BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College alumnus and longtime history professor Dr. Gary Kappel ’74 will kick off the latest Ohio County Public Library’s People’s University series on the Cold War.

Kappel will present “Introduction: Iron Curtain Rising. What Was the Cold War?” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2, in the library auditorium, 52 16th St., Wheeling, and live-streamed on the library’s Facebook and YouTube pages and at

He also will lecture at 7 p.m. Dec. 9 on “Wars of Containment” and at 7 p.m. Dec. 30 on “More Bombs, Bigger Bombs, Better Bombs.”

Kappel is the Bethany College historian and holds the title of Professor of History in the Perry and Aleece Gresham Chair in the Humanities Emeritus. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Bethany, and master’s and doctorate degrees in history from West Virginia University.

Over his more than 30-year career at Bethany, Kappel taught courses in world history, European history, military history and first-year seminars on the Cold War.

The Cold War is the 33rd installment of the People’s University. Ohio County Public Library’s librarian, Virginia Ebeling, introduced the program in 1951 as a free resource for individuals interested in lifelong learning. The library revived the program in 2010.

The eight-week series, which runs weekly from Dec. 2 through Jan. 20, also features lectures by Dr. Joe Laker, emeritus professor of history at Wheeling University; Dr. William Hal Gorby, assistant professor of history at West Virginia University; and Dr. Korcaighe Hale, associate professor of history at Ohio University Zanesville.

For a complete schedule, visit


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.