Bennett, Hobgood and Arnold to Receive Honorary Degrees

BETHANY, W.Va. -- Bethany President Dr. G.T. "Buck" Smith has announced that Tulane University's Professor of Cell and Microbiology, Dr. Joan Wennstrom Bennett, will speak at Bethany College's 161st Commencement on May 7. Her address will be "Genes, Gender and Generalities." Weather permitting, Commencement exercises will be held on the Quadrangle of Old Main at 10 a.m.

Rev. Dr. W. Chris Hobgood, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) will speak at the College's Baccalaureate service. His sermon is titled "Choosing a Diet." The Baccalaureate service is planned for 8 p.m. May 6 in Commencement Hall.

Bennett received her Bachelor of Science degrees in biology and history from Upsala College and her Masters of Science and Ph.D. in botany from the University of Chicago. Bennett will be receiving an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Bethany College.

In 1971, Bennett joined the faculty of Tulane University where she was the first women hired in a tenure track position in the biology department. During her years at Tulane, she has taught genetics, molecular genetics, human reproduction and bioethics.

Bennett is the recipient of the Mortarboard Award for Excellence in Teaching (1975), Honors Professor of the Year (1991), and the Carski Teaching Award of the American Society of Microbiology (2001). Her laboratory research in fungal genetics has led to significant contribution in biotechnology and public policy.

Active at the national level, Bennett is past president of both the American Society for Microbiology and the Society for Industrial Microbiology and is currently Chair Elect of the Biology Division of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Bennett has authored five books on fungal molecular biology, has been editor of numerous scientific journals and is the author of more than 120 research articles. At Tulane, she serves as Director of the Environmental Studies program and remains a passionate supporter of the liberal arts and involvement of women in science.

Hobgood will be receiving an Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Bethany College. He attended the University of Kentucky on a football grant and Transylvania University on a vocal grant. He earned his Master of Divinity from Lexington Theological Seminary, a master's equivalency from the George Washington University and his Doctor of Ministry from Lancaster Theological Seminary.

Hobgood pastured congregations in Lexington, Ky., Charlestown, Ind., and Alexandria, Va., where he served the First Christian Church for 20 years. He went on to serve as regional minister of Arkansas (1985-1994) and the Capital Area (1994-2002).

A number of leadership positions both ecumenically and within the general church have been held by Hobgood including chairing the boards of three general units and serving the National Council of Churches as a Disciples representative to the Ecumenical Partnership Steering Committee and to the United Church of Christ's Executive Council and General Synod.

Hobgood was a core trainer for the Anti-Racism/Pro-Reconciliation initiative, chair of the Economic and Social Justice Commission of the Interfaith Conference of Washington, D.C., and director of Disciples Home Missions' Center for Public Witness. Since 1986, he has been a field consultant for the Alban Institute, an ecumenical, interfaith organization that provides educational resources and consulting services for clergy and congregations.

Arnold, a 1957 graduate of Bethany, is receiving an Honorary Doctor of Science degree. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Mathematics and received his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester in 1961.

Arnold, a chemist, who was a professor at the University of Northern Ontario, received the Izaak Walton Killam Research Professorship and the Alexander McLeod Chair of Chemistry at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia. He is Professor Emeritus at Dalhousie University.

He is an internationally recognized leader in the field of organic photochemistry and has done distinguished research in free radical chemistry. His research has resulted in over 120 publications.

Arnold's honors include an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship (1971-1973), a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship (1980-1981), Alfred Bader Award in Organic Chemistry (1995), and an Alumni Distinction Award at Bethany in 2001.

Arnold has served on editorial boards of numerous journals and committees including the Chemistry Grant Selection Committee (1978-1981) and the Grant and Scholarship Committee (1983-1986). He is President of the Inter-American Photochemical Society, Director of Organic Chemistry of the Canadian Society of Chemistry and is an active participant in conferences as an organizer, lecturer, and panelist.