BETHANY, W.Va. — Distinguished Bethany College professors Dr. BrookeLemmons Deal and Kenneth L. Morgan were honored as endowed chairsduring a formal investiture ceremony today (September18) in the Academic Parlour of Old Main. Dr. Deal was installed as the Thomas W. Phillips Chair of Religious Studies, and Morgan as the Jennie Steindorf Renner Chair of Fine Arts, according to Dr. Scott D. Miller, President of the College.
“This is one of the highest honors a faculty member can receive,” Dr. Miller said. “The formal ceremony of investiture illustrates the connection between the scholarship of our leading instructors and the tradition of philanthropy in support of that scholarship that has been a hallmark of Bethany College for nearly 173 years. Professors Deal and Morgan are acknowledged leaders in their respective fields and are very deserving of this recognition.”
Dr. Miller noted that the College currently has 13 endowed positions.
Dr. Deal has served Bethany as associate professor of religious studies. Her appointment as The Thomas W. Phillips Chair of Religious Studies honors the memory of one of the College’s most prominent benefactors. As a great admirer of Bethany College founder Alexander Campbell, Phillips joined the College’s Board of Trustees in 1866 – the year of Campbell’s death – and served on the board until 1912. The generosity of the Phillips family over the years has made the Phillips family name a very familiar one on the Bethany campus through such examples as Phillips Hall, the T.W. Phillips Memorial Library, the Grace Phillips Johnson Visual Arts Center, the Thomas Phillips Johnson Health and Recreation Center, and The Thomas P. Johnson, Jr. College Center.
Dr. Deal graduated cum laude from Missouri State University in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts in Near Eastern Antiquities. Following that, she attended Brite Divinity School in 2000 where she received the Master of Theological Studies degree. She also received her Ph.D. in Biblical Interpretation in 2007 from Brite Divinity School. Her professional experience at Bethany began in 2005, serving as assistant and associate professor before being named to the Phillips Chair.
She has earned a number of professional honors including the Hebrew Bible Department Award from Brite Divinity School in 2000, the Herbert Lockwood Willett Fellowship from 2000-04, and this past year was a finalist for the T.A. Abbott Award for Faculty Excellence.
Morgan has served Bethany as professor of fine arts. The first Jennie Steindorf Renner Chair of Fine Arts was named in 1989. Jennie Steindorf and her husband, Dr. R. Richard Renner, were both 1922 graduates of Bethany College, and Dr. Renner served on the board of trustees from 1935-74. Their son, Robert R. Renner, was also a Bethany alumnus and served on the board from 1974-80 and another son and Bethany alumnus, John W. Renner, was an active Trustee for many years before becoming Trustee Emeritus.
Morgan graduated from Bethany in 1971 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in visual art, later receiving his Master of Arts in 1973 from West Virginia University. He also attended North Carolina State University’s Arts Management School and the University of Texas for printmaking and art history. He has served as the professor of fine arts at Bethany since 1989 and has also been the director and curator of the Renner Art Gallery since 2006. Morgan is also the owner/artist/design consultant for Art on the Side, formerly Art in Wheeling, in Wheeling since 1987. From 1975-78, he was the art specialist for Oglebay Institute and from 1974-75 he was the assistant art director for Ogden Newspapers. Morgan recently was awarded the John R. Taylor Memorial Award in the Liberal Arts during Bethany’s Fall Convocation.
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.