Challenges, it’s often been said, are really opportunities
in disguise. In fact, it is the many opportunities awaiting Bethany
College at this crossroads in its distinguished history that attracted
Annie and me back to this region of our origins after ten memorable
years in Delaware. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for a warm
homecoming. We are simply delighted to be back and living in the historic
Pendleton Heights president’s home, and we look forward to becoming
an integral part of this remarkable community.
Today, Bethany College –a small college of national distinction
and the state’s oldest private college—is a place of tremendous
possibility and potential, a place where one can really have an impact.
Since my days as an undergraduate at West Virginia Wesleyan College,
I have admired Bethany as a historic place of unparalleled beauty
and academic distinction. Never did I dream in those days, however,
that my family and I would join the list of College presidents who
have lived in the newly renovated Pendleton Heights for the past 150
years. It’s inspiring to be a part of this long and proud tradition.
Among others who have come before, distinguished alumni and programs
complement our beautiful campus, and former students who have gone
on to success have been generous in creating opportunities for those
who follow. In January of this year, for example, the Bethany College
endowment grew by $1.5 million in a bequest from the late Frederick
H. Tilock, MD, a retired physician. These are some of the strengths
that attracted me to the College when, in fall 2007, I came to explore
the presidency. We recently initiated The Old Main Journal as a weekly
e-news service to share the many timely, exciting happenings of the
people of Bethany College. This spring, an expanded and revamped Bethany
Bulletin will showcase some of these successes and positive outcomes.
Watch for it this spring and meanwhile, these monthly letters will
keep you engaged in the gathering momentum.
Just one month into the office as I write this, it’s clear
that while I have much to learn and there is much to do, there is
virtually no limit to what we can accomplish with a shared mission—by
working together. The difference between dreams and their realization,
however, is strategic planning and goals. A recently completed Institutional
Review will provide the framework as we progress. You will be hearing
more about this as I meet and talk with many of you in the weeks ahead.
In my 17 years as a college president, I’ve learned that synergistic
partnerships are key to advancing together. So, as we get to know
one another, I’ll be soliciting your ideas for mutually beneficial
relationships that will be a win-win for the College and the region.
There is tremendous energy in likeminded people and organizations
working together for the common good—the total is definitely
greater than the sum of its parts. We have begun by joining the InterAmerican
Consortium, an organization that will increase foreign exchange opportunities
for students, faculty and staff. In addition, the College will host
the prestigious West Virginia Governors Honors Academy (GHA) for the
next three summers—a magnificent opportunity to showcase Bethany
College and all it offers for top students from every one of the state’s
A Chinese proverb declares, “People seek a challenge just
as fire seeks a flame.” I am energized by the opportunity, possibility
and challenge that characterize Bethany College today, and as you,
friends, alumni, faculty and staff become increasingly engaged, I’m
convinced that we can transform possibilities into realities.
Thus, vision, planning and synergy—these are some key words
that you’ll be hearing as we move forward together. I invite
your energy, your enthusiasm, your investment of time, talents and
treasure—and yes, your sense of possibility as we move forward
Scott D. Miller, Ph.D.
President of the College
To see Dr. Miller's biography:
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