BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany's heritage, history and traditions will be celebrated with a formal convocation and wreath-laying ceremony on Thursday, March 2, as the College observes the 166th anniversary of its founding.

Opening events on March 2 will be an 11 a.m. formal convocation in Commencement Hall. President G.T. "Buck" Smith will introduce the morning program which will consist of student speakers, the installation of Student Government Association officers, music by the College Choir and recognition of those students "distinguished in scholarship" during the fall semester of the College's 2005-2006 academic year.

Dr. John Taylor, Professor of English, will address the audience of students, faculty, staff and guests. Taylor recently celebrated his 50th year at the College.

During the program, newly elected officers of the Student Government Association will be installed by Chief Justice, Rachel Roney, an English and Communication major from McMurray, Pa.

Christopher Palo, a History and Political Science major from Cortland, Ohio, Class of 2007, will be installed as president. Palo will also give the dedication of the day.

Vice President to be installed is Alejandro Viveros, a Communication major from Canonsburg, Pa. The two were elected last semester in a campus-wide vote by the Bethany student body.

Michael P. Mihalyo Jr., Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty, will recognize those students designated "distinguished in scholarship" and named to the Dean's List for the fall semester of the 2005-2006 academic year.

David Rudari, Director of the College Choir, will lead the student group in Sanctus from Requiem K. 626 with Judith Allison, a member of the Bethany community, accompanying on the organ.

Others participating in the Convocation will be College Chaplains, Rev. Sarah Webb and Rev. Walter Jagela.

In the afternoon, at 1:15, a wreath-laying ceremony is planned at the gravesite of Alexander Campbell, the College's founder and first president. Campbell Cemetery is located near the Campbell Mansion, one of Bethany's National Historic Landmarks. Palo will place the wreath at the site. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will take place at the Old Meeting House.

Offering remarks will be the Rev. Christopher Stillwell, Bethany Class of 1998, and Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Connellsville, Pa.

Following the wreath-laying ceremony, guests are invited to tour the Campbell Mansion.