BETHANY, W.Va. – Neil Christman ’55 has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by Bethany College. A long-time Bethany Board member and benefactor, Christman was presented with his degree by Dr. Scott D. Miller, President of the College, and Sven de Jong, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, during a visit with Christman and his wife, Jackie, near their home in Alpharetta, Ga.
“It is impossible to overstate the role Neil has played in the growth and success of Bethany College over the years,” Dr. Miller said. “Neil’s vision, passion and philanthropy in support of his alma mater stand as shining examples of the forces which drive Bethany’s mission as a small college of national distinction. We are proud to celebrate and recognize – with our deepest appreciation – the many contributions that Neil, Jackie and the Christman family have made to Bethany College.”
The honorary degree is the second significant honor accorded to Christman by the College. Upon completion of the extensive restoration and renovation project at Pendleton Heights earlier this year, the Board of Trustees voted to name Bethany’s historic presidential residence Christman Manor at Pendleton Heights in recognition of Christman’s significant philanthropy in support of the project.
Christman graduated from Bethany College in 1955 with a degree in Economics. He has served on the Bethany Board of Trustees since 1996 and was the recipient of the Alumni Council’s 2004 Distinguished Service to Alma Mater Award. The president of North Point Volvo of Alpharetta, his automobile dealership was a five-time winner of the National Dealer of Excellence Award. Christman has also served as president of Chris Volvo of Marietta, Ga.; Chris BMW of Decatur, Ga.; and Chief Executive Officer of North Point Volvo.
He is managing partner of Chris Associates: Real Estate Partnership and Chris Management Services: Management and Computer Services Partnership, both located in Decatur, Ga. A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Christman resides in Alpharetta with his wife, Jackie. They are the parents of four children — Lori, Kathryn, Joyce and Dale.
Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.