December 23, 2008
Categories: General News
Thirty-three Tabor College students will travel to six European countries during the January Interterm, from Jan. 9- 29, led by Dr. Richard Kyle, Professor of History and Religious Studies, who will be guiding his 24th tour.
The group will tour the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, and Vatican City, and visit cultural, religious, and historical locations in London, Paris, Zürich, Munich, Venice, and Rome.
The educational trip counts toward academic credits in history, religion, political science, or art, and requires students to read materials, write reports, listen to lectures, take a test, and keep a daily journal. Dr. Kyle and local instructors will be lecturing throughout the tour.
Students also will have an opportunity to see a theater production in London, ride a gondola in Venice, or watch a fùtbol game in Rome.
Trip participants include: Andy Adrian (Buhler, Kan.); Whitney Allen (Hillsboro, Kan.); Katie Camp (Fresno, Calif.); Julia Carlton (Hesston, Kan.); Katie Chlumsky (Wichita, Kan.); Ashley Cohlmia (Wichita, Kan.); Jordan Crosson (Minneapolis, Kan.); Stephanie Friesen (Wichita, Kan.); Annie Gramza (Olathe, Kan.); Emily Heizelman (Buhler, Kan.); Jessica Henion (Wichita, Kan.); Jason Hildebrandt (Wichita, Kan.); Cassondra Huxman (Moundridge, Kan.); Lichelle Large (Hayes Center, Neb.); Scott Latimer (Wichita, Kan.); Marcus Manny (Dallas, Texas); Heidi McCarthy (Liberal, Kan.); Megan McCarty (Hillsboro, Kan.); Andrew Pankratz (Abilene, Kan.); Jenae Pauls (Inman, Kan.); Jessica Perrault (Westminster, Colo.); Sarah Ratzlaff (Pottsville, Ark.); Josh Reiswig (Wichita, Kan.); Zac Remboldt (Topeka, Kan.); Jacob Riley (Derby, Kan.); Tessa Siebert (Henderson, Neb.); Megan Souter (Fairview, Okla.); Jessica Spunaugle (Wichita, Kan.); Michael Suderman (Hillsboro, Kan.); Jera Teselle (Downs, Kan.); Bekah Thiele (Fountain, Colo.); Danelle Thieszen (Henderson, Neb.); Andrew Wiens (Topeka, Kan.); and Richard and Joyce Kyle.
December 22, 2008
Categories: General News
Beyond the ancient remnants of the pyramids at Giza and the Great Sphinx in Cairo, the people of modern-day Egypt exist in a middle ground between their Islamic faith and technological progress, and in the midst of the seemingly endless turmoil of the Middle East.
This is the setting into which Tabor College junior Rebekah Paulus (Hillsboro, KS) will travel on Jan. 13, as a participant in the Best Semester Middle East Studies Program offered by the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.
She can’t wait to get there.
Paulus has a heart for people living in the Middle East, especially the women, and looks forward to forging relationships with them. She will live in furnished apartments with her peers for the majority of the semester, but at some point will stay with a Muslim family for an entire week to experience Egyptian life, language, and hospitality.
“This semester will change me due to the relationships I’ll build with the Muslim women,” Paulus said.
Engaging a pluralistic culture and stepping out of her comfort zone will be a life-transforming experience for Paulus, who expects she will be a different person by the time she arrives back in the U.S. on April 29.
Best Semester’s study abroad programs are designed to “prepare students to live the Christian life in a world that is religiously and culturally pluralistic.” Paulus, who was born to an Air Force Master Sergeant and his wife in Taif, Saudi Arabia, less than 100 miles from the Islamic holy city of Mecca, has always felt a connection to the Middle East and its people.
As a freshman at Biola University in La Mirada, Calif., this interest grew as she declared an Intercultural Studies major with a focus on Islam. It was at Biola that Paulus first heard of the possibility of studying for a semester in the Middle East through CCCU’s Best Semester Program.
