BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College Alumni Association has announced the recipients of its 2020 alumni awards, including the first Robert A. Sandercox Award in six years.

The honorees will be recognized in a digital ceremony at 7 p.m. Oct. 23 as part of Bethany’s 2020 Virtual Homecoming festivities.

Recipients were voted on by members of the Bethany Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Scarlett Foster ’79, of St. Louis is the recipient of the prestigious Robert A. Sandercox Award, given “only on the rare occasions to the select few who demonstrate a level of commitment to Bethany and the educational community that is not easily rivaled.” Foster is only the fifth recipient of the award since its inception in 1997.

Foster served on the Bethany Board of Trustees on two separate occasions from 1994-2004 and again from 2008-2019 for a combined 21 years of service. She served on multiple committees from admission and marketing to investment and finance. Foster was recently an instrumental force behind the class of 1979 renovation of the Sandercox Room in Old Main.

Foster’s established the annual Women and Leadership Weekend. Underwritten by her personal resources, the event is open to all female students and celebrates and promotes women and leadership. Through workshops, guest speakers, panel discussions, and interactive sessions, the weekend affords students opportunities to network and further their leadership aspirations. The event is the second largest annual gathering of alumni on Bethany’s campus. Foster chose to name the event after a fellow Bethanian, Ann Wilkin Trombadore, “… an inspirational leader and a passionate mentor to women in all walks of life,” said Foster, who is the President of SLF Consulting, LLC and is a retired Corporate Officer and Vice President of Investor Relations for Monsanto Co.

Foster graduated in 1979 with a B.A. in Communications. She also has an M.B.A. from Washington University Olin Business School in St. Louis.

John Somsky ’71, of Canonsburg, Pa., is the recipient of the Distinguished Service to Alma Mater Award, the college’s highest honor for alumni involvement, volunteer service, and support of Bethany.

He has been a loyal supporter of Bethany for nearly 50 years. Whether it be securing donations for fundraisers, financial support, group fundraising, or serving on search committees for the athletic department, Somsky has been involved.

During his early professional career as a high school football coach in Pennsylvania and Texas and as a collegiate football coach at Purdue, West Virginia, TCU, and LSU, Somsky supported the college through donations primarily of athletic training supplies, football equipment, and specialty training equipment.

After his transition into corporate marketing, while working as the senior manager of Sports Marketing at Gatorade, Somsky ensured that Bethany College Athletics received the same product and equipment donations that were distributed to Division I institutions such as Penn State, Michigan, and Texas.

Somsky has served as a keynote speaker, guest lecturer, and student career counselor at Bethany. Most recently, Somsky has been involved in the development of a new weight training/human performance facility and in the donation of additional Gatorade dispensing products in support Covid-19 protocols.

He was a founding member and served as chair for Sports Management Department Advisory Board at Robert Morris University, worked as an adjunct faculty member teaching licensing and sponsorship for the department, and sat on the visitor’s board of the Pennsylvania “Big 33” Foundation during the 1980s and 1990s.

He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from Bethany. He received his master’s degree in Educational Support Theory from West Virginia University in 1974 and worked on a doctorate in Education at Purdue University in 1975.

Mark Bado ’87 of Charlotte is a recipient of an Alumni Achievement Award.

Bado went from a role in public accounting to an outstanding career in the field of club management starting at Oakmont Country Club in Pittsburgh. Mark now serves as the General Manager of Myers Park Country Club in Charlotte.

Bado received the Excellence in Club Management Award (Club Manager of the Year) in 2015. He has led three of his clubs to achieve the status of Platinum Club of America. He is one of only 22 managers in the world to earn his Master Club Manager (MCM) designation.

He serves as president of the Club Management Association of America’s National Board of Directors which represents over 2,500 clubs worldwide. He continues to be a leader, mentor, and role model to those coming up the ranks.

Bado graduated in 1987 with a B.A. in Accounting.

Reverend Amos Acree ‘69, of Depew, N.Y., is the recipient of the Community Service Award.
Acree is an ordained Disciples of Christ minister and a Registered Nurse. He has served as a pastor working to develop parish nursing programs and as a hospice nurse attending to the spiritual needs of his patients.

Acree has been active in ecumenical work, nursing care, combating racism, and mission work throughout his career and into retirement. Acree was a member of the Coalition for Economic Justice, Western NY Peace Center, a member of the leadership team of the UCC Faith Community Nurse Network, and served as a hospice nurse to HIV/AIDS patients in the 1980s.

He has served on mission trips to Nicaragua and Honduras, and worked on post-Katrina recovery trips and in New York City after Hurricane Sandy. Acree sat on the Anti-Racism Team for the North East Region, the Board of Directors for the Boys & Girls Club of East Aurora, N.Y., and is a member of multiple groups including the Disciples Peace Fellowship and Council on Christian Unity.

Acree graduated in 1969 with a B.A. in Philosophy. He went on to receive his M. Div. in 1974 from Colgate Rochester Bexley Hall Divinity School and his RN in 1982 from Buffalo General Hospital School of Nursing.

To attend the virtual alumni awards ceremony or any of Bethany’s virtual Homecoming events, register here.


Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.