Bethany President Talks with Prospective Students About History, Tradition and Opportunity

GWday.jpgBETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College offers students the best of all possible worlds, President Scott D. Miller told prospective students and their parents who filled Commencement Hall Saturday morning for Green and White Day.

“We offer a  beautiful, historic campus in a historic small-town setting just 60 minutes from Pittsburgh. We can promise you a variety of strong academic programs and diverse opportunities in athletics, extracurricular programs, community service and other leadership opportunities,” he said.

The campus visitation was the first of three such events offered in the fall and winter to showcase the College’s people, facilities and programs.  Another Green & White Day is scheduled for November 1.

The heart of Bethany’s excellence is the more than 30 undergraduate majors and a Master of Arts in Teaching--strong programs that prepare students to become leaders in professions that will be increasing in demand and societal importance this century, Dr. Miller noted. The College’s relationship with nationally prominent institutions and organizations also provides students with unique internship opportunities and unparalleled preparation for post-graduate work and successful careers.

“Some of our most popular majors are psychology, communications and media arts, business and economics, and education.  All programs are grounded in the liberal arts—the cornerstone of Bethany’s mission,” Dr. Miller noted.

To expand upon global awareness and gain personal experience with other cultures, students have the opportunity to travel for service learning or to study abroad, he said, as part of the “Bethany Plan” for student success. He said that Bethany partners with students for a comprehensive residential and learning experience. “The Bethany Plan is that partnership that sets us apart.”

He stressed the importance of considering value, not simply advertised tuition cost, when choosing a college.

“There are several ways of looking at value in higher education,” Dr. Miller said. “One is the length of time needed to earn a degree; the nationwide average is more than five years and rising.  At small colleges such as Bethany, however, most students complete their degrees within four years.  We are proud that students come here, stay here, graduate from here and stay involved in this college for a lifetime!” 

He added that Bethany offers a very competitive financial aid package, including scholarships to make college affordable for students and their families. More than $9 million in institutionally funded financial aid is awarded each year. “As the national ratings point out, we are a ‘Best Buy,’” Dr. Miller said.

A recent national feature in The Chronicle of Higher Education profiled Bethany’s commitment to student-centeredness, reflecting the College’s initiatives during the past seven years to serving the changing needs and expectations of today’s college students. U.S. News and World Report also recently named Bethany College to its top-ten list of schools that produce alumni who attend graduate school within a year of graduation, he said.  

“Bethany offers students an edge,” Dr. Miller said, “including an exciting NCAA Division III intercollegiate athletics program, an equestrian center at beautiful Oglebay Resort & Conference Center, a strong club sports and intramural tradition, and an exceptionally active campus community including fraternities and sororities, honoraries, leadership organizations and more.” 

Eight to 12 students per semester take part in the College’s unique student-led $1.5 million McCann Student Investment Fund, which provides business students with an opportunity to learn the investment field “hands on.” “These students and our Senior Fellows were the guests of Dr. Robert McCann, a 1980 Bethany grad and CEO for the Americas of world financial institution UBS, at a closed-door presentation by former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush,” Dr. Miller said, outlining other Bethany highlights that give students a special advantage:

  • Campus Improvements: Over the last seven years the College has invested significantly in physical improvements to be more responsive to student expectations, including the addition of new suite-style student housing, expanded athletic and fitness facilities and new student-life space. 
  • Service Learning: Service learning and community outreach are key elements of The Bethany Plan, reflecting a campus-wide commitment to voluntary service.    
  • Greek Life: Greek organizations include eight national fraternities and sororities. Over 35 percent of Bethany students are members of Greek organizations.
  • Intercollegiate Athletics: The College’s highly competitive NCAA Division III athletic program fields 22 teams and an equestrian club team – the largest number of sports on any college campus in the state.  Over 30 percent of the residential population competes in one of these programs.  
  • Dual-Degree Programs:  As a national liberal arts college, the only such college in West Virginia, Bethany has expanded educational partnerships with prominent national universities. The College offers collaborative undergraduate/graduate opportunities with Columbia University, Duquesne University, Case Western Reserve University and Carnegie Mellon University as well as a unique collaborative in digital communications with the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.  Bethany’s innovative partnerships with some of the top institutions in America have significantly expanded student opportunity.
  • Globalization: This spring a new agreement with Webster University was signed, opening study-abroad possibilities for students through Webster’s programs in 11 countries around the world.  The Webster program, coupled with other study-abroad initiatives, brings over 75 new opportunities to Bethany’s international portfolio.

More information about Bethany programs is available by contacting Mollie Cecere, Director of Enrollment, at 304-829-7591 or by emailing her MCecere@bethanywv.edu.