BETHANY, W.Va. — Valedictorian Gerhard Schultze of Wheeling, West Virginia, who completed his college career as a double major with perfect GPA, was recognized during Bethany College’s 2015 Commencement ceremony on May 16. Dr. Katrina L. D'Aquin, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty, presented Schultze with the College’s Oreon E. Scott Award, given annually to the senior graduating with the highest academic standing.
Gerhard Schultze majored in Religious Studies and also a self-designed interdisciplinary Germanic History and Cultural Studies major. He earned Distinction on both sets of his Comprehensive Exams – written and oral assessments required for graduation from Bethany College. The honor of Distinction is reserved for those who perform unusually well and show mastery of their field of study.
Schultze was recently recognized during the College’s Honors Day Convocation on April 16, when he received the Pearl Mahaffey Prize, awarded to the outstanding senior majoring in Languages. During the 2014 Honors Day Convocation, Schultze received the John R. Taylor Award. The award is presented to a student who demonstrates exceptional scholastic achievement, service to the College in terms of cross-disciplinary extracurricular activity, and a deep understanding of core liberal arts values.
Other awards Schultze has received include the Leonora Balla Cayard Prize in German, the Shirley Morris Memorial Award for modern foreign language and the Osborne Booth Prize in religious studies.
He has made repeated appearances on the President's List, and is a member of several honor societies, including Gamma Sigma Kappa, Theta Alpha Kappa, Sigma Delta Pi and Delta Phi Alpha.
“Perhaps it is all of these Greek letters, or more likely, it's Gerhard's love of languages that spurred him to teach himself Greek,” D’Aquin said. “Of course, Gerhard is not known to shrink from a challenge.”
Schultze spent a semester abroad at Paedagogische Hochschule Heidelberg, an education university in Germany, having won the prestigious Baden-Wuerttemberg Scholarship to do so.
He has served as an apprentice teacher in German, Spanish and Hebrew classes, and he has held leadership positions in the Religion, Philosophy and German clubs. He helped plan many of the German Club’s short-term study trips to various locations in the German-speaking world, and he organized Speak Out Day, an annual marathon of speaking foreign language on campus.
Schultze is the son of Gerald and Joyce Schultze.
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.