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Volleyball reunion to highlight weekend of athletic recognition

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – As is traditional, the Fall Festival homecoming football game on Saturday, Oct. 7, will include several inductions into the Bethel College Athletic Hall of Fame.

Bethel volleyball greats Barb Anderson Graber, Newton, and Lori DeGarmo Mallory, Olathe, will be two of the three honored this year. Because of this, members of the volleyball teams who played under Anderson from 1973-77 or Diane Sanders Flickner, now athletic director, from 1978-94, are invited to reconnect with their former teammates during Fall Festival. The reunion will start at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Athletic Booster Club Conference Room in Goering Hall.

Graber earned a B.A. in physical education from Goshen (Ind.) College in 1967 and an M.A. in physical education from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley in 1973. She served as head coach of Bethel’s first intercollegiate volleyball teams from 1973-77.

In 1975, the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference officially recognized women’s athletics. Under Graber’s leadership, the Threshers captured the first three KCAC titles. Anderson was named KCAC Coach of the Year each of those seasons. She finished her coaching career with an overall record of 102-37 and a KCAC record of 54-11.

Mallory played the setter-hitter position on the Thresher volleyball team from 1980-83 on four KCAC conference championship teams. She lettered all four years and was team caption in her final two seasons. Individually, she earned All-KCAC honors all four years and was named to the NAIA All-American team in 1982 and 1983. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in sports management from Wichita State University in 1983.

The recognition assembly for this year’s Hall of Fame inductees will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday in Krehbiel Auditorium in the Fine Arts Center. The induction ceremony takes place at 6:30 p.m. on Joe W. Goering Field, before the football game against Southwestern Assemblies of God University, which starts at 7 p.m. In addition to Graber and Mallory, George Rogers, Newton, will also be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Rogers served Bethel College as an athlete, coach, professor, athletic director and administrator. As a student-athlete, he lettered in both football and track before graduating in 1969 with a degree in health and physical education. He earned a master’s degree in physical education from Wichita State in 1972. He was the defensive coordinator for the Thresher football team from 1969-78 and 1981-94 and head men’s and women’s track coach from 1971-88. He served as athletic director from 1971-91 and dean of students from 1992-98. Rogers was selected NAIA District 10 Athletic Administrator of the Year in 1990.

As athletic director, Rogers was instrumental in facilitating recognition of women’s athletics in the 1970s. He also played an important role in building Thresher Gymnasium, and more recently served as an endorsement chair for the construction of Thresher Stadium and Joe W. Goering Field.

Bethel College hosts its 36th annual Fall Festival Oct. 5-8. Other weekend activities on campus include food and entertainment for all ages, arts and crafts, alumni gatherings, athletic events and the inauguration of Bethel’s 13th president, Barry C. Bartel. For a complete Fall Festival schedule, visit the Bethel College website.

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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