The following year, Paulus began looking into the possibility of transferring to Tabor College, a school three of her siblings had attended and one is presently attending. Her older brother Jim Paulus (’94), older sister Kathryn Paulus (’02), and older brother Michael Paulus (’03) were all Tabor graduates and her younger brother Josh Paulus is a current student. These connections assisted in influencing Paulus to transfer to Tabor.
After discussing her goals and interests with her advisor, Associate Professor of Communications Dr. Aleen Ratzlaff, Paulus opted to pursue a dual major of Communications/International Studies at the school.
Through all these changes, Paulus never lost sight of her goal of studying in the Middle East. The Middle East Studies Program in Cairo equips students to do precisely that. Those enrolled in the program will take classes focusing on Arabic, Islam, the people and cultures, and conflict and change in the region. These classes will substitute for courses required for Paulus to finish her International Studies major at Tabor.
However, academic learning is just one aspect of the experience.
“I want to learn and get to know the people,” said Paulus.
Many Middle Eastern countries are populated by people who tend to have anti-Western sentiments. On the other hand, Egypt is generally considered to be fairly open to Western people and ideas.
“There is some conflict, but it is not as hostile as other Middle Eastern countries,” said Paulus.
Depending on the safety conditions at the time, students may also travel to Israel, Palestine, Syria, and Jordan, as well as to various historically significant locations in Egypt.
Paulus said, “I have an overwhelming peace about going, because I know God is going with me and I believe without a doubt that his grace is on my travels.”
—By Andrew Wiens, Tabor Communications
December 18, 2008
Categories: General News
From The Tabor College Music Blog
Tabor College’s performance of Messiah (performed this year on Dec. 7 at Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church) has heralded the holiday season in Hillsboro for more than half of the college’s 100-year history.
According to the Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies, the earliest record of Tabor performing Messiah was December 2, 1951, with Herbert C. Richert as director. That was 57 years ago.
“A lot of people say it’s not Christmas until Tabor performs Messiah, so it’s always been our kick-off performance in the first weekend of December,” said Dr. Bradley Vogel, Professor of Choral Music, who this year celebrated “Twelve Years of Christmases” as conductor of the Christmas Festival, and his 11th year as conductor of Messiah.
Listen to Messiah
December 17, 2008
Categories: General News
(From the President’s Blog)
The Tabor College Music Department presented its annual “Christmas Festival,” on Sunday, Dec. 14, at Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church. The Concert Choir, Symphonic Band and the Handbell Choir performed a variety of entertaining and inspirational holiday music.
I was inspired and touched as I listened to the music. There is nothing like Christmas music to help us experience the meaning of Christmas.
Full Blog Post, Link to Concert
December 12, 2008
Categories: General News
Honored as one of the top collegiate pianists in Central Kansas,
Tabor College senior piano major Meghann Eblen (Leavenworth, Kan.) placed second in the College Division of the Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra Young Soloist Competition, held Nov. 22, in Newton, Kan.
The competition was open to students from schools affiliated with the Associated Colleges of Central Kansas (ACCK), which includes Bethany College, Bethel College, Kansas Wesleyan University, McPherson College, Sterling College, and Tabor College.
“This award is a reflection of Meghann’s hard work,” Dr. Sheila Litke, Associate Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy, and Eblen’s studio instructor at Tabor.
“She is a wonderful example of what we want our students to work for, and she is certainly very deserving of this award.”
In the competition, Eblen played the first movement of the Mozart Piano Concerto in A Major, K. 414—a demanding piece of music, which she performed to near perfection, according to Litke, who herself is an accomplished concert pianist.
“Mozart needs to be played very cleanly, beautifully and elegantly, and I think that’s what Meghann did,” Litke said. “It was very clean, very musical, and that’s what captured the judges’ attention.”
Eblen’s performance lasted only 10 minutes, but was only made possible by four years of devoted piano study, including hundreds of hours of practice on the one piece of music.
“She worked that piece all summer, putting in somewhere between 200 or 300 hours of rehearsal time,” Litke said. “That’s the difference between someone who plays, and a real musician. To make music takes effort. You can play all of the right notes, but that doesn’t mean you’re musical.
