New York and Hollywood are not the only places that have an award “season.” Each year, Bethany College hosts its own series of presentations that recognize student achievement. For our distinguished winners, all we lack is a red carpet, for they surely merit all the high-profile attention that a small college can bestow.
Awards are a Bethany tradition dating back decades. For example, Communications and Media Arts faculty trace their awards to the days of the late Professor Jim Carty, considered the founder of Bethany’s communications program. In 1962, Carty realized not only that he had a new program in the making, but he also understood the value of recognizing student superstars within that program. Communications and Media Arts hosted a department award ceremony on April 22, recognizing student skills and achievement within this diverse and growing program. Other departments hold similar celebrations of their students’ accomplishments, often through induction ceremonies for the various honoraries.
Our largest award ceremony of the year is the Honors Day Convocation, held traditionally in Commencement Hall. This year’s ceremonies on April 17 celebrated student achievement across the curriculum and throughout the Bethany community. Each year, I comment on how proud I am of all of our students, whether they have received an award or not, for their contributions to the traditions and reputation of our College. Leadership and academic excellence are qualities of a thriving and vital liberal arts institution, and the recognizing of achievement is not limited to a single award ceremony.
We take special pride in recognizing some of the college-wide award winners from this year’s convocation.
Amber L. Ridings, a senior accounting major from Inwood, W.Va., received the Francis O. Carfer Prize as Outstanding Senior. She also received the Accountancy Award for demonstrating excellence in the study of accountancy. Peter M. Franklin, a senior accounting major from Allison Park, Pa., received the Bethany 2000 Prize, as well as the Ernest L. and Dorothy Miller Korb Entrepreneurial Spirit Award and the Accountancy Award.
Allison J. Snyder, a junior international economics major from Newcomerstown, Ohio, received the Pittsburgh Bethany College Club Award as Outstanding Junior Woman. Khristian S. Smith, a junior English literature major from Marlinton, W.Va., received the W. F. Kennedy Prize for Outstanding Junior Man, as well as the Cammie Pendleton Award as the outstanding junior majoring in English.
Gerhard A. Schultze and Erika E. Steers received the John R. Taylor Memorial Award in the Liberal Arts. The award is presented to a student who demonstrates exceptional scholastic achievement; service to the College in terms of cross-disciplinary extracurricular activity; and deep understanding of and commitment to the core liberal arts values expressed in the mission documents of Bethany College. The award is named in memory of John R. Taylor ’44, Professor of English Emeritus.
Schultze, a religious studies major from Wheeling, W.Va., also received the Osborne Booth Prize, which is given to the student who excels in the field of religious studies and in the overall academic program, as well as the Shirley Morris Memorial Award which is awarded to an outstanding student in modern languages. Steers, a psychology major from New Stanton, Pa., also received the Leonora Balla Cayard Prize, which is awarded to an outstanding German student.
These are just a few of the students who were honored at the convocation. Please check our website’s news section for departmental awards.
It was a special honor for me to present this year’s winners of the President’s Awards for Excellence in Performance, which recognize an outstanding faculty member and a member of the administrative staff.
Dr. Harald Menz, Professor of World Languages and Cultures, Co-Chair of the Department of Humanities, Director of International and Interdisciplinary Studies, received the faculty award. Dr. Menz, who has served on the Bethany College faculty since 1994, has received a number of recent accolades. Last semester, Dr. Menz received the International Association of College and University Presidents International Education Faculty Achievement Award. He was also recognized by Bethany College with the John R. Taylor Memorial Award in the Liberal Arts.
Heather Taylor, Coordinator of the Writing Center and Learning Specialist, received the staff award. Her busy schedule includes teaching a freshman seminar course while keeping extensive hours in the Writing Center. The Center is an area where students receive assistance with the writing process. Heather actively seeks innovative ways to support students in their academic success by training writing tutors, developing a master calendar for semester assignments and attending writing conferences to gain best practices. A visible and popular member of our Bethany family, Heather can often be seen at campus events.
Our award season continues through the final weeks of the academic year.
The Darline Nicholson May Morning Breakfast, sponsored by the Panhellenic Council, was established to honor female students, faculty and community members. All women on Bethany’s campus are invited to attend this event which is held during the annual Alumni Weekend. Skylar Williams, a Bethany senior, was presented with the Aleece C. Gresham Award. The award honors a woman who has exhibited sound academic accomplishment, participated in and displayed leadership in a variety of co-curricular activities, and shown dedication and commitment to the College. A former Dean of Students, Darline Nicholson was an inspiration across generations to many Bethanians.
We’re always honored to grant recognition where it’s due. Awards remind all of us of the high levels to which Bethanians aspire, and the heights which they often do attain. It’s an exciting season, making up some of the most special moments of
A Small College of National Distinction.