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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 Council Room, 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 alumni@bethanywv.edu.

Meet the Team

Lori Weaver joined Bethany College in February 2020 as its Associate Vice President of Major Gifts and Campaign Operations and has since accepted the position of Vice President of Institutional Advancement.

Lori was born in Huntington, WV and earned her bachelor’s degree from West Liberty University in speech pathology and audiology, with minors in education and psychology. She comes to Bethany with more than 22 years of fundraising experience. Most recently, she served as the Executive Director of Campaigns and Advancement Operations at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, PA.

Lori enjoys seeing the impact that her office’s work directly has on the students. Thanks to the generosity of alumni and donors, Bethany is able to provide unique experiences and financial support to students that wouldn’t be possible without them. Lori loves leaving work every day knowing that she has made a difference.

Lori can be reached at LWeaver@bethanywv.edu or 304.829.7284.

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 skemp@bethanywv.edu.

Shannon Kolkedy is Director of Media Relations for Bethany College. She has more than 15 years of journalism experience, having worked at newspapers in Toledo, St. Marys and Sandusky in Ohio, and in State College and Lewistown in Pennsylvania. She has a MBA in public policy from the University of Findlay and a B.S. in journalism from Bowling Green State University.

Shannon can be reached at 304.829.7221 or skolkedy@bethanywv.edu.

Emily Luke is Bethany College’s Executive Director of Marketing & Communications, having come from the Morgantown Dominion Post, where she was a multimedia journalist for two years. Originally from Perryopolis, Pa., Emily is a graduate with honors of Malone University in Canton, Ohio, where she majored in public relations. She was the video editor for the student newspaper and was a public relations intern for the Stark County Hunger Task Force and Peanut Free Zone.

Outside of the office, Emily spends her free time reading and furthering her skills in photography and videography.

Emily can be reached at eluke@bethanywv.edu.

Abby McDonald returned to Bethany College in February 2021 as the Director of Marketing & Communications for Institutional Advancement. In this role, she will work closely with the advancement and alumni team to plan, create, and communicate marketing materials.

Abby is from Uniontown, PA, and earned her bachelor degree from Bethany College in Business Management in January, 2020. She has experience as a Marketing Intern and worked for one year as a Logistics Broker.

While a student at Bethany, Abby was extremely involved as a Resident Assistant, President of Zeta Tau Alpha, and was inducted into the Society for Distinguished Campus Leaders. Her appreciation for her alma mater and alumni has continuously grown through opportunities such as Women and Leadership and Sigma Beta Delta (National Business Honor Society).

Abby can be reached at amcdonald@bethanywv.edu or 304.829.7411.

Rebecca (Becky) Pauls returned to Bethany College in November 2020 as the Director of Annual Giving. She is very pleased to join the Advancement team and looks forward to working with alumni and friends of the college.

Becky grew up in Massillon, Ohio, and earned her Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Ohio State University.

Her 29 years of experience in higher education has been in several different departments at Bethany College and at three additional West Virginia small, private colleges. Becky has treasured the connections and friendships that she has made over the years with Bethany College alumni and their families. She also enjoys watching the career growth and life events of Bethanians.

Becky and her husband, Ted, have lived in the town of Bethany since 1995 and are the proud parents of daughter, Hannah, and son, Garrett.

Becky can be reached at rpauls@bethanywv.edu,  304.975.0387 (cell), and 304.829.7633 (office).

Liz Short joined the Bethany College family in October 2020 as the Director of Philanthropic Gifts. In this role, Liz will be meeting with alumni and friends of Bethany to solicit donations to support the students and mission of the college.

Liz grew up in Webster County, West Virginia. She earned her BA in Public Relations at WV Wesleyan College and later her MA in Higher Education at the University of Delaware.

Liz has spent her career either working with college students or working to support them in advancement roles. As a first generation college student, Liz believes that college is a transformational experience that any student with the aptitude and desire should have the opportunity to experience, regardless of socioeconomic status. She’s thrilled to bring her experience and passion to Bethany!

You can reach Liz at 304.829.7281 or lshort@bethanywv.edu.

Rhone Thrash returned to Bethany College in March 2020 as the Executive Director of Alumni Engagement & Special Projects. In this role, he will oversee alumni programs, connections, and development.

Rhone grew up in Parkersburg, WV and earned his bachelor degree from Bethany College in Psychology in 2019. He then earned his master degree in Human Resource Management from Marshall University in 2020.

While at Bethany, he embodied the true spirit of a Bethanian. He not only excelled in the classroom, he participated and held leadership positions in many clubs, sport teams, societies, and organizations. He recognizes the importance that alumni played in the success of his academic career and looks forward to working with alumni to assist them in establishing meaningful engagement opportunities with Bethany.

Rhone can be reached at rthrash@bethanywv.edu, 304.830.1308 (cell), or 304.829.7288 (office).

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 mwalden@bethanywv.edu.