BETHANY, W.Va. — West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin will visit Bethany College on Thursday March 29, 2007. A special convocation will be held at 11:30 a.m. on the College campus to honor Governor Manchin. He will speak in historic Commencement Hall on the benefits of higher education in West Virginia. Prior to his speech, he will be presented with an honorary Doctorate of Laws degree.


After graduating from West Virginia University, Manchin became a successful businessman. He served as a member of the legislature for 14 years and earned a reputation of standing up for West Virginia by protecting veterans and senior citizens, improving schools and creating jobs. Manchin became West Virginia’s 34th Governor in January 2005.

As Governor, Manchin is committed to making possible affordable health care, reducing West Virginia's debt, creating good paying jobs and a flawless education system. Working with the legislature he has created the first comprehensive teacher pay package, reduced the food tax and instituted insurance reforms.

“Governor Manchin has served well the citizens of West Virginia and the cause of education,” noted President G.T. “Buck” Smith. “We were especially touched by the grace and dignity with which he responded to the Sago Mine tragedy last year. This is our chance to express appreciation and welcome him officially into the Bethany family.”

To receive an honorary degree from Bethany, candidates must be approved by the Faculty and the Board of Trustees and meet two of three criteria, which include distinguished contribution in his or her profession, distinguished contribution to the welfare of society and/or distinguished contribution to Bethany College.

Following the speeches of Wesley Clark and Paul O' Neil, Gov. Manchin is the third political leader to appear on campus this year.

For more information or reservations, please contact the Office of Student Services at 304-829-7631 or e-mail at