BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany community gathered September 4 for the dedication of the new Lynn Frantz Adkins Plaza, named in honor of the founder of the College’s social work program. President Scott D. Miller presented remarks.
“It is my pleasure to voice the College’s deepest appreciation for the life of one who gave – and continues to give, even after her death in April of last year—so much to the life of Bethany,” Miller stated. “The naming of this plaza in her honor is a poignant and fitting recognition of Dr. Adkins’ tireless work as an educator, social worker and advocate for disadvantaged people in every aspect of her life.”
Located between Cramblet Hall and Phillips Hall on Bethany’s campus, a plaque within the plaza reads, “In Memory of Lynn Frantz Adkins, Ph.D. An educator, social worker and a true advocate for all disadvantaged people.”
From 1978-2007 Adkins taught courses in women’s studies, sociology and social work and served as dean of academic services and professor of education and social work. She also served as director of the Teacher Preparation Program and Social Work and Education.
Adkins enjoyed an active career in higher education after receiving her undergraduate degree in elementary education from Marshall University, a master’s in social work from West Virginia University and a Ph.D. in education from the University of Pittsburgh. She went on to earn post-doctorate degrees in women’s studies from the University of Pittsburgh and one in sociology from the London School of Economics.
Adkins began her career at North Carolina State, serving as field coordinator of sociology and social work for five years. She also taught at the University of Pittsburgh as a professor in the School of Social Work and served as the coordinator of the undergraduate Child Welfare Training Program for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The majority of her career, however, was spent at Bethany.
In addition to her full teaching career, Adkins served as a member of professional organizations such as the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors, the West Virginia chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, the Northern Panhandle Head Start and the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education. She helped found and was president of the Clara Welty Hospice in Wheeling, W.Va., now called Valley Hospice.
She was also an Elder Emeritus and a longtime member of Bethany Memorial Church, Disciples of Christ.
Believing reading is the foundation of education, Adkins had a particular enthusiasm for providing reading opportunities for children. Through her generosity, as well as her husband’s – Tom Lyon – Bethany established the Grace Ryland and William Henry Robinson Children’s Library, named after her grandchildren.
“We are honored to be a part of recognizing the lasting legacy of one who gave so much of herself for others, including Bethany College, and whose work and life will never be forgotten,” Miller concluded. “Her support will continue to encourage the curiosity and education of generations of learners to come.”
Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.