BETHANY, W.Va. – The Independent College Advancement Associates selected Bethany College Vice President of Institutional Advancement Lori Weaver as the recipient of its 2021 Ernest A. Sheetz Mentor Award.

Weaver joined Bethany in February 2020 as associate vice president of major gifts and campaign operations and was promoted to the vice president role in August.

Liz Short, Bethany’s director of philanthropic gifts; Rebecca Pauls, director of annual giving; and Rhone Thrash ’19, executive director of alumni engagement and special projects, nominated Weaver for the honor.

“Lori not only mentors and coaches, but she also creates a safe environment where I am not afraid to make a mistake; I know I can learn from mistakes,” Short said. “She gives transparent and direct feedback without ever making me feel inferior. She gives me feedback in a way that makes me want to try to tackle a problem again. She works collaboratively and is as excited to learn from me as she is to teach or share with me; she makes me feel valued and like my opinion matters.”

Click for video of on-campus presentation.

Pauls recently transitioned into advancement after years in admission and enrollment.

“Lori is very approachable and treats her Advancement and Alumni team with the utmost regard and professionalism,” Pauls said. “She meets with her team on a weekly basis in addition to providing each team member a one-on-one weekly meeting. This not only provides the team with Lori’s expert guidance but also allows the team to collaborate, both together and with Lori individually.”

Thrash added his perspective as a Bethany alumnus to his nomination.

“I do not believe Bethany could have found a better leader to shoulder institutional advancement and alumni relations,” he said. “I also do not believe I could have found a better mentor to mold my young, career-driven mind into the young professional I want to be. Lori has been a calling answered at my alma mater. … Her goals are not driven by personal success, but rather by the success of her team, students, alumni, and the college as a whole.”

Weaver was recognized this week during the Virtual ICAA Summer Conference.

The ICAA introduced the Ernest A. Sheetz Mentor Award in 2002 to recognize advancement professionals who have displayed outstanding mentoring skills.


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.