BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College on Saturday announced the recipients of the college’s prestigious Oreon E. Scott Award, which recognizes the students who have the highest academic standing in the graduating class.

Oreon E. Scott Award 2021Provost and Dean of Faculty Joe Lane bestowed this year’s honor upon Olivia Archer, of Wheeling, W.Va., and Tatum Dyar, of Brazil, Ind., during the college’s 181st commencement ceremony.

Archer graduated with Bachelor of Art degrees in political sciences and psychology.

“I remember very clearly this student leading a delegation of students to speak with me about creating a scholarship program for a student from a refugee family,” Lane said. “It is a rare first-year student who approaches the provost to make such a recommendation and yet her presentation was so professional and well-researched that the recommendation was adopted.

Archer was a Kalon Scholar, a resident adviser, and served numerous roles in the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. She completed the LEAD program and played for the Bison women’s soccer team.

Archer earned distinction on her comprehensive exams in political science.

“Her excellence in the classroom is widely celebrated by her professors, who laud her incredible intellect,” Lane said.

In April, she received the Thomas R. Briggs Award in psychology and joined Dyar as a recipient of the Francis R. Carfer Prize, which recognizes outstanding seniors. Archer previously received the John G. Chernenko Award and the Thomas Jefferson Award, both honoring excellence in political science.

She will attend the University of Dayton School of Law to pursue a Juris Doctorate.

Dyar graduated with Bachelor of Art degrees in international business and marketing. She also completed minors in German and theater.

Dyar achieved distinction in both of her comprehensive exams and was a finalist for a Fulbright Fellowship.

She was a Kalon Scholar, a student supervisor in the T.W. Phillips Memorial Library, a member of multiple honors societies, and a performer in Bethany theater productions.

In fall 2020, she organized the new student organization, Greener Bethany, with a focus on environmental causes. In her role as president, she worked with the Post-Landfill Action Network and the college to prepare a Wheadon Foundation grant, which secures $15,000 to allow Bethany and Parkhurst Dining to transition to reusable takeout containers.

“In this endeavor, and so many other projects on our campus, this student has consistently found the time to make a positive difference in the lives of others and the culture of the college, all while excelling in the classroom,” Lane said.

In April, Dyar received the John R. Taylor Memorial Award in Liberal Arts, the Shirley Morris Memorial Award in modern languages, and Business Awards in marketing and international business. In 2020, she received the Pittsburgh Bethany College Club Award for Outstanding Junior Woman, the Eugene Miller Award in business, and the Leonora Balla Cayard Prize in German.

Lane also recognized the 2020 award winner, Rebecca Lee, of Huntington, W.Va. Since graduating from Bethany College with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, Lee has been completing a research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health.

Under the guidance of Dr. Robert Brosh ’84 at the National Institute on Aging, Lee’s research contributing to the fight against COVID-19.

The Oreon E. Scott Award singles out the graduating seniors with the highest academic standing over the entire period of study. The namesake of this historical award was a longtime Bethany trustee and a graduate of the class of 1892.


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.