BETHANY, W.Va. (June 13, 2024) – In celebration of this year’s Homecoming of Champions, Bethany College is excited to announce that renowned Olympian Dave Wottle will be the distinguished speaker for the annual Grimes Lecture Series.

Wottle finishing raceWottle’s dramatic finish in the 1972 Munich Olympics was one of the closest finishes in Olympic history, earning him a Gold Medal in the 800-meter run. His performance, coupled with the iconic tattered golf cap he wore during the race, has left an indelible mark in Olympic history. With an exceptional display of spirit and determination in Munich, Wottle earned the prestigious U.S. Olympic Spirit Award, given to the single athlete who embodies the special spirit of Olympism, courage, and achievement at the Olympic Games. Due to his extraordinary achievements and enduring impact on the sport, Wottle was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1982.

Wottle’s professional career also includes significant contributions to Bethany College, where he worked as the assistant director of admission and head track and cross-country coach from 1977 to 1982. During his time at Bethany, Wottle was named director of admissions and then dean of admissions. Wottle retired from Rhodes College in 2012 as the dean of admissions and financial aid emeritus, after a remarkable 29-year tenure. Throughout his career, Wottle has consistently found that the lessons learned from his athletic experiences resonate well in many other walks of life.

“Bethany is very excited to host Dave Wottle for this year’s Grimes Lecture at our Homecoming of Champions,” says Deno Emili ’78, executive director of alumni engagement and planned giving. “We thank Mr. Wottle for agreeing to join us and appreciate the efforts of the Alumni Council to make it happen.”

The Grimes Lecture Series will take place on Oct. 12 at 11:30 a.m. at Wailes Theatre, in Steinman Hall. The event will also be livestreamed.

Don’t forget to register for the upcoming Homecoming of Champions, set for October 11 – 13, 2024! Get ready for a sensational lineup of events and activities that capture the essence of Bethany’s spirit and heritage. See the full line-up of events here.