Erickson Alumni Center

The Erickson Alumni Center (1992) is home to Bethany’s Alumni Relations Office, Development Office, Church Relations Office and the Office of Communications. It also houses the Alumni CouncilRoom, the Wilkin Parlor and the Martin Guest Rooms.

Originally part of the McLean-McEachern residence complex, it was completely reconstructed as the result of a gift from noted West Virginia philanthropist Charles O. Erickson. His generosity made the creation of alumni centers possible at colleges and universities throughout West Virginia.

The Council Room and the Wilkin Parlor are available for alumni meetings free of charge. There are seven sleeping rooms in the Alumni Center. Two rooms share a private bath. All rooms have use of the kitchen in the Center. Alumni can stay at the Center for a fee of $30 per night.

To make a reservation for overnight accommodations or meeting space, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 304.829.7723 or send an e-mail to

Center for Institutional Advancement Staff

Sven de Jong serves as Senior Vice President, with duties including directing external affairs programs of the College, including the Center for Institutional Advancement which encompasses development and alumni & parent relations.

A 1995 graduate of Bethany, he returned to his alma mater in 2005 to lead the external affairs functions of the College. A native of Maryland, he earned a B.A. in International Economics and German and a minor in International Relations. While at Bethany he was recognized with The Francis O. Carfer Prize as the Outstanding Senior. He earned his M.S. in Non-profit Management from Eastern University.

Prior to working at Bethany, Sven spent more than eight years in corporate financial services and served as Director of Major and Planned Gifts for West Liberty State College. For seven years he served as the Mayor of the Town of Bethany and was a member of the Bethany Volunteer Fire Department for fifteen years. In 2012 Sven was named “40 under 40 – Generation Next in West Virginia” by the State Journal.

He is married to Elizabeth Shelly de Jong ’91.

Sven can be contacted at 304.829.7723 or at

Greg Caprara comes to Bethany with over 20 years of fundraising experience at schools throughout the country. Greg began his career coaching a Florida State University, Syracuse and Colgate where he was first exposed to advancement work. More recently Greg has served as an advancement consultant for several educational institutions and nonprofit entities including Summers Best Two Weeks camp in Somerset, Pennsylvania. Prior to his arrival, Greg was the Director of Athletic Development for California University of Pennsylvania.

Greg is no stranger to Bethany College. As the Director of Competition for West Virginia Special Olympics, Greg forged a relationship with the college to help train coaches to work with Special Olympians. He also shares relationships and acquaintances with several Bethany Alumni.

Greg is married to the former Sharon Evans, of Elkins, West Virginia. They have three children and two grandchildren. Greg and Sharon make their home in O’Hara Township, Pennsylvania.

Greg can be contacted at 304.829.7284 or at

Long-time College employee Shirley Kemp has been associated with Bethany for 45 years. Shirley’s smile, wit and calm are instrumental to the success of the advancement office. Prior to coming to institutional advancement, she served the admission office for ten years. She is the “keeper” of the records, responsible for gift entry and reporting as well as monitoring data input and pulling the many lists for the Bethany community.

Outside of the office, Shirley enjoys working with the Special Olympics, loves to golf and is active in the Castleman’s Run United Methodist Church. She is also an active volunteer for Our English Setter Rescue and has two loyal English Setters, Charlie and Mia.

Shirley can be reached at 304.829.7485 or

Mark Phillips has joined Bethany College as the Director of Alumni Engagement. In this role, he oversees all aspects of the College’s programs for alumni relations.

Mark was born and raised in southwestern Pennsylvania, where he attended St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA, earning a B.A. in English with a minor in Secondary Education. He earned an M.A. in English at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, and is currently finishing a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of Cincinnati.

Prior to coming to Bethany, Mark worked as the Chief of Staff in the President’s Office at Wheeling Jesuit University (WJU), where he participated with the President and other members of the President’s Cabinet in institutional planning, policy development, budget management, and problem resolution.

Mark lives with his wife, Amy, and their son, Benjamin, in Wheeling. He can be contacted at 304.829.7299 or at

Ginni Walden, a life-long resident of the area, is pleased to return to the Center for Institutional Advancement. She previously held positions in the Enrollment Office, the President’s Office and the Development Office. She looks forward to helping the Institutional Advancement Staff reach goals necessary to advance the mission of the College and is eager to renew contact with alumni and friends.

Ginni has three sons and seven grandchildren, enjoys reading, gardening and spending time with the family. She is an active member of the Castleman Run United Methodist Church.

Ginni can be reached at 304.829.7723 or