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Indiana College Plays National Anthem for First Time at Sporting Event

March 23: Goshen College students, left to right, Taylor TenHarmsel, Sean Doering, and Nate West Jr., painted their bodies to represent an American flag for the Goshen College baseball game in Goshen, Ind.

March 23: Goshen College students, left to right, Taylor TenHarmsel, Sean Doering, and Nate West Jr., painted their bodies to represent an American flag for the Goshen College baseball game in Goshen, Ind.  (AP)

GOSHEN, Ind. -- A small Indiana college steeped in pacifist traditions has played the national anthem at a sports event for the first time.

Fans in packed stands listened quietly Tuesday as an instrumental version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" played before the start of a baseball doubleheader between Goshen College and Siena Heights University. There were no protests.

The 116-year-old college had never played the anthem because of concerns that its images of war conflicted with its pacifist beliefs rooted in the Mennonite faith.

Goshen President Jim Brenneman says the college changed its policy to make students and visitors outside the faith feel more welcome. The decision has roiled some students and alumni, and the school will review the practice after a year.