BETHANY, W.Va. – A pair of Bethany College First Year Experience classes celebrated the near-completion of the fall semester with a teamwork exercise on Pennington Quadrangle and a Friendsgiving meal.

The instructors of the participating classes are Dr. Diane Snyder, assistant professor of psychology, and Heather Taylor, director of the McCann Learning Center.

“The activities were designed to promote teamwork, effective communication, and persistence in working toward goals,” Snyder said.

Meighan Julbert, Bethany’s director of student-athlete success, challenged students to work as a team to successfully flip a tarp while several team members were blindfolded.

“First you have to have a plan,” Julbert said as she described the exercise to the students. “Next, you need to have an idea how you will adjust when your plan does not work. That’s how life is.”

To accomplish their assigned goal within a set time limit, the students first had to develop an effective way to communicate. The challenges they faced along the way led to lessons on communication, the importance of planning and execution, and the need to adapt when confronted with mistakes or unexpected circumstances, Julbert said.

“The overall emphasis was to find the courage to finish the semester strong and to realize that although each individual in the class has made mistakes throughout the fall, the measure of a person is who they are after that mistake and how they choose to respond moving forward,” she said.

After the Thursday, Nov. 21, exercise, the two classes shared a meal a week ahead of Thanksgiving.

Friendsgiving is a tradition that emphasizes the importance of close friendships. Its observance has grown in popularity in the United States over the last decade.


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.