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Thiesen to examine 'forgotten history' of Thresher symbol

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – When Bethel College’s Thresher Stadium went up in 2005, co-director of libraries John Thiesen began to think about the history of Bethel’s use of the Thresher symbol as an athletics mascot and more broadly as the foundation of a graphic identity.

Thiesen will present “What’s a Thresher? Remembering Bethel’s symbolic history” as the next Faculty Seminar Monday, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m. in the Administration Building chapel.

Thiesen will explore the use of the threshing stone metonym at Bethel. “Bethel College has not always been ‘the Threshers,’” he notes. “The full adoption of [the symbol or mascot] came within living memory but strangely the change has been completely forgotten, along with many other changes in Bethel’s community culture of the 1960s.”

Thiesen is director of the Mennonite Library and Archives at Bethel College.

The other Faculty Seminar presenters for 2007-08 are Allen Jantz, associate professor of education, on “Appreciative Inquiry (AI),” Monday, Feb. 18, 2008, and Dwight Krehbiel, professor of psychology, on “The affective science of music” (part of his 2007 sabbatical work), Monday, March 24, 2008. All presentations are at 7 p.m. in the Administration Building chapel, with no admission charge.

Faculty Seminar provides a forum for presenting the achievements of the Bethel College faculty to the larger campus community. Recent dissertations, books, papers and fine arts productions usually form the core of the presented material. Sessions last approximately 90 minutes and include critical and wide-ranging discussion following each presentation. Students and interested members of the community are welcome at all sessions.

The Bethel College Faculty Seminar series is supported in part by the Earl and Meta Leisy Eymann Endowment. For more information, contact Faculty Seminar co-directors Nathan Bartel at (316) 284-5240 or Sharon Eicher at (316) 284-5319.

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 was the highest ranked Kansas college in the national liberal arts category of U.S. News & World Report’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2008. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at

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