“This was the culmination of four years of study for Meghann,” Litke added. “It has taken hard work, stamina, and dedication, and now the payoffs are starting to come.”
In recognition of her fine work, in the spring of 2008, Eblen was awarded the Tabor music department’s highest honor’s scholarship, the Jake and Selma Friesen Music Scholarship.
The winner of the contest will perform at the Winter Classics Orchestra Concert, on Feb. 8 at Bethel College. As the alternate, Eblen will perform is the winner is unable to do so.
Eblen, daughter of James (Buddy) and Kathy Eblen, is scheduled to perform the Mozart piece and others at her senior recital, at 4 p.m., Sunday, March 8, in the chapel auditorium at Tabor College.
Tabor College is a four-year Christian liberal arts college located in Hillsboro, Kan., with a second location, the School of Adult and Graduate Studies, in Wichita, Kan. Learn more about the Tabor College Music Program.
December 12, 2008
Categories: General News
By Andrew Wiens, Tabor Communications
Tabor College will attempt to set a Guinness World Record this weekend, for the longest jumping time on a trampoline.
About 180 students, faculty, and staff will begin 24 consecutive hours of leaping at 3 p.m. on Saturday, December 13, and end at 3 p.m. on Sunday, December 14.
The trampolines will be set up in the campus recreation center gym.
Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.
If successful, Tabor will set a new world record, as no other feat like this has ever been recorded by Guinness.
The jumping marathon will conclude with a final 15 minute bouncing session by President Jules Glanzer, and the eating of a trampoline-shaped cake.
The world record attempt, which is being sponsored by the Residence Life Department and the Mind, Body and Soul House, is the brainchild of Resident Directors Melanie Johnson and Sara Sigley. Johnson first presented the idea during a brainstorming session seeking house events for the Mind, Body, and Soul House, for whom she serves as faculty advisor.
“From the response of the women in the Mind, Body, and Soul House, I right away sensed that [the trampoline-a-thon] was something that would generate excitement on campus and so far that seems to be the case,” Johnson said.
As evidenced by the large number of students participating in the jumping, there is a buzz on campus surrounding the possibility of setting a world record.
“My hope for this particular event is that the participants will take pride in being part of a world record-setting attempt, and that their participation in the trampoline-a-thon will be a memorable part of their time at Tabor,” Johnson said.
To officially set a Guinness world record, the event must be witnessed by two community members, video recorded, and covered by news media. .
“I’m hoping that people show up for the times that they signed up for, otherwise the staff will be doing a lot of jumping,” Johnson added.
When the last 15 minute jumping session rolls around, it will be President Glanzer’s turn.
“I’m not going for style points,” Glanzer said. “I will play it safe. The worst that can happen is I make a fool of myself, and it wouldn’t be the first time.”
December 08, 2008
Categories: General News
The Tabor College Music Department will present “Christmas Festival,” at 4 p.m., Dec. 14, and “The Marvel of this Night,” at 7 p.m. on Dec. 15.
The concerts will be presented at Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church, 300 Prairie Pointe, Hillsboro, and include the Concert Choir, Community Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Handbell Choir, and the Tabor College Community Chorale.
Admission is free.
The Christmas Festival, on Dec. 14, will include the Concert Choir, Symphonic Band, and the Handbell Choir, performing a variety of entertaining and inspirational holiday music.
The Symphonic Band will play Assurance, by John Ness Beck, arr. Clark; Jingle Bells Forever, by Pierpoint/Sousa, arr. Robert W. Smith; Variations on a Theme of Wondrous Love, by Michael Cox; and A Christmas Festival, by Leroy Anderson.
“We want to do things that are appealing and also, because of Tabor’s mission, we want it to be very Christ-centered,” Vogel said. Hence, the band opens with an arrangement of Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine. And yet Jingle Bells Forever has Sousa’s The Stars and Stripes Forever blended in. The band will give the concert a rousing beginning.”
With Dr. Richard Cantwell, Professor of Instrumental Music, on sabbatical, the Symphonic Band will be conducted by Paul Epp, a Tabor alum and former band director at Hillsboro High School.
