Elizabeth Athol Selected as 2014 Bethany College Alumna of the Year

BETHANY, W.Va. – Elizabeth (Beth) Sweeney Athol, a 1982 Bethany College graduate and Pittsburgh attorney, has been named Alumna of the, according to Dr. Scott D. Miller, President of the College.  She will be honored at the Alumni Weekend Awards Dinner in Commencement Hall on May 3.

Athol holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Bethany College and a Juris Doctor degree from Duquesne University. She currently practices law at the firm Lovett Bookman Harmon Marks LLP, where she specializes in estate and transfer tax planning. Previously, Athol was employed by Reed Smith LLP as a member of the Trusts and Estates Group in its Pittsburgh office. She was also vice president of the Trust Legal Department at PNC Bank.

Athol serves on the College’s Board of Trustees and is a member of the Executive Committee. She chairs the Advancement Committee and the $52 million “Transformation Now!” capital campaign. She is also a former member of the Alumni Council.

“Beth Athol’s energy and enthusiasm and her love for her alma mater are clearly visible in a wide variety of ways,” Dr. Miller said. “Whether chairing an important search committee, participating in board meetings and functions, mentoring students, or leading a variety of Bethany special events, Beth encourages and motivates all who come in contact with her.  Adding to the special nature of this distinction is the long tradition of outstanding service to this College by many members of her family.”

Despite the economic downturn of 2008, Athol provided bold early leadership for the “Transformation Now!” campaign, which has defined the College’s fundraising success during the past six years.

“At the heart, it (the campaign) is still about building relationships. Bethany today is well-positioned to do just that as the economy recovers,” Athol said in a feature in a recent issue of Bethany’s alumni magazine, Bethany Today.

Her family connections to Bethany nearly trace to the College’s origins. Four generations of her family have attended Bethany, and she is the third member of her family to serve as a trustee. Her mother, sister and three aunts all graduated from Bethany.

Cochran Hall, a beautiful 104-year-old residence hall that was extensively renovated in 2010, is named after her ancestor, Percy B. Cochran. 

The Alumna of the Year Award was established by the Office of the President to recognize alumni who have demonstrated loyalty to the college and exceptional achievement throughout their lives, both professionally and in service to the community. Nominees for the award are screened by the director of alumni and parent relations and the President’s Cabinet, and recipients are chosen by the president of the College.

The Alumni Awards Dinner will take place in Commencement Hall at 5:30 p.m. To view the full schedule of Alumni Weekend events or to register, visit http://www.bethanywv.edu/alumniweekend.

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.