Convocation Suprise

At the 1974 Fall Fest Convo, green ping pong balls were rained from the ceiling onto a music stand behind President Harold Schultz as he was introducing the speaker. It was Merle Good, Mennonite author who had just written “Happy as the Grass was Green.” The word “grass” made everyone snicker as the obvious reference to marijuana. But the perpetrators of the prank knew the President would have to introduce the author and the name of the book. When that point came, the center speaker screen on the ceiling opened up, and 30 green ping pong balls rained down, with the words written in sharpie pen, “Happy as the balls were green.” It was two full minutes before the laughter subsided. Shortly after, the book and subsequent movie name was changed to “Hazel’s People.”

-Brian Stucky

Editor’s discretion

In a chemistry class being taught by Professor Ron Rich, around 1953, several students arrived one morning to find that someone had written on the blackboard: “All classes will be dismissed today.” Knowing it to be a prank, they sat down and waited for the rest of the students to arrive.

One by one, others came in, looked at the board and sat down. Then one student decided to modify the  message on the board. He erased the “c” from “classes” and returned to his seat.

Soon everyone but the professor had arrived. Then Dr. Rich walked into the room and looked at the board. Noting that someone had already modified the message, he further edited it. He erased the “l” and walked out.

(submitted by Galen Tieszen, Wellington, Kan.)

Ad Building turns into toboggan run

Sometime during the weekend of Jan. 20-21, 2007, following a six-inch snowfall, Herman Bubbert reappeared on campus after a long absence. With the help of some students, he built a toboggan run on the Ad Building steps in time to welcome prospective students for an Admissions Visit Day Jan. 22. A photo of then-Bethel President Barry Bartel and now-retired Vice President for Academic Affairs John Sheriff sliding down the run (garbed in their dress shirts and ties) made the rounds of Mennonite publications and The Newton Kansan. Cardboard signposts nearby directed travelers to “Barry Bartel Bungalow,” “Patty Shelly Point,” “Convocation Cabins,” “Dale Schrag Slalom” and “Mt. Menno Simons.”