Media coverage of Bethany’s May 2008 Commencement described
the winds buffeting the ceremony as “whipping” and “ripping.”
In fact, principal speaker and honorary degree recipient “Bud”
Selig, commissioner of major league baseball, recalled that he had
to hold onto his text “with both hands” to prevent its
being blown away. It occurs to me that these powerful gusts may be
a metaphor for the virtual whirlwind that Bethany will be undergoing
this fall as we move into a transformative capital campaign, my first
full academic year as your president and formal presidential installation
At the end of the last academic year, I met with our trustees at
the Mountainside Conference Center to plan for a vibrant future. We
outlined our vision for the College in the next five years, a Bethany
- is academically sound and true to its purpose of being a student-centered
national liberal arts college;
- is responsive to the marketplace, responding to best practices
to position the College as a leader among its peers;
- is respectful of tradition, yet mindful of future trends;
- is setting annual plans for operations and multi-year plans to
ensure a promising future;
- is growing revenues from all sources--endowment, tuition, unrestricted
gifts and auxiliary enterprises;
- is accounting for each and every dollar honestly and dispersing
these funds thriftily and in keeping with the mission and long-range
plan of the College;
- involves its multiple constituencies in the life of the College
in a meaningful way.
Just as we have excelled in educating our students to go forth to
serve and to lead, the College itself must become a leader among our
peer institutions in recruiting within a congested marketplace. Without
losing focus on our mission, the College – with the signing
of the agreement with West Virginia Northern Community College – has
already begun to assert itself as a proactive presence among state
colleges and universities in our market area. As we delve further
into new systems of delivery of our valued Bethany education, other
new initiatives will include “stack on” programs at community
colleges, “Semester in the City” programs and online classes.
Likewise, we need to further develop niche programs with major research
universities, public and independent colleges and proprietary schools
to position Bethany well within a 60 mile radius.
All of these initiatives are dependent upon simultaneously reviving
the operating budget, increasing our endowment to at least $100 million
and finding new sources of significant private funding and support.
In 1991, when I embarked on my first college presidency, at Lincoln
Memorial University in Tennessee, I told trustees that within five
years, I would be at a much better institution – at the same university.
At my first Board meeting as your president, I told Bethany trustees
the same thing. If we focus on and work diligently at these recommendations,
Bethany College in 2013 – five years hence – will be a stronger,
more dynamic and more effective College.
With the past as a prolog, and with all of you, we will fully realize
the potential of this fine small college of national distinction.
Scott D. Miller, Ph.D.
President of the College
To see Dr. Miller's biography:
If you wish to be removed from this mailing list please