BETHANY, W.Va. – Two former chairs of the Bethany College education program have donated funds for two of the rooms at the College’s new Judith R. Hurl Education Center.

“We are extremely grateful for the generosity of Dr. Lynn Adkins and Dr. Ann Shelly,” said Dr. Keely Camden, Bethany College Department of Education Chair. “Both women are former department chairs whose financial gifts will benefit countless future teachers and Bethanians. These gifts will help to make one of our state-of-the-art classrooms and our Children’s Library a reality.”

Funding for the Grace Ryland and William Henry Robinson Children’s Library was given by Dr. Adkins and her husband, Tom Lyons. Dr. Adkins is an Emeritus Professor of Education and Social Work and former Chair of the Teaching and Social Services Department at Bethany.

The Adelaide C. and Marshall H. Converse Math and Science Room was funded through the generosity of Drs. Ann and Robert Shelly. Dr. Ann Shelly is a former Chair of Bethany’s Department of Education.

Bethany’s rapidly-growing Department of Education is in the process of moving from Steinman Hall to the College’s new Judith R. Hurl Education Center, located in the former Bethany Primary School. Dr. Rodney Hurl, a 1952 graduate of Bethany College, provided funding to purchase the three-story building from the Brooke County Board of Education. It was named in memory of Dr. Hurl’s late wife, Judith R. Hurl, who graduated from Bethany in 1953 with a degree in Education.

The Grace Ryland and William Henry Robinson Children’s Library will operate as a satellite library housing The Mary Cutlip Center for Library and Information Service’s collection of adolescent and children’s literature. It will be used by Bethany College Education majors and reach out to the community with such children’s programming as story hours and reading workshops.

“Grace Ryland and William Henry Robinson are my grandchildren,” said Dr. Adkins, who retired last year as Dean of Academic Programs after three decades on the Bethany faculty. “As educators, I believe the most important thing we can do for children is to teach them to read. Reading is the foundation of all education.”

The Adelaide C. and Marshall H. Converse Math and Science Lab Classroom will be used as a laboratory and classroom for Math and Science instruction. A special feature of the Math and Science Room are the tables, which were specifically selected to aid in the purpose of scientific exploration and preparation.

“Adelaide and Marshall Converse were my parents,” said Dr. Ann Shelly, who was a member of the Bethany College faculty for 13 years. “My mother was a teacher and principal and both of my parents loved Bethany. When I heard the College had purchased Bethany School for the Department of Education, I was very pleased. My mother especially appreciated any form of experiential learning. That room is designed with that in mind so it just seemed logical to support it.”

Additional naming opportunities are available as renovations continue at the Judith R. Hurl Education Center. For information, contact Sven de Jong, Bethany College Vice President for Admission and Institutional Advancement, at