Bethany Bids Farewell to Retiring Professors and Staff Members

BETHANY, W.Va. -- The end of the 2007-08 academic year marked the beginning of retirement for five very familiar faces on the Bethany College campus.

Dr. Robyn R. Cole, Professor of English and Chair of the Department of English, and Dr. Milton R. Smith Jr., Goulding-Woolery Professor of Chemistry and former Chair of the Chemistry Department, have closed the books on long and illustrious academic careers at the College. Cole has been designated Professor of English Emerita while Smith has been designated Professor of Chemistry Emeritus.

Also retiring this summer are long-time Bethany staff members Jackie Andrews, R. Jeanne Cobb and Jean DePetro. Taken together, the five new retirees amassed more than 125 years of service to Bethany College.

“It is the hard work and dedication of our faculty and staff that makes Bethany a small college of national distinction,” said Dr. Scott D. Miller, President of the College. “Individuals such as these laid the foundation for our reputation as a rising, vibrant institution by giving so freely of their lives and their talents over the years. We are extremely grateful for their long and faithful service and we hope they enjoy a happy and fulfilling retirement.”

Dr. Cole joined the Bethany College faculty in 1968 and quickly began rising through the ranks. She served on numerous faculty committees, was the Director of Writing and also gave freely of her time as advisor to several student organizations. Her First-Year Seminar in sports literature was one of the most popular offerings for incoming freshmen each year.

Dr. Smith has been a member of the Bethany faculty since coming to campus in 1972. He served for many years as the College’s Chair of the Department of Chemistry. Dr. Smith also pursued numerous research interests during his sabbatical leaves, splitting his time between industry and government agencies. His most recent research project was conducted at the Department of Energy’s National Technology Laboratory.

Andrews was an Administrative Assistant who served in a number of capacities and worked in several areas during her time at the College. Two of those areas were the Office of Admission and the Business Office.

Cobb, curator of the Bethany College Archives and Special Collections, spent the past 15 years preserving the history of the College, its founder Alexander Campbell, and the Upper Ohio Valley. She was well known for her willingness and resourcefulness in assisting scholars, faculty and students in their archival research.

DePetro served as Director of the Information Center where she became known as the “voice” of Bethany College. For many years, her voice was the voice first heard by anyone calling the campus in search of information.