BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College marked the start of the 2017-18 academic year on Thursday, August 24, with a formal matriculation convocation held on the school’s northern West Virginia campus.
The afternoon began with the Class of 2021 walking in a processional from Benedum Commons through the historic Oglebay Gates up the hill to Pennington Quadrangle in the heart of campus. This class will not walk through the Oglebay Gates together again until their graduation from Bethany.
Newly appointed Provost and Dean of Faculty Dr. Joe Lane led the procession of faculty and staff in the traditional ceremony that culminated in each new student signing the Book of Matriculation – a tradition that dates back to the late 1800s. Dr. Lane also gave the welcome address to the Class of 2021.
“This is the beginning of a very exciting academic journey. It is, if you will let it be, a transformative experience that will change your life,” said Lane.
He also detailed to the class five life lessons to remember – from the power of listening to working and collaborating together as colleagues.
“We have an incredibly talented and thoughtful faculty who deserve your respect and will teach you a great deal, but I can assure you that none among you can achieve all that you are capable of without the positive energy you will derive from your classmates,” continued Lane. “Together, I know you all will do great things, and I look forward to welcoming you back here as a Bethanian in May 2021.”
Darren Johnson, president of the student government association, also addressed the incoming freshman.
“The next four years will not be easy, but it is up to you to take the challenge of our founder Alexander Campbell. Liberate yourself from superstition, ignorance, the tyranny of others, and vulgar prejudices,” said Johnson.
This year’s incoming class includes students from 16 states and nine foreign countries. Among them are six presidential scholars, 21 Kalon leadership scholars, and six students in a new honors program.
Bethany College is 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.