BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College will hold its annual Founder’s Day celebration Thursday, March 3, in honor of Bethany’s 176 years as a small college of national distinction. Dr. Tamara Nichols Rodenberg — Bethany’s recently appointed President — will address attendees at 11 a.m. in historic Commencement Hall.

Rodenberg, who began her tenure as Bethany’s 20th president on January 1, 2016, had previously served as the Vice President of Advancement at Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University.

As Vice President for Advancement at Brite Divinity School at TCU, Rodenberg headed a team of advancement officers who have successfully completed major fundraising initiatives to enrich the permanent endowment and the annual operating budget. She lead Brite into a celebration of Brite Divinity Schools Centennial that will fund faculty chairs, create new scholarships and stipends for students, and expand cross-cultural education and travel immersion experiences.

Prior to her arrival at Brite in 2011, Rodenberg completed a two-year intentional interim presidency at the Disciples Seminary Foundation, Claremont, California. Under her leadership, the Foundation increased its endowment, instituted new financial controls, converted the donor tracking process, changed investment advisors, and emerged with one of the institution’s first successful audits.

From 2006-2009, she served the Foundation as Dean for Southern California, where she was responsible for the oversight and development of the educational programs.

She also has been an adjunct professor in sociology, ethics and religion at various institutions, and has worked in development and strategic planning. A graduate of Lexington Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree, Rodenberg has served as the campus minister of the University of Kentucky as well as a congregational minister at Christian churches in Kentucky and California.  She earned a doctorate in philosophy, Christian Ethics and Religion from the Graduate Theological Union in 2006.

A wreath-laying ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m. at the Campbell Cemetery, weather permitting. The wreath will be placed at the gravesite of Alexander Campbell (1788-1866), Bethany College’s founder and first president. Guests are invited to visit the Campbell Mansion, one of Bethany’s National Historic Landmarks, following the ceremony.

Founder’s Day at Bethany College is observed on the first Thursday of March. The College received its official charter from the Legislature of Virginia March 2, 1840. The charter was affirmed June 20, 1863, by the Legislature of the newly formed state of West Virginia.

Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.