“There are students in the Symphonic Band whose parents Paul directed in his high school band,” Vogel said.
The Concert Choir will sing Veni Emmanuel, arranged by Bradley Vogel; Bogoroditse Devo, by Sergei Rachmaninoff; O Magnum Mysterium, by Tomas Luis de Victoria; Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day, by Dale Grotenhuis; What Is This Lovely Fragrance? by Michael Larkin; and, _Good Christian Men, Rejoice,” arranged by Dan Forrest.
The Handbell Choir will play four numbers, including Carol of the Bells, Coventry Carol, and O Come, All Ye Faithful, arranged by handbell choir director Stephen Vincent, Adjunct Professor of Organ.
Tabor College Community Chorale will round out the concert series on Dec. 15, with a concert entitled, The Marvel of this Night.
The chorale is comprised of singers from the Marion County area and music students from the college who rehearse 90 minutes per week. The group, in its second year of existence, hopes that The Marvel of This Night includes better weather than last year, when the group’s inaugural holiday concert was canceled because of an ice storm.
The chorale program will be accompanied by Tabor students playing a variety of instruments, and includes four distinct themes, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Quiet Contemplation, and Hosanna in excelsis!
The Christmas Eve segment includes Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day, an English Carol, arranged by Howard Helvey; Before the Marvel of this Night, by Carl Schalk; and Still, Still, Still, an Austrian Carol, arranged by Norman Luboff.
The Christmas Day segment includes, He is Born, a French Carol, arranged by Jack Schrader; Noel Nouvelet, a French Carol, arranged by Donna Schultz; and Pat-a-pan, a Burgundian Air, arranged by Katherine Davis.
Quiet Contemplation includes, On This Still and Silent Night, by James Koerts; A Cradle Carol, arranged by Dan Forrest; and In the Bleak Midwinter, by Gustav Holst, arranged by Craig Courtney.
Hosanna in excelsis! includes Gloria in excelsis Deo, by Antonio Vivaldi, and Ding! Dong! Merrily on High, a French Carol, arranged by Howard Helvey.
“Most of the selections the audience will hear during The Marvel of This Night concert have outstanding accompaniments,” Vogel said. “Not only are the accompaniments themselves really rich, but the students who play the instruments are very talented performers.”
Tabor College Concert Choir
- Ashley Balzer, Inman, Kan.; Hanna Bishop, Hays, Kan.; Clarissa Berglund, Gettysburg, S.D.; Katie Chlumsky, Wichita, Kan.; Sarah Friesen, Guthrie, Okla.; Jordan Giffin, Valley Center, Kan.; Heidi Glanzer, Abilene, Kan.; Mary Goering, Newton, Kan.; Emily Heizelman, Buhler, Kan.; Carly Kroeker, Henderson, Neb.; Maria Loewen, Hillsboro, Kan.; Corina Neufeld, Denver, Colo.; Emily Schmidt, Bel Aire, Kan.; Megan Souter, Fairview, Okla.; Naomi Toews, Hesston, Kan.; Kelsey Unruh, Hillsboro, Kan.; Kayla Vix, Maize, Kan.; Danae Warkentin, Corn, Okla.; and Audrey Weinbrenner, Hillsboro, Kan.
- Emily Dick, Kingman, Kan.; Meghann Eblen, Leavenworth, Kan.; Jenny Gaskell, Horton, Kan.; Lisa Hall, McPherson, Kan.; Emily Hasty, Johnson, Kan.; Lauren Just, Hillsboro, Kan.; Jessica Kelly, Hillsboro, Kan.; Kirsten Krehbiel, Kingman, Kan.; Melissa Nickel, Ulysses, Kan.; Emily Olson, Newton, Kan.; Jenae Pauls, Inman, Kan.; Juli Richardson, Imperial, Neb.; Elissa Richert, Hillsboro, Kan.; Ashley Siler, Hays, Kan.; Heather Stepanek, Hillsboro, Kan.; Logan Stranghoner, Wichita, Kan.; Brianne Tucker, Wichita, Kan.; Julie Wiens, Fresno, Calif.; and Stephanie Wiens, Fresno, Calif.
