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Annual Phonathon set to start Feb. 12

April 16th, 2018

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – It’s that time of year – when Bethel College alumni and friends begin to see materials in their mailboxes and e-mail about the annual Phonathon.

This year’s phoning fundraiser begins Feb. 12, with volunteer callers working through Feb. 28.

The Phonathon has been taking place since 1980, when then-alumni director Edwin R. Stucky initiated the event. And what makes Bethel’s unusual is that most of the callers are alumni, many of whom look forward to making this annual connection with members of their class.

Dave Linscheid of North Newton, who as alumni director organized and coordinated 17 phonathons, starting in 2000 until he retired in 2016, said, “I know of other colleges who go through a company to conduct their phonathons. Others have students do it. But I’m not aware of any other schools which have alumni make the phone calls. That is one of the strengths of our particular system.”

Bethel’s Phonathon does employ some student and staff volunteers as well.

Gifts made to Bethel College in response to Phonathon go directly to support Bethel students — through scholarships, academic programs, campus ministries, recruitment, health and wellness initiatives, athletic equipment and fine arts programming, to name just some.

The goal for this year is 100 new donors and $150,000, said Brad Schmidt, director of alumni engagement with responsibility for Phonathon.

Phonathon callers will be contacting potential donors between Feb. 12 and 28. Or there is an “early response deadline” of Feb. 1: If you don’t want or need a call, contact the Office of Institutional Advancement or send a gift (for other than e-mail or online, the address is Phonathon 2018, Bethel College, 300 East 27th Street, North Newton, KS 67117; checks should be made payable to “Bethel College Phonathon 2018”).

Any questions can be directed to Schmidt at the above address, by calling 316-284-5252 or by e-mailing

Bethel College ranks at No. 1 in College Consensus’ ranking of Kansas colleges and universities, and is the only Kansas private college listed in the analysis of top colleges and universities, the Washington Monthly National Universities-Liberal Arts section and the National Liberal Arts College category of U.S. News & World Report, all for 2017-18. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.