Senior Vice President

Sven de Jong serves as Senior Vice President, with duties including directing external affairs programs of the College, including the Center for Institutional Advancement which encompasses development, alumni & parent relations, communications & marketing, government relations, church relations and Historic Bethany.

A 1995 graduate of Bethany, he returned to his alma mater in 2005 to lead the external affairs functions of the College.   A native of Maryland, he earned a B.A. in International Economics and German and a minor in International Relations. While at Bethany he was recognized with The Francis O. Carfer Prize as the Outstanding Senior.   He earned his M.S. in Non-profit Management from Eastern University.

Prior to working at Bethany, Sven spent more than eight years in corporate financial services and served as Director of Major and Planned Gifts for West Liberty State College. For seven years he served as the Mayor of the Town of Bethany and was a member of the Bethany Volunteer Fire Department for fifteen years.  In 2012 Sven was named “40 under 40 - Generation Next in West Virginia” by the State Journal. He serves on the Board of Directors and Chair of the Development Committee of the Neighborhood Academy, a college-preparatory academy located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which focuses on breaking generational poverty by preparing youth for higher education.

He is married to Elizabeth Shelly de Jong ’91.

Sven can be contacted at (304) 829-7723 or at sdejong@bethanywv.edu

Director of Church Relations

Larry Grimes began work as Director of Church Relations in July 2009. Prior to that he taught English at Bethany College for nearly 40 years.

An ordained minister in the Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ), Larry serves as pastor of Community Christian Church in Beech Bottom, WV. He is a member of the Commission on the Ministry (DOC) in West Virginia and has lectured and preached in churches across the country.

Larry earned his B.A. in English from Bethany College, a B.D. from Yale Divinity School, and his PhD in literature and theology from Emory University. He is an internationally known Hemingway scholar, a published poet. The Division of Higher Education of the Christian Churches (DOC) selected him to receive the T.A. Abbot Award for Teaching Excellence.

He is a native of Russellville, Indiana. For the past 39 years he has lived in the same home in Bethany with his wife, Carol Duecker Grimes ’66. They were married in Bethany Memorial Church. Their daughter, Rebecca Gostlin, is a clinical counselor in Colorado.

Larry can be contacted at (304) 558-8213 or at lgrimes@bethanywv.edu


Director of Alumni & Parent Relations

Ashley Kanotz has had a connection with Bethany College for the past decade. She graduated magna cum laude from Bethany with a degree in history in 2006. She then went on to earn her master’s degree in 19th century American history from Duquesne University in 2008. She was a part of the first graduating class of Bethany’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) graduate program in 2012.

While at Bethany, Ashley was a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. She held positions as philanthropy chair and vice president. She has worked the past six years with Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village as a tour guide. She also does work with the town of Bethany in planning events for the community.

In her free time, Ashley enjoys participating in mud/fun runs and especially loves watching college basketball and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ashley can be reached at (304)829-7299 or at akanotz@bethanywv.edu.


Director of Planned Giving

On March 1, 2016, W. Darwin Collins retired after 44 years of salaried ministry. He accepted to serve in retirement as a consultant for planned giving with the Christian Church Foundation and as the Director of Planned Giving for Bethany College.

Prior to his retirement Darwin served as Vice President of the Christian Church Foundation for eight years. Rev. Collins came to the Foundation position after 14 years as the Regional Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Pennsylvania.  

Darwin received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1972. In 1974, he attained a Master of Arts degree from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and in 1976, from the same institution, Darwin received a Master of Divinity Degree. He attained a Doctor of Ministry degree at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in 2003. He was honored by Bethany College in 2002 with an honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree.

Darwin was ordained into the ministry on March 21, 1976, at Central Christian Church in Uniontown. He served that congregation for 22 years as a student minister, associate minister and for 16 years as Senior Minister. His years in Uniontown were marked by active service on the YMCA Board for 12 years, Fayette County Mental Health/Mental Retardation Board and as a volunteer radio host of a talk show for 18 years.

From 1977 until 1992, he was a member of the Uniontown YMCA Board of Directors. He served as president of that board from 1986 until 1992. During that time he was chairman of the New Building Committee of the First Phase of the new Uniontown Area YMCA.  This committee completed a $2.5 million construction project. During those years he directed two capital projects in the community of the first phase of a new Y for $2.5 million and a housing project for seniors valued at $1.8 million.

Additionally, Darwin has served on numerous boards and committees within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), including its General Board for nearly twenty years. He was elected as a member of the Board of Trustees for Bethany College in 2004.

Darwin is married to Rachel (Gerke) (Class of 75) and has two daughters, Dr. Elizabeth Rachel, 32, and Anna Lauren (Collins) Danley, 28.

Darwin can be reached at (304) 829-7723 or dcollins@bethanywv.edu.


Director of Advancement Services

Long-time College employee Shirley Kemp has been associated with Bethany for 45 years. Shirley’s smile, wit and calm are instrumental to the success of the advancement office. Prior to coming to institutional advancement, she served the admission office for ten years. She is the “keeper” of the records, responsible for gift entry and reporting as well as monitoring data input and pulling the many lists for the Bethany community.

Outside of the office, Shirley enjoys working with Special Olympics, loves to golf and is active in the Castleman’s Run United Methodist Church. Her loyal companion is her Brittany Spaniel, Abby. Shirley can be reached at (304) 829-7485 or skemp@bethanywv.edu.


Director of Communications

A 2001 graduate of Bethany College, Rebecca Rose returned to Bethany to work with the Media Relations office in 2005. She was named Director of Communications in April 2008. Rebecca graduated with a B.A. degree in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations.

She currently resides in Bethany with her husband Brian '98 who works in the Athletic Department as the Director of Athletics. Rebecca can be reached at (304) 829-7221 or rrose@bethanywv.edu.


Executive Assistant for Advancement

Ginni Walden, a life-long resident of the area, is pleased to return to the Center for Institutional Advancement.  She previously held positions in the Enrollment Office, the President’s Office and the Development Office.  She looks forward to helping the Institutional Advancement Staff reach goals necessary to advance the mission of the College and is eager to renew contact with alumni and friends.

Ginni has three sons and seven grandchildren, enjoys reading, gardening and spending time with the family. She is an active member of the Castleman Run United Methodist Church.  Ginni can be reached at 829-7723 or mwalden@bethanywv.edu.