Bethany, W.Va. — Dr. Scott D. Miller, President of Bethany College, announced the establishment of the Matthew Quay Ammon Endowed Professorship in Mathematics at the College’s Fall Convocation on Sept. 10. The endowed professorship was created to honor the life of Bethany alumnus Matthew Quay Ammon, who graduated in 1996 and passed away just 10 years later. The first appointment will begin with the 2010-2011 academic year.
Ammon’s mother, Dr. Kathleen B. Gaberson of Pittsburgh, generously donated the funds for the professorship. “Matthew loved Bethany and always attributed his success in law school and employment to Bethany’s rigorous academic standards and the individual attention he received from the faculty,” Gaberson stated. “I am thankful for the opportunity to establish a professorship in honor of my beloved son’s life—and also in gratitude for the faculty at Bethany College, who recognized and nurtured the development of his talents and interests.”
Ammon, a Pittsburgh native, was an active and popular figure on campus during his days at Bethany. He participated in the soccer program and was a member of the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity. Ammon was inducted into the Alpha chapter of the Kappa Mu Epsilon mathematics honor society as a junior and graduated cum laude from Bethany in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science and a minor in mathematics. He often noted his profound respect and affection for his academic advisor and mentor, the late Professor James Allison, Chair of the Mathematics and Computer Science department at the time.
Ammon went on to earn a law degree from Duquesne University, where he distinguished himself as the winner of the Appellate Moot Court competition and as Associate Recent Decisions Editor of the Duquesne Law Review. Deciding to specialize in intellectual property law, he gained experience at law firms in Pittsburgh, Pa.; Austin, Texas; Washington, D.C.; and Kansas City, Mo.
In the spring of 2006 Ammon was recruited by the world’s number 1 software company, Microsoft, to join the Legal and Corporate Affairs department as an intellectual property and licensing attorney at the company’s Redmond, Wash., headquarters. He moved to Bellevue, near Seattle, and quickly added to his circle of friends by joining the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Audi Club. When he wasn’t performance driving his Nogaro blue Audi S4 at track events, he enjoyed many outdoor activities, such as mountain biking, hiking, running and riding his motorcycle.
On November 16, 2006, a 210-foot construction crane collapsed and crashed through the roof of his apartment, killing him. He was 31 years old at the time of his death.
Gregory B. Jordan, Chairman of the Bethany College Board of Trustees, stated, “The Bethany community is profoundly grateful for the privilege to honor Matthew, a remarkable son, student and professional. Matthew represents the very best of Bethany College, and it is our deep hope that Dr. Gaberson’s generous gift will further in others the exceptional talent, determination and potential that Matthew so richly possessed.”
Gaberson is a former Professor and Chair of the Department of Nursing Education and Director of Nursing at Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, W.Va. She has taught, written and consulted extensively on nursing-related issues, particularly those involving nursing education and evaluation.
Bethany is a small college of national distinction located on a historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, it is the oldest college in the state.