BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College classes of 1970 and 1980 celebrated their reunions during Homecoming weekend with donations to their alma mater.

The class of 1970 raised $165,304 for an unrestricted endowment fund. Additional gifts were expected, said Rick Hull ’70. In fact, $3,500 was donated since Homecoming.

Meanwhile, the class of 1980 set out to raise $40,000 in honor of their 40th reunion. The money covered the cost of renovating classroom 203 in Old Main and purchased a mobile touch-screen smartboard for use in the room. The finishing touches – fresh painting and the installation of white boards – are to be completed during Bethany’s winter break.

While class members were unable to be on campus to celebrate, Bethany College President Tamara Nichols Rodenberg recognized their generosity during the college’s virtual Homecoming celebration.

Each class held a reunion and happy hour, with dozens of classmates taking part and receiving an update from the president.

The goal of the 1970’s endowment is to “sustain a Bethany education in perpetuity,” Hull said.

Pat Hosey ’80 said the class of 1980 was inspired by a similar project undertaken by the class of 1979.

Last year, the class of 1979 raised $79,000 and dedicated a room in memory of Robert A. Sandercox, a 1954 graduate of Bethany who went on to work for the college for 40 years. He served the college professionally in many roles, including dean of students, director of alumni relations, and senior vice president for institutional research and planning. In retirement he served on the Board of Trustees.

The class of 1980 chose to dedicate their classroom to Richard B. Kenney for his lifetime of service to Bethany. Kenney, a religion professor who served as head of the department, died in 1986. A freshman leadership award at Bethany is also named in Kenney’s memory.

“If there was a Mount Rushmore of professors from that era, he would definitely be on it,” Hosey said.

The class of 1980’s reunion project was led by Beth Grace, Brian Helme, Sue High, Hosey, Charlie Luceno, Pam Peterson McEwen, Joanne Risucci Barron, Caryn Teutsch Chernicky, and Rick Zarnoch.

Both fund-raising efforts remain open. Click here to donate as part of the class of 1970 and here as part of 1980. Donors can also text BCCLASS70 or BCCLASS80 to 71777 to give.


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.