BETHANY, W.Va. — Bethany College will celebrate 169 years as a small college of national distinction with its annual Founder’s Day Thursday, March 5. Festivities will include a Convocation at 11 a.m. in historic Commencement Hall featuring guest speaker Dr. William E. Tucker, Chancellor Emeritus of Texas Christian University and former President of Bethany College.
“We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Tucker back to campus as we honor the founding of Bethany College,” stated Bethany College President Dr. Scott D. Miller. “A former president here, Dr. Tucker’s participation adds special significance to our commemoration of the rich tradition ingrained in this extraordinary institution.”
Tucker, a well-known church historian and author, graduated from Barton College and earned a B.D. from Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University. Tucker became Bethany’s 14th President on July 1, 1976 after serving as Dean of Brite Divinity School. He left in August 1979 to assume the Chancellorship of Texas Christian University. His Founder’s Day address is titled, “Then and Now.”
Dr. Miller will preside over the Convocation. The invocation will be given by The Rev. David Chafin, Deputy Regional Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia and Interim Chaplain of the College. Dr. Miller will also announce the students named to the President’s List for the fall semester of the 2008-2009 academic year. Dr. Darin E. Fields, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty, will recognize those students named to the Dean’s List.
In addition, the program will include the installation of the new Student Body President and Vice President, Randall Stuckwish and Bethany Stickradt, respectively. Stuckwish is a Mathematics and Economics major from McDonald, Pa. Stickradt is a Political Science major from Newark, Ohio.
Laura Strassguetl, a Pre-Physical Therapy major from Munich, Germany/ Rupprecht Gymnasium and Chief Justice of the Student Government Association, will give the dedication of the day. Professor David J. Rudari, Director of the Bethany College Choir, will lead a performance of “Give Almes of Thy Goods,” by Christopher Tye.
A wreath-laying ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m. at the Campbell Cemetery. The wreath will be placed at the gravesite of Alexander Campbell (1788-1866), Bethany College’s founder and first president. Remarks will be given by The Rev.Thaddeus B.Allen, Regional Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia. Guests are invited to visit the Campbell Mansion, one of Bethany’s National Historic Landmarks, following the ceremony.
Founder’s Day in Bethany is observed on the first Thursday of March. The College received its official charter from the Legislature of Virginia on March 2, 1840. The charter was affirmed on June 20, 1863 by the Legislature of the newly formed state of West Virginia.
Bethany College is located on a picturesque, 1,300-acre campus and is West Virginia’s oldest degree-granting institution.