BETHANY, W.Va. – More than 100 Bethany College students, faculty, and staff gathered at Bethany Memorial Church on Wednesday to remember two students who died in June in an Ohio house fire.

Jordan Weaver, of Huntsburg, Ohio, and Mitchell Sotera, of Atwater, Ohio, both 20, were juniors at Bethany and engaged to be married. She was a biology/biochemistry major with an interest in genetics, and he was a history major.

The Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins officiated the service. Professor Brooke Lemmons Deal and Associate Professor Holly Hillgardner, both in religious studies, offered readings.

David Arnold, defensive coordinator of the Bison football team, recalled recruiting Sotera to Bethany.

Several classmates and faculty members shared their memories of Weaver and Sotera as well. They were described as inseparable and never too busy to share a smile or kind words to lift someone’s spirits.

During the service, Associate Dean of Student Life Sam Goodge announced that the college will establish the Jordan Weaver and Mitchell Sotera awards to recognize the top new sorority and fraternity members each year.

Both had joined Greek life last spring. She was a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, and he was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity.


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.