BETHANY, W.Va.– During the Alumni Council meeting held in March of 2005, the Student Services Committee (SCC), met with Bethany faculty to discuss how this group of alumni could aid in working with students. From this discussion, the Bethany Buddy program was born.

The purpose of the Bethany Buddy program is to establish a friendly, open relationship between first-year students and the College’s alumni. Alumni who agree to participate as a Bethany Buddy will give a brief presentation on their own Bethany experiences to the seminar early in the fall 2005 semester. Later in the semester, the Buddy alumni will be available to talk with the seminar participants via e-mail or telephone. Ideally, they will be able to explain how Bethany was a good college choice for them, how they made the most of their college experience, how they found their initial job or undertook graduate study, and how they continue to support the College.

Bethany faculty members who regularly teach Freshman Seminars will be asked to nominate alumni from their seminars to serve as Bethany Buddies. Alumni Council member and Assistant Professor of Education Keely Camden '96 will coordinate this recruiting effort. The Bethany College Kalon Scholars, assisted by Kathleen Shelek-Furbee, Professor of Social Work, J. Walton Turner, Assistant Professor of English, and Camden, will prepare a manual for prospective Bethany Buddy alumni and will coordinate an orientation session for participants.

Those alumni who have volunteered for this program are: Mr. Chad '97 and Kate Bower '97 Barnett, Erin Giovantti Billard '96, Katrina Boley '05, Shannon Boyle '04, Jessica Leavitt-Bozenske '99, Lauren DeMundo '03, William Dice '05, Charles Drubel '05, Paul Elliott '05, Jason Fogg '03, Ashley Josay '05, Steve Ochap '04, Rebecca Mansberry Plesko '03, Veronica Reynolds '04, Justin Schiefelbein '05, Sarah Kyrc Schimmel '02, Mr. David '97 and Shawna Perkins '97 Simpson, Ashley Stefka '05, Heather Taylor '05, Lisa Welling '03, Todd Welsh '04 and Ben Williams '04.

The SSC believes this program to be a vital tool in outreach to the alumni, but more importantly, to aid in the retention of current Bethany students. If you would like more information on the program, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations at (304) 829-7411 or via e-mail at