The TOWER Online

Fall Convocation 2014

By: George Cothran


            Bethany College’s 2014 fall convocation took place in Commencement Hall on September 11, at 11am. Bethany College has a reputation for being the oldest college in West Virginia, founded in 1840. The college is blessed to still be standing after the events of the American Civil War. During that time, many students attending college left to fight in the war. Due to a major loss of students, many colleges did not have enough money to stay open and had to close down. Bethany, however, is still around to this day and fulfills its collegiate duties to the students as a liberal arts institution, educating them in every aspect to become well rounded, functioning members of society.

            This year’s convocation began with the college officers and faculty walking down the aisle, followed by the national anthem playing shortly after, led by the Assistant Professor of Music; Pandel Collaros. Afterward, Rev. Scott Thayer gave the invocation, and the college’s President Dr. Scott Miller presented his speech, officially welcoming all college freshmen to the campus. After a couple of hymns and a unison prayer led by Rev. Thayer, Chief Justice of the Student Government Association Kyle J. Booker led the installation of President Ruben “Jared” Roque and Vice President Dylan R. Martinez, both swearing an oath with the convocation attendees as witnesses.

            When the time came to award the presentations, Dean of Students Gerald Stebbins came up to announce the winners of the Anna Ruth Bourne Award, the W. Kirk Woolery Award, and the Richard B. Kenney Freshmen Leadership Award. The former two awards are given to the sorority and fraternity with the highest overall GPA. The Anna Ruth Bourne award was presented to the Alpha Xi Delta sorority and the W. Kirk Woolery Award was presented to the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. The Richard B. Kenney Award was presented to Brittany Fullbright.

            Dr. Miller proceeded to acknowledge the names of the students on the President’s List, who achieved a 4.0 GPA with at least 12 graded credit hours the previous spring semester. Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty; Dr. David W. Ewing later acknowledged the students who have earned their place on the Dean’s List. These students achieved a 3.65 GPA with at least 12 graded credit hours from the previous spring semester. After Dr. Ewing’s announcement, Dr. Miller returned for a special presentation, which was the John R. Taylor award presented to Professor Gary Kappel of the History department.

            Lastly, the students and faculty were addressed by Dr. Linda D. Lewis, a Professor of Neurology at the Columbia University Medical Center. Lewis presented her speech titled “Bethany College in the World”. Lewis is a Bethany College alumni from the class of 1961 and encouraged all students to pursue what they love. Bethany College is a liberal arts school where students are free to pursue whatever they feel is right for them in life, whether they want to be a professor or a musician. The convocation ended with the Alma Mater echoing through Commencement Hall and was followed by the benediction led by Rev. Thayer. The college welcomes all freshmen and wishes the best year to all students.


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