BETHANY, W.Va. — Bethany College President Dr. Jamie Caridi addressed faculty and staff on Wednesday, March 1, for a spring State of the College address just days after the board announced his extended tenure. Caridi started the address openly thanking the College for believing in him to continue Bethany’s mission.  “It is an absolute blessing and honor to be of service to this very special mission and this very special place,” said Caridi.  

He went on to speak about what Bethany College needs to be distinctive—to stand out among the 3,000 colleges in America. This includes propagating a culture of civility and respect, honoring the dignity of every member of our college community, and encouraging each one of us to be the best version of ourselves.   

“We are going to be a place where all people are welcome.  Regardless of your gender, race, ethnicity, political affiliation, or religion, Bethany College welcomes you. And frankly, when we welcome you to this great institution, we want you to bring ALL of you to campus,” stated Caridi. “I have spoken to alumni from all corners of our country, and they are passionate that we be the place I just described. We will be a campus where critical thinking is pervasive, where diversity of thought is valued, and a place where students are taught how to think, not what to think.” 

The address also focused on Bethany’s continued growth and the progress made on the College’s strategic plan: Build for a Lifetime. “The faculty and leadership deserve a lot of credit. What we have asked them to do, and what they’ve accomplished in just one year, is remarkable,” said Caridi. “I’m proud and pleased.  Because of the effort of the faculty and staff who are with us today, 41 of 100 key initiatives listed in the strategic plan are either complete or close to completion.” 

He also addressed the challenges Bethany is facing and was upfront with what we need to do to move through them.  “If we’re behind in quality, we’ve got to own it. We’ve got to fix it. We’ve got to do it right,” said Caridi. “We are constantly reevaluating. We will test everything and keep that which is good.  In so doing, we can continue our path to ensuring Bethany’s future prosperity”.