- Ben Friesen, Guthrie, Okla.; Michael Suderman, Hillsboro, Kan.; Tyler Suderman, Hillsboro, Kan.; David Vogel, Hillsboro, Kan.; Brandon Voth, Lynden, Wash.; and Ian Wohlgemuth, Wichita, Kan.
- Darren Enns, Hillsboro, Kan.; Aaron Epp, Henderson, Neb.; Will Friesen, Meade, Kan.; Ben Heyen, Hillsboro, Kan.; Justin Moore, Hillsboro, Kan.; Aaron Stepanek, Hillsboro, Kan.; and Allen Yoder, Kingman, Kan.
Tabor College Symphonic Band
- Sarah Friesen, Guthrie, Okla.; Katherine Gerber, Wichita, Kan.; Melissa Just, De Soto, Kan.; Alyssa King, Wichita, Kan.; Jenae Pauls, Inman, Kan.; Amy Schmidt, Corn, Okla.; Emily Schmidt, Bel Aire, Kan.; Megan Souter, Fairview, Okla.; Kayla Tonne, Ashland, Kan.; and Stephanie Wiens, Fresno, Calif.
- Stephanie Wiens, Fresno, Calif.
- Corina Neufeld, Denver, Colo.
- Ashley Balzer, Inman, Kan.; Hanna Bishop, Hays, Kan.; Heather Deckert, Minot, N.D.; Emily Dick, Kingman, Kan.; Janae Rempel, Meade, Kan.; Mattie Vance, Concordia, Kan.; Brandon Voth, Lynden, Wash.; and Danae Warkentin, Corn, Okla.
Contra Bass Clarinet
- Elissa Richert, Hillsboro, Kan.
- Meghann Eblen, Leavenworth, Kan.
- Erin Dick, Corn, Okla.; Jordan Nuss, Wichita, Kan.; Allison Trollope, Kingman, Kan.; and Kelsey Unruh, Hillsboro, Kan.
- Ben Friesen, Guthrie, Okla.; and Breanna Wray, Campo, Colo.
- Eric Funk, Littleton, Colo.; Aaron Stepanek, Hillsboro, Kan.; Travis Unruh, Shafter, Calif.; and Allen Yoder, Kingman, Kan.
- Andrew Pankratz, Abilene, Kan.; and Alana Settle, Lyons, Kan.
- DaQuon Anderson, Ardmore, Okla.; Darren Enns, Hillsboro, Kan.; Aaron Epp, Henderson, Neb.; Jeff Harden, Ashland, Kan.; and David Vogel, Hillsboro, Kan.
- Andrew Corl, Abilene, Kan.
- Mitchell Friesen, Newton, Kan.; Lisa Hall, McPherson, Kan.; Joel McCoy, Olathe, Kan.; and Briana Willems, Sedgwick, Kan.
Tabor College Handbell Choir
- Emily Dick, Kingman, Kan.; Will Friesen, Meade, Kan.; Melissa Just, De Soto, Kan.; Emily Olson, Newton, Kan.; Crystal Prieb, Hesston, Kan.; and Janae Rempel, Meade, Kan.
Tabor College Community Chorale
(Asterick = Tabor College Students)
- Celia Gross, Hillsboro, Kan.; Ferne Hiebert, Hillsboro, Kan.; Ruby Hilt, Hillsboro, Kan.; *Allison Krehbiel, Hutchinson, Kan.; Debbie Miller, Hillsboro, Kan.; *Tracie Neufeld, Buhler, Kan.; Connie Omstead, Florence, Kan.; *Megan Souter, Fairview, Okla.; Lois Winter, Florence, Kan.; and Tammy Wintermote, Hillsboro, Kan.
- Aaron Phillips, Hillsboro, Kan.; Jim Regier, Hillsboro, Kan.; Gerald Wiens, Marion, Kan.; and Jan Wiens, Marion, Kan.
