A Small College of National Distinction
A monthly communiqué from
Dr. Scott D. Miller
President of the College
If you would like to contact
please write him at:
110 Old Main
Bethany, WV 26032
Bethany Traditions Guide Future Journeys
There’s a rewarding, cyclical rhythm to living and learning on college campuses found in few other settings. This season brings a satisfying sense of closure as we complete another successful academic year. Honors Day is past, and Commencement Weekend is just around the corner. It's a time when many of us get a bit nostalgic as we reflect on the rich history of this inspiring 170- year- old college steeped in tradition, with some 130 graduates processing through Oglebay Gates to join more than 22,000 Bethany alumni throughout the nation and the world.
We’re proud of our history as a liberal arts college. Bethany is definitely doing something right. Of the more than 600 colleges founded in the “golden age,” just a relative handful survives today. A recent Michigan State University study states that the number of liberal arts colleges nationwide has declined from 212 in 1990 to just 137.
Bethany has succeeded by adapting our founders’ vision to contemporary challenges and needs.
Bethany alumni, regardless of their graduation year, are united not only by rich traditions that provide a sense of community and continuity, but also by strong outcomes displayed in the leadership roles they continue to play in their professions and communities. This year’s class exemplifies the academic rigor and excellence that characterize Bethany alumni throughout the generations.
We've recognized many deserving students and student organizations with well-earned academic and leadership awards. This year, Alpha Xi Delta was honored with the Anna Ruth Bourne Award, presented each semester to the sorority with the highest cumulative grade point average, while Beta Theta Pi received the W. Kirk Woolery Award for academic excellence among social fraternities. Bethany’s scholar-athletes also continue to shine in the classrooms, as well as on the courts and playing fields, with a record number completing a “perfect season” of 4.0 grade averages. Further, many student organizations exhibited leadership while organizing and participating in fund raising activities for Haitian relief efforts through Bethany’s “Hands to Haiti” initiative. This tradition of service and community, too, is a common thread in the tapestry that is Bethany College.
In earlier issues of The President's Letter we've highlighted alumni of Bethany College who attribute their success in life to their educational experience here. Many, from earlier to recent classes, recount similar stories of faculty support, leadership opportunities and meaningful, sustained connections with classmates and professors from their time on campus. This year's graduating class includes students who will proudly carry forth Bethany's tradition of producing outstanding graduates who make significant contributions to society. I've enjoyed getting to know them during my three years here.
While we honor all of our 2010 graduates, we are especially proud of students such as
Kelly Sofka, recipient of The Francis O. Carfer Prize as “Outstanding Senior,” will graduate with a perfect 4.0 in economics. Kelly has been an officer in the student government association, CEO of the McCann Student Investment Fund and much more. She will attend Carnegie Mellon University next year to pursue a master's degree.
Randy Stuckwish, who earned the Bethany 2000 Prize, will also graduate with a perfect 4.0 average. Also an economics major, he was active in SGA and Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He'll attend Purdue University, working toward a master's degree in business.
Jodi Bodo, who has excelled as an outstanding straight-A student, has served as a senior fellow in the Communication Department, and is a record-setting sprinter on the indoor and outdoor women's track and field teams.
Jay Lyonett, an honors student in the communication program, will attend law school at the University of Dayton next year. He has served as the editor of the student newspaper,
The Tower, is a standout three-point shooter on the basketball team and a top player on the tennis team. Jay was recently selected as one of three students to attend the Council of Independent Colleges/New York Times Student Newspaper program at The
New York Times headquarters.
Social work major Justin Miller, who earned distinction on his senior comps, has been active in the Kalon Leader Scholars program while working for three years as an associate in the Office of the President. He has served as the house manager of Hibernia, The Renner Visiting Scholar's House. Justin will remain at Bethany after graduation, joining the staff of the Center for Enrollment.
These accomplished young men and women represent a few of the outstanding 2010 graduates who make us proud as we continue our tradition of producing leaders.
A South African proverb reminds us to carry the wisdom of the past into our future journeys. This year’s Bethany graduates will leave the mountaintop not only with the academic rigor, but also the sense of mission, leadership and community that have marked their years here.
To see Dr. Miller's biography:
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