Charles Dickens urges us to see our lives in a larger perspective:
“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty, not upon your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”
For some, Thanksgiving represents the start of the holiday shopping season. For those of us in academe, it means the end of the semester, with the attendant grading. For most, however, it is a season of reflection, a time of sharing with family and friends.
As Bethany College begins the official start of the season, we invite you to attend the Holiday Concert Thursday, December 2, at 7:30 p.m. in Commencement Hall.
Thanksgiving 2010 offers a quiet space amid a hectic season to contemplate the highlights of the past weeks, in which Bethany alumni continued to delight us and affirm our strengths. Several, including
Charles (Pete) Perry ’59, returned to campus as guest lecturers this fall. Pete, who now lives in Washington, DC, met with students and conducted sessions on international relations. He earned a master’s degree in international affairs from Georgetown University in 1980. He began his career in Washington, DC, with the Library of Congress, later serving as a Congressional Administrative Assistant. He then began work with the U.N., representing it in Washington, Africa, Bosnia, Croatia, Cyprus and the Caribbean. In addition to his many other assignments, Pete has served as director of the Washington office of the U.N. Development Program and as U.N. Resident Coordinator and Development Program Resident Representative to Cyprus. He is just one of many Bethany alumni who continue to make a difference, serving as ambassadors for the College and as role models for students and young alumni.
Also on the international front, another prominent alumnus who continues to represent both himself and his alma mater with distinction is The Hon. Thomas Buergenthal ’57, H’ 81, the American justice on the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, The Netherlands. Lobingier Professor of International and Comparative Law at The George Washington University School of Law, Judge Buergenthal was among attendees at the November Washington, DC, alumni event hosted by Grant McLaughlin ’91 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, followed by a standing-room-only alumni and friends event at Zaytinya. The English-language version of Judge Buergenthal’s memoir, A Lucky Child, was published earlier this year. Previously released in Germany in 2007 as Ein Glückskind, the book has sold more than 100,000 copies, has been published in 10 languages and is now in print in 12 countries.
The College hosted three other widely attended events for important constituencies this fall. Our Social Work Department hosted the third annual symposium focusing on empowering the family in health and human services. A record number of attendees — including nurses, domestic violence prevention workers, social workers, counselors and other helping professionals—packed the Mountainside Conference Center for this program. In addition, the Department of Math and Science hosted 120 of the most promising high school students from our region for the annual Science Day. Finally, Bethany’s Buffalo Seminary hosted a widely popular continuing program for church leaders entitled “The Church and New Media.”
In athletics, we’ve had an outstanding year. Last spring, men’s basketball advanced to the ECAC semi-finals while winning 19 games; softball won 35, moving into the finals of the PAC and ECAC championships; and baseball won 21 games while advancing to the ECAC semi-finals. We are fortunate to offer a robust NCAA Division III program while competing with a stellar group of student-athletes.
November was another outstanding month for our intercollegiate sports program. Women’s volleyball had the second best season in Bethany history, finishing with a 24-13 record and winning the ECAC championship with impressive wins over Stevenson, Swarthmore and Saint Vincent. Men’s soccer completed a sensational turnaround this year, recording 11 wins under second-year head coach Sean Regan—son of Bethany Hall of Famer Jimmy Regan ’81. Moreover, football registered its best overall record since 2001 and its highest conference standing since the 1980 championship season.
Approaching the holiday season, we pause for two final reflections: first, to thank our faculty and staff for a year filled with growth and accomplishments, and second, to thank our alumni and friends who steadfastly support the College. If you’ve already given this year, we thank you. If not, I invite you to participate now by clicking on our website:
All of us rely upon friends and family for support and sustenance; at no time of year is this more apparent than at the holidays. Bethany, too, has attained success because of the generosity and commitment of countless individuals who care about our mission, all through the year. That support sustains us in all that we do at the College.
As we count down to 2011, we send warmest holiday wishes to you and yours from Bethany College.