BETHANY, W.Va. — Bethany College students joined in a time-honored tradition of signing the book of matriculation, officially becoming students and marking the start of the 2013-14 academic year Saturday, Aug. 24.
After following the tradition of walking through the historic Oglebay Gates, students took their seats in the Dr. Fred H. Tilock Amphitheatre at the Pennington Quadrangle, joining President Dr. Scott D. Miller, faculty and staff.
“One of the greatest privileges I have as president of Bethany College is this: welcoming new students to our campus, because your introduction to college sets the tone for the next four years of your life,” Miller said.
Remembering his first day away at college, Miller recalled his own feelings of nervousness at the journey that was before him.
“You may have felt that anxiety on your way to Bethany, along the winding road that leads you to here to our campus, or those feelings may come when you’re all settled into your dorm room, anxiously awaiting your first day of classes,” Miller said.
“But this quote by the late TV writer Andy Rooney may put you at ease: ‘Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occur while you're climbing it.’”
Miller told students of the opportunities at Bethany, including a 13:1 student-faculty ratio. “Bethany is small enough for all of you – and your professors – to know each other by name,” Miller said.
However, Miller said, Bethany is more than just a small college in a small town. “It’s close to the cultural, recreational and internship resources of metropolitan Pittsburgh and other cities, and it also offers you an array of on-campus programs and activities,” he said.
After matriculation, students do not walk through the Oglebay Gates again until graduation, a tradition Miller noted in closing.
“I’ll see you back here in 2017 – where once again, you’ll follow the thousands before you,” Miller said, “taking those steps through the Oglebay Gates –signifying the end of a chapter that starts today.
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.