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Women's basketball team makes NAIA Academic Top 25

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. — The Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) recently announced its 2005-2006 Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll for the NAIA. Bethel College, with a team grade point average of 2.991, made the list at number 25.

"It is my pleasure to recognize each of these distinguished women's basketball programs that have gone above and beyond excellence on the court, and have extended it to the classroom," said WBCA Chief Executive Officer Beth Bass.

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 KCAC to have made the list.

"From day one, we stress to our team, recruits included, that they are here as student-athletes, not athlete-students," said Coach Mark Fox. "To that end, we hold our young ladies accountable by having regular grade checks and weekly study table sessions."

"This is a tremendous start to the building of our program," he continued. "We want to become nationally recognized both academically and athletically, and this is an honor we hope to repeat many times over in the future."

Members of the 2005-2006 women's basketball team were seniors Joanna Collins, Arma, and Sheena Walter, Grand Prairie, Texas; juniors Emily Rothlisberger, Leonardville, and Jacy Suttlemyre, Draper, Utah; sophomores Suzanne Marks, Abilene, Samantha Naylor, Emporia, Brandi Peterie-Shipman, Newton, Dana Rathbun, Bennington, and Brandee Reames, Jamestown; and freshmen Kathleen Kendall, Burlingame, Brittany Scogin, Derby, Megan Stewart, Hutchinson, Natalie Wheeler, Hesston, and Brittany Wilson, Argonia.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and has been named a Top Tier college by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1998. For more information, see the Bethel web site at

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