- *Elizabeth Cartney, Olathe, Kan.; *Mary Cornelsen, Norman, Okla.; Anita Hancock, Marion, Kan.; *Aleesha Hines, Newton, Kan.; *Andrea Kuntz, Abilene, Kan.; *Hattie Lee, Fowler, Kan.; Naomi Phillips, Hillsboro, Kan.; *Sarah Ratzlaff, Pottsville, Ark.; Kaylene Unruh, Hillsboro, Kan.; and *Mattie Vance, Concordia, Kan.
- Caleb Abbott, Marion, Kan.; Jona Baltzer, Hillsboro, Kan.; Dwight Dirks, Hillsboro, Kan.; *Ben Hlad, Sylvan Grove, Kan.; Charles Priddy, Hillsboro, Kan.; Michael Ryan, Hillsboro, Kan.; and Stephen Vincent, Hillsboro, Kan.
- Piano: Will Friesen, Meade, Kan.; Julie Wiens, Fresno, Calif.; and Stephanie Wiens, Fresno, Calif. Flute: Megan Souter, Fairview, Okla.; and Stephanie Wiens. Oboe: Corina Neufeld, Denver, Colo. Violin: Julie Wiens.
December 04, 2008
Categories: General News
WICHITA, Kan. – Six students from the Nursing Program at Tabor College School of Adult and Graduate Studies have been inducted into the Epsilon Gamma Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, the national honors society for nursing students.
Marissa Boese, Hutchinson; Ladean Kolb, Larned; Marlana Mills, Arkansas City; Carol Price, Wichita; Ruth Staats, Larned; and Dawn Wilson, Wichita, were honored for their academic achievements on Nov. 23 at Wichita State University. The event was a collaborative nursing scholarship initiative of Bethel College, Newman University, Southwestern College, Tabor College, and Wichita State University.
“The induction of these nursing scholars into nursing’s honor society signifies their professional commitment to ongoing excellence in service, scholarship, practice, and research to improve the health of humans around the world,” said Tona Leiker, Dean of the School for Adult and Graduate Studies and Chair of the Nursing Program. “The positive impact of Sigma Theta Tau International around the world is stellar and it is truly an honor to welcome these baccalaureate nursing students into the society.”
Boese also received the Iota Chi Excellence in Scholarship Award for the nursing student from Tabor College with the highest earned cumulative GPA. This monetary gift is given to one student at each at-large chapter nursing school to recognize excellence in nursing scholarship in honor of the now closed St. Mary of the Plains College Nursing Program and the funds gifted by the Iota Chi Chapter to the Epsilon Gamma Chapter at Large.
Nursing Student Marissa Boese, Hutchinson, received the Iota Chi Excellence in Scholarship Award, given to the Tabor College nursing student with the highest earned cumulative GPA. The honor was received Nov. 26, in Wichita, during Boese’s induction into the Epsilon Gamma Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, the national honors society for nursing students. (Courtesy Photo).
“Marissa’s academic achievement is to be commended as she continues to serve her patients with committed excellence while furthering her nursing education at Tabor College,” said Leiker, who currently serves as President-Elect of the chapter. Other chapter officers from Tabor include Susan Fry, Faculty Counselor, and Rebecca Rhone, Vice-President.
The Tabor College RN-BSN Nursing Program is designed for the registered nurse seeking a baccalaureate degree. It includes a comprehensive study of management, leadership, community health and nursing issues and trends. One unique feature is a business course focusing on understanding how individuals and groups function in organizations and on approaches to enhance organizational effectiveness.
The School of Adult and Graduate Studies is located in Reflection Ridge Plaza, at 7348 W. 21st Street, Suite 117, in Wichita. For more information visit, www.tabor.edu/adult-graduate, or call 1-800-546-8616.
November 20, 2008
Categories: General News
Harpist Judy Mace will perform holiday music and Caryl Wiebe and Wilmer Thiessen will share memories during a program entitled “Music and Memories,” at the “60+” Learning in Retirement Program, at 9:45 a.m. Monday, Dec. 1, in the Wohlgemuth Music Education Center at Tabor College.
Participants will enjoy food and fellowship at decorated tables during this Annual Christmas Coffee. Everyone is encouraged to bring a plate of finger-food to share on the buffet. Tabor President Jules Glanzer will open this last session of the fall semester with greetings and an update on campus happenings.
