Bethany Hosts Governor’s Honors Academy 25th Anniversary Celebration

BETHANY, W.Va. — More than 340 students and alumni of The Governor’s Honors Academy (GHA) of West Virginia gathered on July 11 at Bethany College’s historic campus to commemorate the program’s 25th anniversary. The celebratory theme was “Cultivating Curiosity for 25 Years.” Festivities included an opening ceremony in Bethany’s beautiful Commencement Hall with remarks by long-time instructors and alums—as well as live music and dancing and time for participants to share stories of the enduring impact the Academy had on their lives.     

The GHA is one of three residential summer programs of The Governor’s Schools of West Virginia. In addition to the GHA, the schools include The Governor’s School for Math and Science (being held this year at West Virginia University and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank) and The Governor’s School for the Arts (held at West Liberty University). Students attend an academically challenging schedule of workshops, classes and special events as part of their learning experience.

The 2009 GHA program, held from June 27 to July 18, drew 179 of the state’s top scholars preparing to enter their senior year of high school. This summer marks the second of three consecutive years that Bethany College will host the GHA, which—like the other programs—rotates among learning institutions across West Virginia.

The program is administered by the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts and is free of charge to the students. Sherry Keffer serves as director of The Governor's Schools and said the GHA encourages students to consider their full potential and all that they can accomplish.

GHA scholars praised the program in remarks to media who attended the anniversary celebration. The Intelligencer of Wheeling quoted Wheeling Park High School student Sharif Youssef, who remarked, "I've met a lot of interesting people with creative minds, and it is a great place to meet new people and get challenged a little bit more.” 

Mitchell Saludes of Wheeling Park High School was also quoted. "I've enjoyed all the classes that I've had, and it's given me a lot of knowledge, and the people are great," she said.

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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.