We regret to announce the retirement of James C. Juhnke from editorial duties for Mennonite Life as of this issue. Jim's first article appeared in the July 1961 issue (47 years ago), about his PAX service in Europe. Since then, he taught U. S. history at Bethel for many years, and was co-editor of Mennonite Life with Robert S. Kreider March 1975-June 1980, editor from December 1989-June 1995, co-editor again September 1996 to the present, including through the transition to web-based publication in 1999-2000. His enthusiastic and dedicated pursuit of articles, fresh thinking, his extensive network of contacts and friendships in Mennonite studies, and constant encouragement to all to write has helped to increase the depth and range of the archive on Mennonite existence. We wish Jim many blessings in the various Mennonite history projects he is pursuing in retirement.
In this issue
The summer issue opens with an interview with some of the most successful alumni of Bethel College as students of color during the late 1960s.
Although there were Native American students at Bethel from its earliest years, the first known African-American student was H. J. Church in 1920, whose "permanent academic record" card has the notation "(colored)." Such notations weren't made consistently, and students were not given the opportunity to self-identify racial categories until much later. Thus it has been difficult to acquire even a basic outline of the histories of African-Americans at Bethel.
In Ardie Goering's interview with the four black graduates of the class of 1969, Bill Price, George Rogers, Earl White, and the late Mike Burnett reflect on the elements that brought them to Bethel and helped to make them "friends for life." Their stories illuminate both the good intentions and the broken promises of integration on a Mennonite college campus.