Bethany College Announces 2013 Fall Convocation Speaker

BETHANY, W.Va. – Paulo Nzambi, senior vice president and COO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation, has been as announced as the speaker for Bethany College’s Fall Convocation on Thursday, Sept. 12.

Nzambi will address incoming and returning students at 11 a.m. in Commencement Hall at the College's historic Old Main.

While Nzambi now resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., he was born in the African nation of Angola. During his childhood, Nzambi was surrounded by a 27-year-old civil war that killed millions.

With much perseverance, Nzambi made his way to the United States, where he is now an accomplished businessman and playwright. Nzambi hopes to bring what he saw and experienced in Angola to the American people via theatre.

Nzambi earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Pennsylvania State University in 1993, and in 1996 he earned a Juris Doctor from Duquesne University.

This is Nzambi’s second time speaking to students at Bethany College: He was a guest in January, when he spoke at the College’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Celebration.

“Nzambi’s message was inspiring,” said Bethany College President Scott D. Miller. “We’re excited to have him back; his story will give students the encouragement to give their all in academics, athletics and service throughout this academic year.”

The Manchester Bidwell Corporation is hailed as one of the most enterprising, educational and creative organizations in the U.S. President and CEO William E. Strickland, Jr., is a member of Bethany College’s board of trustees, and, in addition to speaking at graduation, has received an honorary degree from the college.

Strickland’s book, “Make the Impossible Possible,” is this year’s incoming students’ Common Reading. In the book, Strickland discusses how art shaped his education. Throughout the semester, students will have the opportunity to attend events inspired by the book’s message, including a jazz concert, pottery and clay classes, and book club sessions.

The Fall Convocation is an annual tradition at Bethany, welcoming students back to campus and bringing the entire College community together to celebrate the start of a new academic year. In addition to the main speaker, the College also recognizes high academic achievement from the spring semester.

Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the oldest college in West Virginia.