BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College and the Alumni Council are excited to bring you the annual Bethany Connect Speaker Series. On select dates, the Bethany community will join to think about the questions raised by our times. This year, the Speaker Series will feature distinguished alumni from many different fields of study, who will not only highlight their wisdom, but invite you to dive into deeper conversation and understanding.

The series started as a Zoom event during the height of the pandemic, but what once was an adaptation to a tricky situation has since proven to be an effective way to join the entire Bethany community together. Bethany is committed to engaging Bethanians of all ages through this series. So, join us—listen, learn, and ask questions. We look forward to connecting current students, faculty, and staff with the broader Bethany community through our Bethany Connect Speaker Series.

Upcoming events in this series:


September 13

  • Beth Benatti Kennedy – Career ReCharge: Do not go down the burnout escalator

7:30 p.m., Zoom Webinar

Beth Benatti Kennedy ‘88, MS, LMFT, Bethany College, BS in business and psychology is a leadership coach, motivational speaker, and author who founded Benatti Leadership Development. Kennedy earned her MS from Northeastern University in Human Resource Counseling. She developed the Benatti Resiliency Model that has helped thousands of people develop the resilience to adapt to changing career circumstances and secure life and career satisfaction. Kennedy’s expertise as a leadership coach is recognized globally, and she influences many professionals engaged in a wide range of disciplines.

October 1 – Homecoming Weekend

  • Town Hall

10:30 a.m., Wailes Theatre

Join the Alumni Council, President Dr. Jamie Caridi, and Ken Bado for a live town hall.

  • Grimes Lecture Series – ‘Upon a Slender Stalk’

2:00 p.m., Wailes Theatre & Livestreamed (

Presentation by Rev. Dr. Larry Grimes, who holds degrees from Bethany College, Yale Divinity School, and Emory University in English, theology, culture, and literature. He taught at Bethany College for four decades and served as dean of arts and sciences, director of church relations, and vice president and dean of the faculty at the college. He also served as an interim minister at several Disciples of Christ (DOC) churches in the tri-state area. Grimes retired and now lives in Colo., but he still maintains a strong relationship with the Christian Church in W.Va., serving on the Regional Board and on the Commission on the Ministry. Grimes’ poetic collection, “Upon a Slender Stalk,” was published in 2022.

October 2 – Homecoming Weekend

  • Kenn Morgan’s Last Lecture – ‘My Way…’

2:30 p.m., Renner Art Gallery & Recorded

Presentation by Kenn Morgan ‘71, who has been a visual art professor at Bethany since 1989. Morgan teaches two-dimensional art, as well as art history at his alma mater, which has resulted in being named to Who’s Who in America Teachers, elected Professor of the Year, and awarded the Distinguished Faculty Member Award by Bethany’s Alumni Council in 2002. His love of travel and passion for teaching has taken him to Rome, Florence, and Venice to teach numerous times. He has also accompanied Bethanians to Spain, Dominica (West Indies), Paris, London, and the Galapagos Islands. He is an active studio artist, frequently exhibiting his artwork in group, solo, and invitational shows and is represented in collections in Chicago, Durham, N.C., Houston, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and Portsmouth and Norfolk, Va.

November 1

  • Dr. Catherine Gabor

7:30 p.m., Zoom Webinar

Dr. Catherine (Cathy) Gabor ‘89, Bethany College, BA in English, is a professor at the University of San Francisco, College of Arts and Sciences. Gabor earned her Ph.D. from Texas Christian University in rhetoric and composition. She is an outstanding educator with expertise in not only rhetoric and composition, but also writing in electronic environments and Ignatian pedagogy. Gabor has distinguished administrative ranking and received awards including an Open Educational Resources Grant, Faculty Award for Technology Innovation, and other accolades. She is a published author and recognized widely for her professional leadership roles.


You can also catch up with previous talks by watching the archived presentations at These presentations highlight how Bethany and Bethanians are engaging in the most pressing issues facing our communities, because we know making connections is how we make the world a better place.


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.