“Judy Mace, of Newton, Kan., will remind us of the angels as she performs seasonal selections on the harp,” said Connie Isaac, Learning in Retirement Coordinator. “Learning in Retirement members Wilmer Thiessen and Caryl Wiebe of Hillsboro will be sharing memories from Christmas Past.”
The public is welcome to attend all Learning in Retirement programs. Fees are $3 per session or $15 per semester ($28 per couple). Registration and discount cards for lunch in the cafeteria will be available at the door during the half hour before the meeting. For more information, contact Connie Isaac, coordinator at 620-947-3121, 947-5964, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 17, 2008
Categories: General News
On a cool and breezy Saturday afternoon, and with a thin cloud of diesel smoke wafting through the air, Tabor College and Unified School District 410 broke ground for a jointly-funded facility for football, soccer, and track and field.
The Bluejays came up short in their last game of the season on Nov. 15, but the final score could not prevent players, fans and other members of the Hillsboro community from celebrating a huge victory at Reimer Field—the Anticipation Party and Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new Joel Wiens Stadium.
The football players pulled down the goalposts to make room for new ones. And the old field was plowed because, if everything goes according to schedule, local athletes will be playing on a new field made of artificial turf next fall.
Tabor College played its last game on the old Reimer Field on Saturday against Kansas Wesleyan University. After the game, the tractor lurking in the background plowed up a portion of the field during groundbreaking ceremony for the new Joel Wiens stadium. If all goes according to plan, the stadium will be ready for football season next fall.
In addition to free admission for the entire community, fans received commemorative cups and footballs and other items from the campus bookstore. Adding to the sweetness of the brisk and sunny afternoon, there was cotton candy and cupcakes for everyone.
“The Anticipation Party and Groundbreaking Ceremony was a tribute to the character of the project,” said Tabor College President Jules Glanzer. “You have two major entities of the community combining their resources and expertise to create a facility to benefit the entire community and that will bring new business to the Hillsboro community.”
Rosy-cheeked Trudy Hein, 3, daughter of Kerry and Rachel Hein, of Hillsboro, enjoys free cotton candy during the Anticipation Party and Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new stadium.
The stadium project is a joint venture between Tabor College and USD 410. At halftime, representatives from the two entities praised the project and the unique partnership that is making the new stadium a reality.
“A great number of Tabor College athletes have competed on this football field and track over the years, but the time has come for a change,” said Rusty Allen, Vice President for Athletics. “We believe this project will enhance not only athletic programs for the high school and the college, but also the entire community.”
In addition to the new football field, the new project will include a new synthetic track and a throwing area for field events; new bleachers on the home side, a new press box, and a new concession stand and restroom facilities. In addition, a new team locker room will be constructed at the north end of the stadium.
Wearing a Hillsboro Trojans cap and a Tabor Bluejays sweatshirt, Hillsboro High School principal Max Heinrichs, an alum of both schools, said the new facility would rival any facility anywhere.
“It’s a great day for both of our learning organizations, a defining moment,” Heinrichs said. “I would like to thank the USD 410 community and the Tabor College communities for making this dream a reality. Go Trojans and go Bluejays!”
Rod Koons, president of the USD 410 Board of Education, said the new stadium project exemplifies the best of community teamwork.
“As an acronym, the word team stands for Together Everyone Accomplishes More, and that’s what this project is about,” Koons said. “It’s not a Tabor project; it’s not a USD 410 project. It is a joint, community project. And because we’re working together, we can create a facility that will be the envy of everyone in the area.”
Del Reimer, former athletic director and coach at Tabor College, for whom the current stadium, Reimer Field, is named, said it was “high time” for a stadium upgrade.
Former coach and athletic director Del Reimer addresses the crowd during the halftime portion of the Anticipation Party and Groundbreaking Ceremony held Saturday at Tabor College. In the background, from left, are Dr. Craig Ratzlaff, Max Heinrichs, Rod Koons, and Rusty Allen.
