BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College will present a series of awards recognizing outstanding alumni at the Alumni Awards Dinner on Saturday, May 7, at 5:30 p.m. in Commencement Hall. Dr. Larry Grimes will be recognized with The Robert A. Sandercox Award, Salvatore Marranca will receive the Alumni Achievement Award and Nick and Nancy Sarap and Dayna Snell will be presented with the Community Service Award as part of Alumni Weekend activities on campus.
“Bethany College is proud of all our graduates, but annually we are honored to recognize those whom have achieved great professional and personal success in their local communities,” said Dr. Tamara Nichols Rodenberg, President of Bethany College. “The alumni chosen for these awards have shown exceptional service to their professions and communities and are shining examples of Bethanians who work daily to make positive impacts on society.”
Dr. Larry Grimes, a 1964 Bethany College graduate and the College’s Director of Church Relations and Dean of Buffalo Seminary and Professor Emeritus, will receive The Robert A. Sandercox Award, which honors those who contributed to the heritage and history of Bethany College in a way that is aligned with the mission of the school which impacts students, faculty, administration and alumni. Grimes will only be the fourth individual to receive the award since it was established in 1997.
As Director of Church Relations, Grimes oversees working with churches, pastors, alumni and friends to help form meaningful relationships with the College.
In 2009, he retired after 38 years of teaching as the Perry E. and Aleece Gresham Chair in Humanities, Professor of English and Chair of the Department of Literature and Language at Bethany. His major accomplishments at Bethany include supervising a nationally recognized First-Year Studies Program, supervising the Interdisciplinary major, created the First Year Origins of Western Though Course, developing a Film minor track in English and chairing the Faculty Curriculum Committee.
A renowned Hemingway scholar, his published work includes “The Religious Design of Hemingway’s Early Fiction” along with poetry, articles on religion and literature, essays and numerous articles in The Hemingway Review. He also served on the program committee for the West Virginia Humanities Council.
An ordained minister of the church, Grimes graduated magna cum laude with a major in English and a minor in Religion. He earned his B.D. from Yale Divinity School in 1967 and received his Ph.D. from Emory University, Institute of the Liberal Arts in 1974.
“Larry Grimes could be considered for many Bethany College Alumni Awards, but the most appropriate is the rarely given Robert Sandercox Award reserved for those few who make outstanding and lifelong contributions to the College,” said nominator, Arthur Keys ’67. “Larry is one of those select few persons whose life of service to Bethany compares to the service of the person for whom this award is named.”
Salvatore Marranca, a 1968 Bethany College graduate and former president of local bank, will be presented with the Alumni Achievement Award, which recognizes Bethany alumni for achievements and contributions to their profession or field.
As the former Senior Bank Examiner of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Marranca had a long 32+ year career in the banking industry. He also served two years in the U.S. Army (1969-70) holding the rank of Specialist 5th Class, and completed an eleven month tour of duty in Vietnam.
In 1982, he was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cattaraugus County Bank (CCB). The next year he was elected to the Board of Directors. In 2011, Marranca was elected President and CEO of C.C. Bancorp Company. In December 2015, he retired and remains on the Board as the Chairman of the Board.
During his time at Bethany, Marranca was an outstanding student athlete being a four-year letterman in football and baseball. As a lineman, Marranca was on the 1965 and 1966 PAC championship teams and earned All-PAC honors in 1968. He also was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity.
“Sal is our billboard for what a Bethany man can accomplish with hard work, dedication and most importantly integrity,” said nominator, Bob Goin ’59. “He has improved the quality of life in the community he served.”
Nick and Nancy (Doster) Sarap, both members of the class of 1963, and Dayna Snell ’87, will receive Community Service Awards, given periodically to alumni who demonstrate significant leadership and service to their region or community.
Nick and Nancy have dedicated their careers to helping others, Nick as a general surgeon and Nancy as a registered nurse in Zanesvile, Ohio. Upon retirement, they continued to give back to their community with their vision to ensure that everyone receives the best possible experience during their cancer journey. In 2015, after more than 4 years of hard work, the Dr. Nick A. and Nancy R. Sarap Cancer Care Center opened to the public. The Center was designed to ensure patients receive compassionate, quality cancer care. Not only were Nick and Nancy major financial donors to the project, but they were both invested in assisting in the design process and monitoring the daily construction progress. They embraced community and patient input on how to design the facility completely around the patient experience.
Nick also served as the president of the Muskingum County Medical Academy, as the Chief of Staff at Good Samaritan Hospital and currently serves as a member of the Genesis Healthcare Foundation’s Board of Directors. Nancy has served as the president of the Women’s Auxiliary to Muskingum County Medical Academy, she volunteered at Good Samaritan Hospital, delivering Meals on Wheels to people in need and serves as an Elder at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
Snell has exhibited a life-long passion for helping others, especially children. From the moment she graduated from Bethany in 1987, Snell was working towards her goal of establishing a non-profit organization that provides programming for children. “You owe something to the community you come from,” said Snell. “You have to leave something for the next generation.”
Snell started her journey with the establishment of the Personal Enrichment Program which was designed to help at-risk youth through the performing arts. As the Personal Enrichment Program grew, Snell looked for new ways to enrich the lives of children in her community. In 2003, she launched the Queen Ann Nzinga Center which provides attention to children and at-risk youth through a holistic and multi-cultural and multi-general approach to the arts, she also expanded programming to include both male and female mentoring programs. Through this organization, children are taught to sing, speak, dance and perform a wide variety of material in front of live audiences. Snell, who has served as the program manager for the Connecticut Department of Children and Families for nearly three decades, volunteers her time as the executive director for the Queen Ann Nzinga Center.
After graduating from Bethany, Snell earned her Master of Social Work degree from Southern Connecticut State University in 1992 and a certificate for Clinical Supervision from Smith College in 2006.
“It is hearing the stories of alumni, like these being honored, that makes Bethany so special,” added President Rodenberg. “I’m looking forward to honoring their achievements.”
The Alumni Awards Dinner will take place in Commencement Hall at 5:30 p.m. on May 7. To view the full schedule of Alumni Weekend events, visit www.bethanywv.edu/alumniweekend. To register, call Ashley Kanotz, Director of Alumni and Parent Relations, at 304-829-7299.
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.