BETHANY, W.Va. – Dr. Gary H. Kappel, a history professor at Bethany College, has been named the recipient of The John R. Taylor Award in the Liberal Arts at the College, according to Bethany President Dr. Scott D. Miller.
Dr. Miller said the award is named in memory of John R. Taylor, ’44, Professor of English Emeritus, a legendary teacher who modeled in life Bethany’s finest liberal arts tradition and served his alma mater well as director of a distinctive, semester-long experience for Bethany students at Oxford University.
“The award is presented to a faculty member who demonstrates exceptional scholarly achievement; and a deep understanding of, and abiding commitment to, the core liberal arts values expressed in the Mission documents of Bethany College,” Dr. Miller said. “Those are, in the words of our founder, Alexander Campbell, ‘to liberate the individual from ignorance, superstition, vulgar prejudice, and the tyranny of others.’”
A Bethany alumnus, Dr. Kappel currently serves as the Perry E. and Aleece C. Gresham Chair in Humanities and Professor of History. He joined the Bethany faculty in 1983 after earning his master’s degree and doctorate from West Virginia University.
“Throughout his time with the College, he has been the self-professed ‘utility infielder and jack-of-all trades,’” Dr. Miller added. “A respected professor, he is devoted to the traditions that define our College.”
Dr. Kappel has served as Chair of the Department of History and Political Science, Interim Dean of Faculty, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Director of Institutional Effectiveness, and Chair of the Bethany College Reaffirmation of Accreditation Team.
Bethany, a small college of national distinction, is located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus. Bethany, the oldest degree granting institution in West Virginia, was founded in 1840 and traces its origins to the founding of Buffalo Seminary in 1818 at what was then Bethany, Virginia.