BETHANY, W.Va. — Bethany College announced Tuesday it received an estate gift of more than $538,000 for the creation of a scholarship fund for science majors.

The gift will be designated for the Reuben C. and Jean E. Ott Family Scholarship.

“Reuben and Jean Ott cared deeply about Bethany, the sciences, and making a lasting impact on students’ lives,” said Lori Weaver, vice president of Institutional Advancement. “With their gift of over $500,000 for an endowed scholarship, they will be able to sponsor a scholarship for science majors up to $10,000 over a student’s academic career—based on merit and need.”

Reuben Ott ’45, who died March 16, 2020, passed his comprehensive exams with distinction and graduated from Bethany cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity and was part of Bethany’s V-12 Navy College Training Program.

He retired from DuPont as a chemical engineer.

Jean Ott ’44 graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics. She was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority.

She died in 2013.

“There’s nothing more meaningful than finding alumni with the desire to use their resources to help students, and then working to make it a reality,” Weaver said. “It’s a transformational experience for both the donors and the students. Jean and Rueben were able to make that difference with a scholarship that will last in perpetuity.”


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.