BETHANY, W.Va. — President of Ogden Newspapers, Inc. and Chairman of the Board of the Pittsburgh Pirates Robert Nutting spoke to Bethany College’s 2011 graduating class as part of the institution’s 171st Anniversary Commencement Weekend. Nutting delivered his remarks, “Your Most Valuable Gift: Time,” to Bethany’s 135 graduating seniors on May 14 in the Nutting Gymnasium of the Hummel Field House.
Recognizing the graduates’ wisdom in attending a college that seeks to develop the whole person, Nutting noted the lasting value of a liberal arts education in a quickly changing world. “You’ll be using technology that hasn’t been invented and probably will retire from a company that doesn’t even exist today,” he said, remarking that the skills they have developed at Bethany will become increasingly critical as they move forward in their careers.
Referring to the mind as a flame that must be fed and strengthened throughout their lives, even after leaving Bethany, he challenged the graduates to continue to “learn to think broadly, to challenge, to be curious and to use those tools that the faculty have nourished.”
Nutting closed with an affirmation that, for each graduate, there will be times when they have a sense that life is moving by quickly — and that they will need and seek a sense of permanence in the midst of change. “Let me suggest that for each of you that might be your experience at Bethany,” he concluded. “Remember your time here…the good and the bad. And when you need to believe that something of real importance can last forever, I hope you will think of this place . . . As you move forward to the many successes that you all will find, remember this place.”
Bethany Board of Trustees member Robert Nutting is the President and CEO of Ogden Newspapers, Inc., Chairman of the Board of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chairman of Seven Springs Mountain Resort. The Nutting family has a majority interest in the Pirates and owns both Ogden Newspapers and Seven Springs Resorts.
Nutting has a longstanding commitment to education, serving as Chairman of the Board of the Linsly School (Wheeling, W.Va.) as a board member of The Thacher School (Ojai, Calif.) and as past Chairman of the West Virginia Independent Colleges & Universities.
Nutting has also taken an active leadership role in many professional and charitable organizations. He was instrumental in the launch of the Pirates’ charitable arm, Pirates Charities, an organization dedicated to strengthening the Pittsburgh region, with special emphasis on supporting youth health, fitness and education. He was recently honored as “Light of the Valley” by the Wheeling YMCA for his contributions toward improving the lives of children and families in the Ohio Valley.
Nutting serves as a board member and Treasurer of the Newspaper Association of America and is a former President of the West Virginia Press Association. Nutting supports various environmental programs and is Vice-Chairman of the Nature Conservancy/West Virginia Chapter and the former Chapter President and current member of Trout Unlimited. In addition, Nutting serves on the Board of Directors at the Carnegie Natural History Museum in Pittsburgh.
Nutting lives in Wheeling, W. Va., with his wife Leslie and three daughters. He earned his B.A. in American History from Williams College in Massachusetts. He is a licensed commercial pilot and flight instructor, as well as an avid fisherman and skier.
Bethany College President Dr. Scott D. Miller also addressed the graduates. “After today, you will no longer be Bethany students. For the rest of your lives, you will be Bethany alumni, joining the more than 22,000 distinguished men and women whose many achievements and contributions speak well of their experiences at this small college of national distinction.”
He continued, “Your four years here . . . have been remarkable both here and around the world . . . Most important, you have achieved your education at a time when the idea of being ‘educated’ continues to be influenced by technology and the astonishing amount of information at our fingertips. Your commitment to lifelong learning has therefore never been more important. Our faculty members and administrators urge you to continue to challenge your mind as a way of nourishing your spirit.”
Miller concluded, “Tomorrow, you will enter the so-called ‘real world,’ pursuing employment or graduate studies. But today marks a time for you to indulge your dreams. The great African-American abolitionist and humanitarian Harriet Tubman, who escaped from slavery to serve the Union during the Civil War, reminds us, ‘Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.’”
The Rev. Dr. Todd Adams, Associate General Minister and Vice President for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), delivered remarks to the graduating seniors during the College’s Baccalaureate service on May 13. Rev. Adams was presented with an honorary Doctor of Divinity during the Commencement Ceremony.
Rev. Adams serves as the Associate General Minister and Vice President and Chief of Staff for the General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). His many responsibilities include working closely with the Disciples of Christ General Assembly, General Board, Disciples Mission Fund and Promotion, Treasury Services, Stewardship Ministries and Communication Ministries.
He is also the liaison to the Christian Church Foundation, Pension Fund, Church Extension, Wilshire Christian Church Foundation, and the National City Christian Church Foundation.
Rev. Adams has served as the Senior Minister of Memorial Drive Christian Church, Houston, Texas. He is a 1994 graduate of Chapman University, where he earned his degree in political science. He continued his studies at Phillips Theological Seminary, where he received his masters of divinity in 1997. Wesley Theological Seminary presented him with a doctor of ministry in stewardship and leadership in 2007.
Rev. Adams’ academic research has focused on the steward as a biblical image of leadership. His work has address critical issues regarding leadership in the church, concerns also developed during his time serving in a Lewis Fellowship that focused on pastoral and congregational leadership.
He also presents workshops for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) on a variety of topics, including non-profit governance, congregational leadership, congregational staff management and stewardship.