BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College marked a momentous occasion on Thursday with the Build for a Lifetime campaign kickoff, officially launching the Build for a Lifetime campaign. The event saw enthusiastic participation from students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the College. 

Vice President of Advancement, Marketing, and Communications Lori Weaver opened up the night, introducing the Build for a Lifetime campaign.  

“Tonight isn’t just the launch of a campaign; it’s the dawn of a visionary future that we will craft together for those who follow. Thank you, truly, for your steadfast support as we lay down foundations that will last a lifetime. Tonight, we stand on the brink of a transformative era for Bethany College, largely due to the strategic vision of our board of trustees, president, and campus leadership. Their collective foresight and commitment to excellence have not only navigated us through the challenges of the present but have set a solid foundation for our future. We are also grateful for our gracious donors and our entire Bethany community, for without their support none of this would be possible,” said Weaver.  

Weaver then welcomed Bethany President Dr. Jamie Caridi to the stage to continue to set the tone for the evening, expressing gratitude for the alumni’s vital role in guiding and mentoring current students. Caridi highlighted the achievements of the College, including exciting new programs and partnerships, and the launch of the public phase of the Build for a Lifetime campaign. 

“In launching the public phase of our Build for a Lifetime campaign today, we have set in motion an unstoppable forward momentum that will elevate everything we do at our College,” said Caridi. “We are building for a lifetime, and with your passion and commitment to this campaign, I am confident that we can exceed our expectations and create a brighter future for Bethany.” 

A significant moment came as Caridi announced that, thanks to the generosity of alumni, faculty, staff, and friends, the campaign has already raised an impressive $15.6 million toward its $20 million goal. 

“This achievement calls for a round of applause and an even bigger show of gratitude to those who have demonstrated their confidence in our vision with their extraordinary gifts at this time and place,” Caridi said. 

The evening took an unexpected turn when a surprise video message from Kevin from The Office (Brian Baumgartner) was played, adding a touch of humor and excitement to the festivities. 

Scott Brooks ‘78, trustee and chair of the Build for a Lifetime campaign, spoke passionately about the value of a Bethany College education and the importance of supporting the campaign. He outlined the campaign’s ambitious goals, which include significant investments in campus buildings, academic programs, faculty support, and the Bethany Fund. 

“This is our time. Let’s start building,” urged Brooks, emphasizing the importance of commitment, generosity, faith, and grace in achieving the campaign’s goals. 

The Build for a Lifetime campaign aims to raise $20 million by June 30, 2025, to enhance the campus, create engaging learning spaces, and support faculty and student initiatives. The campaign will contribute to the College’s continued success in shaping the intellectual, physical, and moral culture of its students.

The day included a ribbon cutting for the new Georgiana N. ‘71 and Robert F. Riley, Jr. ‘67 Fitness Center—a $1.12M renovation inside Hummel Field House. This facility will be open to all students, faculty, staff, and the public. The campaign kickoff also featured multiple “building” activities for students, including tent building, giant Jenga, a brick hunt, and more. Afterwards, alumni, friends, faculty, staff, and students enjoyed a happy hour, networking dinner, and casino night celebration. Dice rolled and poker chips were stacked as everyone joined together for some friendly competition.  

Click here to learn more about the campaign and to make an impact.