While most Americans mark Thanksgiving as the start of the holiday season, for those of us who work from the academic calendar, it signals the closing days of the fall semester. For almost everyone, however, this is a period of reflection and a time of sharing with family and friends. This season will be especially significant for Annie and me, as we celebrate our fifth Christmas at Bethany.
Bethanians share a long legacy of giving back, a tradition that continues undiminished to this day as we translate the spirit of our founders into meeting contemporary needs. In fact, recognizing Bethany’s commitment to volunteering, service learning and civic engagement, the Corporation for National and Community Service recently named the College to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
In addition, Bethany is among over 250 institutions nationwide responding to President Obama’s invitation to higher education to create awareness of other faiths through campus service. Our Service Learning Center has also sponsored numerous initiatives, including the recently launched “Homefront Comfort” program and annual Day of Service which we will mark in January 2012.
Among the many blessings at Bethany for which we are thankful this holiday season and throughout the year, we can cite…
- Our visionary founders whose wisdom and perseverance created a firm foundation for our ongoing success;
- A gifted and energetic Board of Trustees who give unhesitatingly of their time, talent and treasure;
- A loyal and hard-working faculty and staff who go far beyond the expected in inspiring, motivating and mentoring students while supporting our entire leadership team;
- Accomplished students, who excel in the classroom, on the courts and playing fields and in their communities; each year we continue to welcome an increasingly well-prepared class of first-year students who demonstrate great promise.
During the holiday season, we also consider giving back through our giving to Bethany. It is our deserving students who most benefit from your gifts to The Bethany Fund. If you’ve already made your gift this year, we thank you. If not, I invite you to participate now by clicking on our website:
Just as your experience at Bethany College was enriched by the support of those who have gone before you, you now have the opportunity to enhance the experience of current and future students. Bethany College is committed to keeping a private, liberal arts education affordable for all who can benefit from it—an effort that by itself has also brought us national recognition. We are especially proud that the College’s financial aid programs have resulted in “Best Buy” rankings from both Forbes and Barron’s, and also that Bethany students placed 7th nationally in lowest student debt, according to a recent U.S. News and World Report listing.
As you know, however, tuition does not begin to cover the full cost of a Bethany education and the lifelong benefits it offers. Gifts to The Bethany Fund expand scholarship and financial aid offerings, upgrade computer and lab equipment, strengthen the library and provide access to worldwide electronic technology. Your gift will help to ensure that the College remains affordable and accessible for our young scholars who have chosen Bethany for some of the most important years of their lives.
Although our roots as a College are in the Judeo-Christian tradition, all faiths celebrate this time of year as the days imperceptibly begin to lengthen and signal a season of hope and light. May this season be one of joy, thanksgiving and light for you and yours.
As Bethany College begins the official start of the holiday season, we invite you tonight (December 1) to attend our Holiday Concert at 7:30 p.m. at Bethany Memorial Church.