Bethany College Announces 2014 Fall Convocation Speaker

BETHANY, W.Va. – Dr. Linda Lewis, Professor of Neurology at Columbia University Medical Center, has been announced as the speaker for Bethany College’s Fall Convocation on Thursday, Sept. 11, according to Dr. Scott D. Miller, President of the College. The Convocation will celebrate the opening of the College’s 2014-15 academic year, which begins the year-long celebration of the College’s 175th anniversary.

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

“Building on 175 years of rich tradition as a classical, residential liberal arts college, it is appropriate that we have one of our finest address our students,” Dr. Miller said.  “Dr. Lewis’ career is an inspiration to so many.  She has made her mark around the world, but hasn’t forgotten her Bethany roots.”

Dr. Lewis graduated from Bethany College magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1961 and received her Doctor of Medicine degree in 1965 from the West Virginia University School of Medicine. From 1965 to 1971 she was an intern in mixed medicine at the University of Wisconsin Hospital, an assistant resident and then a resident in internal medicine at St. Luke’s Hospital Center in New York, an assistant resident in neurology at Case Western Reserve University, and chief resident in neurology at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center.

Following her post-doctoral training, Dr. Lewis began her medical career as chief of neurology clinics at Presbyterian Hospital in New York, New York, where she later served as attending neurologist. She has also served as assistant attending neurologist at St. Luke’s Hospital Center and Harlem Hospital in New York, and as attending neurologist at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center. Most recently, she has served as Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Clinical Professor Emeritus of Neurology in the Division of Clinical Neurology at Columbia University Medical Center.

In addition to her professional appointments, Dr. Lewis has served in several academic roles since 1969 at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, including senior associate dean for student affairs and clinical professor of neurology. In 1977 and 1992 she received the Distinguished Teacher Award, which is the highest teaching honor awarded by the College of Physicians and Surgeons. In 1991 she was named Outstanding Woman Doctor of the Year.

Dr. Lewis completed the Smith, Kline and French Foreign Medical Fellowship in India and was a visiting professor at Case Western Reserve University; West Virginia University; Ben Gurion University of Israel; American University of Beirut; and the Medical School in Shiraz, Iran. In 1965 she received an award for outstanding scholastic achievement from the American Medical Women’s Association, and her biography was included in Who’s Who in American Universities in 1961, Who’s Who in American Women in 1975, The World Who’s Who in Women in 1977, Who’s Who in the East in 1979, and Who’s Who in the World in 1987.

Among her many activities, Lewis has been a member of the New York State Board for Professional Medical Conduct, the American Medical Association’s Council on Medical Education and the National Board of Medical Examiners Executive Board, and was a Founding Trustee for the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. She is a current member of the Bethany College Board of Trustees, where she has served on the Executive Committee and Chairs the Committee on Academic Affairs.

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 hosting the main speaker, the College also recognizes high academic achievement from the spring semester.

Bethany, a small college of national distinction, is located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus. Bethany, the oldest degree granting institution in West Virginia, was founded in 1840 and traces its origins to the founding of Buffalo Seminary in 1818 at what was then Bethany, Virginia.