“In 1961, this field was dedicated, and after 47 years of activities on this field, we are now embarking on an upgrade which I think is very good,” Reimer said. “I want to commend the USD 410 and the college for working together on this project. I’m excited and looking forward to this. Maybe the next time I come out, it will be on that new field!”
As a Hillsboro High school graduate and former standout football player at Tabor College, Dr. Craig Ratzlaff embodies the unique partnership between the local public school district and the college.
In a moving testimony, Ratzlaff, a member of the Tabor College Board of Directors who is leading the fund-raising effort for the stadium project, told the story of a teammate whose life was forever changed by his participation in the Bluejay football program.
“Twenty-six years ago a friend of mine came to Tabor to play football,” said Ratzlaff, who now lives in Wichita. “He came from South Florida. He wasn’t churched. He didn’t know Christ. He didn’t know anything about Kansas. He called me the other day and said, ‘You know, I came here to participate in football, but it was Christ who changed my life.’”
Ratzlaff asked the crowd during the halftime presentation to consider the eternal impact of a new athletics facility.
“As we look around, at the old wooden boards of the bleachers, at the rusty iron, and at the scoreboard that has never changed, and at the fallen down press box, we can look back with some thanks at some great memories,” Ratzlaff said. “But I invite you also to look forward, to what lives could be changed on a new field.”
Flanked by the Tabor Bluejay mascot and cheerleader Annie Gramza (Olathe, Kan.) are speakers during the halftime portion of the Anticipation Party and Groundbreaking Ceremony. From left, Del Reimer, Rod Koons, Max Heinrichs, Rusty Allen, and Dr. Craig Ratzlaff.
In closing the halftime ceremony, Allen gave thanks to God, praying, “We’re so thankful for this opportunity to celebrate, looking to the future and honoring the past. We’re thankful for the many high school and college athletes who have had an opportunity to compete on this facility and we look forward to something new. We pray that as we work hard to see it come to fruition, that you will give us a lot of wisdom and grace to make decisions and use what you’re going to provide for your glory and honor.”
President Glanzer knew the actual groundbreaking ceremony needed to be something special, which meant that the old golden shovel routine would never do. What this groundbreaking needed, thought Glanzer who grew up on a South Dakota farm, was a tractor! Preferably, a tractor big enough to make a statement about the relative importance of the project at hand.
Enter The Green Giant: a mammoth eight-wheeled John Deere Model 9220, owned by USD 410 board member Dale Klassen of rural Hillsboro, and driven for the occasion by his father, Lloyd.
When the big moment came after the game, Klassen fired up the tractor’s 325 horsepower turbo diesel engine, and the 32,934-pound machine rumbled down the length of the field on wheels standing over six feet high.
The stadium groundbreaking was performed by a mammoth eight-wheeled John Deere Model 9220, owned by Dale Klassen of rural Hillsboro, and driven for the occasion by his father, Lloyd.
It rolled into the north end zone and turned back 180-degrees, to face south. Dozens of discs, about the size of manhole covers, hovered over the goal line. As the Tabor pep band played, the tractor revved its engine and dropped its plow. In a matter of seconds, dozens of discs weighing several tons had cut deep gashes in the field; a single swath as wide as the hash marks and about 20 yards long.
Schoolboys wearing Tabor football sweatshirts grabbed pieces of the turned-up sod and tossed them into the air. A grown man who had played on the field took home a chunk of sod as a souvenir of his glory days.
After the hoopla, the goalpost was a twisted wreck, the field was irreparably gashed between the hash marks, and President Glanzer was all smiles.
“It really felt good to see that tractor drive on there and turn the sod!” Glanzer said.
Glanzer pointed out that Tabor had scored the last touchdown ever to be scored on old Reimer Field. The new field will retain the name Reimer Field, and the new facility will be named Joel Wiens Stadium. Wiens, a Wyoming businessman, gave the college $1.22 million in 2006, the largest donation in the school’s history.
“It was neat to see the players tear the goalpost down,” Glanzer added. “Not every team gets to do something like that.”
-Story and Photos by Grant Overstake, Tabor College