BETHANY, W.Va. – January 1 marks Rev. Dr. Tamara Nichols Rodenberg's first day as Bethany College's 20th president. Rodenberg, who has served as the Vice President of Advancement at Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University since 2011, was chosen after a nationwide search.
"Bethany has a rich history, loyal alumni, dynamic faculty, and sense of community that will propel it forward as a leader in liberal arts education. Bethany is on the forefront of American higher education, championing the powerful combination of talented teacher-scholars with passionate alumni leaders, all of whom are deeply committed to the long-term success of our students.”
“I am excited to serve a college rooted in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) – a tradition dedicated to the rich value of diversity and inclusion of thought and experience. I look forward to working with an engaging faculty and bright, maturing young women and men who are eager to make a difference in this world,” Rodenberg said. She plans to "lead Bethany forward toward a meaningful and transformative future,” she said.
In speaking of the selection of Rodenberg, Greg Jordan, chair of the College’s Board of Trustees remarked, “Dr. Rodenberg brings a vibrant combination of talent, enthusiasm and experience to this historic liberal arts college. As the college celebrates its 175th anniversary, we are fortunate to have a leader such as Dr. Rodenberg who understands and honors Bethany’s deep traditions, yet has a vision for its vibrant future.”
More than 70 candidates expressed interest in Bethany's presidency, noted Gary Novak, chair of the search committee. The committee and Board of Trustees voted unanimously that Dr. Rodenberg was the ideal choice, Novak said.
“Bethany has a rich history, loyal alumni, dynamic faculty, and sense of community that will propel it forward as a leader in liberal arts education,” said Rodenberg. “Bethany is on the forefront of American higher education, championing the powerful combination of talented teacher-scholars with passionate alumni leaders, all of whom are deeply committed to the long-term success of our students.”
“Bethany is needed now more than ever to train a generation of leaders who are able to think critically, integrate a breadth of understanding, and excel in their professional vocations,” she added. “It is my privilege to become part of the Bethany community and help lead this esteemed institution into the future.”
As Vice President for Advancement at Brite Divinity School at TCU, Rodenberg heads a team of advancement officers who have successfully completed major fundraising initiatives to enrich the permanent endowment and the annual operating budget. She is currently in the process of leading Brite into a celebration of Brite Divinity Schools Centennial that will fund faculty chairs, create new scholarships and stipends for students, and expand cross-cultural education and travel immersion experiences.
Dr. Victor Boschini, Chancellor of TCU remarked, “Tamara is a person of remarkable talents, boundless energy and personal integrity. She is an exceptional leader who will shepherd this unique learning institution into a new era of excellence.”
Prior to her arrival at Brite in 2011, Rodenberg completed a two-year intentional interim presidency at the Disciples Seminary Foundation, Claremont, California. Under her leadership, the Foundation increased its endowment, instituted new financial controls, converted the donor tracking process, changed investment advisors, and emerged with one of the institution’s first successful audits.
From 2006-2009, she served the Foundation as Dean for Southern California, where she was responsible for the oversight and development of the educational programs.
She also has been an adjunct professor in sociology, ethics and religion at various institutions, and has worked in development and strategic planning. A graduate of Lexington Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree, Rodenberg has served as the campus minister of the University of Kentucky as well as a congregational minister at Christian churches in Kentucky and California. She earned a doctorate in philosophy, Christian Ethics and Religion from the Graduate Theological Union in 2006.
Rodenberg and her husband John, Vice President of Philanthropy and Mission Implementation at Christian Church Homes, have two children, Heather and Matthew. They will reside on campus at the President’s residence, Christman Manor at Pendleton Heights.