Bethany College to Celebrate Founder’s Day

BETHANY, W.Va. — Bethany College will celebrate 170 years as a small college of national distinction with Founder’s Day on March 4. Festivities will include a formal convocation and wreath-laying ceremony. Dr. Walter M. Bortz III, President Emeritus of Hampden-Sydney College and Trustee Emeritus of Bethany College, will give the keynote address.

The March 4 events will open at 11 a.m. with Bethany’s annual Founder’s Day Convocation in historic Commencement Hall. President Scott D. Miller will preside over the ceremony. The Rev. Scott Thayer, Bethany College Chaplain, will give the invocation. 

Newly elected officers of the Student Government Association (SGA) will be installed by Chief Justice of the Student Court Lindsay Sobotka, a junior biochemistry major from Weirton, W.Va. Bethany Stickradt, a junior political science major from Newark, Ohio, will be installed as SGA president. Stickradt will also give the dedication of the day. Nick Miller, a sophomore communication major from Mars, Pa., will be installed as SGA vice president.

Miller will recognize those students named to the President’s List for the fall semester of the 2009-2010 academic year. Dr. Darin E. Fields, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty, will announce the students named to the Dean’s List.

Bortz’s address is titled “An Honor to the Age and a Blessing to the World.” Bortz served as president of Hampden-Sydney College from 2000-2009 and received his undergraduate degree in biology from Bethany College in 1967. He went on to earn his doctorate in policy studies from The George Washington University, and Bethany College awarded him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 2000. Shortly before his retirement in 2009, the Hampden-Sydney College Board of Trustees announced the naming of its library in his honor.

A wreath-laying ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m. at the Old Meeting House in honor of Alexander Campbell (1788-1866), Bethany College’s founder and first president. Guests are invited to visit the Campbell Mansion, one of Bethany’s National Historic Landmarks, following the ceremony.

Founder’s Day at Bethany College 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 a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Bethany is the state’s oldest degree-granting institution.