: Bachelor of Science, Associate of Arts, Master of Science in Criminal Justice, Master of Arts in Education, Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies.
- Members of Bethel's Housing staff gathered to prepare for check in for returning students involved in fall athletics and Renaissance. These returning students get a head start on the semester as they embark on practice and rehearsal sessions.
- Note: August 23rd is the last day for traditional students to opt out of the health insurance charge at Bethel. Students with questions or who need help with this should contact Cindy Price, Insurance Coordinator, at 731-352-6923 or at email@example.com.
- McKenzie native Victoria Motheral has been awarded the 2013-2014 Cumberland Presbyterian Women’s Scholarship to Bethel University. The announcement was made this past June at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church’s 183rd General Assembly in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
- KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced the programs which have been named 2012-13 NAIA Scholar-Teams.
- July 26, 2013 -- Resident Assistants -- 9 a.m. until noon Aug. 2, 2013 -- Football and Renaissance -- 9 a.m. until noon and 1 until 3 p.m. Aug. 4, 2013 -- Fall Sports including Dance, Cheer, Men's Soccer, Women's Varsity Soccer, Cross Country and Varsity Volleyball -- 9 a.m. until noon Aug. 6, 2013 -- Bethel University Band -- 9 a.m. until noon Aug. 12, 2013 -- S.T.A.R.S., Honor's Program, New International Students -- last day to arrive -- 9 a.m. until noon Aug. 14, 2013 -- Freshmen; Also JV Volleyball and JV Women's Soccer -- 9 a.m. until noon Aug. 18, 2013 -- Returners -- 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
- The world's largest fishing organization has ranked the Bethel University Bass Cats the number one fishing team in America. There are three college fishing polls in America.
- 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.