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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

Meet the Team

Chris Lambert joined Bethany College in July 2019 as its Vice President for Advancement and Alumni Relations. In this role, he oversees all aspects of the College’s philanthropic and alumni engagement activities.

Chris was born in Oakland, Maryland, and earned his bachelor’s degree in International Relations, Business Concentration from Frostburg State University in 1994 and his law degree from the University of Baltimore in 1997. He comes to Bethany with more than twenty years of fundraising and wealth planning experience. In addition to his undergraduate and law degrees, he holds the designation of Certified Fundraising Executive and is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) as well as the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Most recently, he served as Senior Executive Director of Philanthropy and interim Vice President for Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida.

He can be contacted at or 304.829.7281.

Lori Weaver joined Bethany College in February 2020 as its Associate Vice President of Major Gifts and Campaign Operations. In this role, Lori will oversee major gift fundraising and strategic planning for campaign efforts.

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 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

Laura Rauch has returned to Bethany College after two years with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as a Director of Development. Laura has over 10 years of advancement and fundraising experience. She has worked in development and fundraising with local schools, a local healthcare system and foundations. She looks forward to the role of Director of Annual Giving with the new developing advancement team. Laura is eager to renew friendships with Bethany alumni and friends.

Laura was raised in the Weirton, WV and has made her home in Wintersville, Ohio with her husband Chris and her three sons, Cameron, Brayden and Peyton.

She can be contacted at or 304.829.7633.

Rhone Thrash returned to Bethany College in March 2020 as the Director of Alumni Engagement. 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, 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