Reflections on Leadership

Growing up, I always viewed summer a special time for reflection and forward planning. In many ways, that is exactly what we are doing at Bethany as we continue to develop clear, consistent pathways designed to take each pillar of our strategic plan, Bethany Connect, and transform it into practice.

This past year, I have been honored to share an overview of each pillar through a series of video communications. However, for this next pillar, which focuses on leadership development, I asked our own Steve Thompson, director of athletics, to share thoughts on this critical element of the Bethany experience.

Steve joined us less than a year ago, but his words and those of the alumni featured in this month’s video reaffirm that this pillar is essential to our future success. I have often said that at Bethany, we don’t graduate students; we graduate leaders who have grown through athletics, the performing arts, team-building, and various classroom and extracurricular activities. Bethany Connect looks to expand our efforts in this area even more, and I am excited to see our plan come to life.

Thank you for continuing to engage in this journey that Bethany Connect is leading. I look forward to creating more future leaders in partnership with you.

Previous Messages

Commencement 2019: An Inspiring Occasion

More than a week ago, we honored the accomplishments of the wonderful Class of 2019 during Bethany College’s 179th Commencement. This was a momentous occasion by all conceivable measures, and our community was elated to celebrate this day with our graduates.

I believe that Commencement provides a unique opportunity each year to reflect deeply on our own mission and purpose. As I shared in my remarks on May 11, this class, like all those that came before it, challenged us to see new perspectives in their time at Bethany. The class members showed us what it means to lead with heart. They modeled how to compete at the highest levels and serve with grace. The class also reminded us that stepping out of a comfort zone is necessary if we are to live up to our founder’s call to find meaningful solutions to society’s most pressing needs. These are the values we cultivate at Bethany, and I am incredibly proud of the results.

As alumni and friends, along with our faculty, staff and students, you are a continuation of a vision, and you are each connected to something far bigger than yourself. For the latest graduates, I know their first steps into the world will be mighty ones as they are now official Bethany alumni, and I am confident that they, like you, will continue to make a difference.

Congratulations to the Class of 2019, and may we always be #ONEBethany.

The Charge of Success

If energy could be transmitted through words, then this newsletter would allow each of you to feel the energy on campus as the 2018–19 academic year begins to wind down. Final papers, presentations, and projects are underway; our annual Scholarship Symposium has concluded wherein we recognized academic excellence; and our Commencement preparations are quickly coming together.

As president, this time of the year has always been my favorite, as it is when we see Bethany’s mission fully revealed in our soon-to-be graduates’ success. Their success, however, is not merely the completion of our requirements. It is found in how they discovered their respective passions. It is shown in the lifelong friendships they made. It is shared in the relationships they developed with professors who cared about them personally and professionally. It is also shown in their faces as they conquered challenges with determination and grace, took advantage of every opportunity, and responded to society’s greatest needs.

These attributes that define Bethany graduates also inform our strategic plan, Bethany Connect, which I am excited to share more about in our latest video. Indeed, this is an exciting time to be at Bethany College, and I want to thank everyone for partnering with us as we move forward on this extraordinary journey together.

Giving Match Challenge

As many of you know, this academic year’s theme is #ONEBethany. It is all about coming together to create a bold future for our college. However, that bold future can only be achieved through a collective effort to better our institution and prepare for the next decade.

Today, I am excited to announce the 4-to-1 Bethany Match Challenge. Members of the Beta Theta Pi Alumni have stepped up and will match 4-to-1 all new donations made to the college between now and June 30. So, if you are a first-time donor, or even if you haven’t made a donation in the last two years, this challenge is an amazing way for your donation to have a tremendous impact on Bethany.

By creating this campaign, the Betas have become a shining example of the oneness and togetherness the college is striving for with our #ONEBethany theme.

I want to thank you and the Betas for your generosity and encourage you all to join me in the challenge—and in our mission—to build a stronger community and brighter future for Bethany.

Think Big

This month’s message takes a deeper dive into pillar number two, Scholarship & Research. As society continues to grow increasingly complex, our plan aims to connect Bethany’s vibrant culture of scholarship and research to contribute comprehensive solutions to today’s greatest problems. Find out more about our new programming designed to inspire students to think big.

Bethany Connect

As I shared last time, Bethany College has set a bold course for its next decade by launching a new strategic plan, aptly titled Bethany Connect. The plan is founded on five pillars, the first of which will expand opportunities for our students to engage with diverse cultures and people as they connect more deeply in the world. I am excited to provide some more insight into the power of this pillar in this special video.

I also want to again thank those of you who have given in support of Bethany Connect already and who continue to fuel student success and teaching excellence at our College. Through your continued philanthropy and engagement, our strategic plan will succeed, and the students and faculty who are at the heart of it will thrive.

Together we are #ONEBethany, and together we can transform tomorrow.

Happy Holidays from Bethany College

Wishing you a happy holiday and blessed New Year from everyone at Bethany College.

Bethany needs you now.

As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving and the upcoming holiday season, I wish to offer my heartfelt thanks for your ongoing support. Without your generosity, we would not be able to deliver the life-changing student experience that we do, nor would we be able to set the course for Bethany’s bold next decade.

For those who have not had an opportunity to support the Bethany Fund, I invite you to do so now. We are implementing a strategic plan that will propel Bethany for unprecedented future success, but we need your assistance to make that future a reality. So, as you prepare to gather with your family and friends, I ask that you please remember your Bethany family as well. I encourage you to take a few minutes to watch this important video where I am joined by Greg Jordan ’81, chair of the Board of Trustees. Bethany needs your support, and we need you now.

One Bethany

Bethany recently hosted another successful Homecoming. Homecoming is always a time for reflection. As we reconnect with fellow alumni and old friends, we are reminded of how much Bethany has impacted our lives and shaped us. However, those connections aren’t just about nostalgia—they are the inspiration for our path forward.

In this video, we are pleased to present an outline of Bethany’s new strategic vision, titled “Bethany Connect.” The strategic vision sets a bold new course for Bethany’s next decade, powered by life-changing connections for our students, our region, and our world.